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Topics - HoosierBrew

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Stan's Hop e-Newsletter
« on: September 29, 2017, 02:48:01 PM »
Since Stan H's blog is one that I follow, I subscribe to his periodic e-newsletter about the world of hops. This latest one addresses the upcoming hops glut (and other subjects) with some interesting info. Thought I'd share:


"Hop Queries
September 2017
 
Harvest reports
Age check
Practical hop blending
Feedback
 
Welcome to Vol. 1, No. 4. My Twitter feed has been full of harvest pictures for more than a month and in certain parts of the country “wet hop” beers are being poured. (Or whatever you choose to call them – I’m pretty much staying out of this debate.)  There are going to be plenty of hops available in 2018, although that doesn’t mean every variety will be abundant . . . or cheap. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that Hop Stocks (hops that dealers, growers or brewers have in storage) were 15% higher on Sept. 1 of this year compared to last. "It appears hop acreage has exceeded current brewer demand, so it will be important to take the foot off the gas pedal until brewer demand catches up with hop acreage," said Ann George, executive director of Hop Growers of America and the Washington Hop Commission.
 
Regional reports
 - Harvest in Germany and the Czech Republic might have been a disaster were it not for rain in late July and early August. First, Germany. “The harvest in Germany was only about seven days away from disaster because of dry weather in June and July,” said Stephan Barth, managing partner of Barth Haas, the world’s largest hop broker. Crop estimates for Germany indicate the weight of hops harvested will be 8% lower than 2016, with Hallertau Mittelfrüh down 39%. Although yields were lower, because farmers planted additional acres of Herkules they will harvest about 8% more metric tons of the variety that has become most popular with large breweries focused on high alpha extracts. However, if alpha acid contents are below average, overall alpha production will still be down. That’s important because, as you will recall, prices spiked 10 years ago when alpha buyers were caught short and began scooping up anything they could use for bittering.
 
- Reports out of the Czech Republic, where Saaz grows on 88% of acres, are that alpha acids as well as yield will be below average. Hop broker Hopsteiner estimates that Czech overall production will be down about 26%, which will put some pressure on Saaz prices and availability. The results would have been worse had August precipitation not been above average (and more than twice in 2016). Plants in many hop yards had stopped climbing by the end of July and failed to reach the height of the trellis.
 
- The best news in an American update from YCHHops is that the “Centennial crop is excellent in most locations.” Centennial yields, and often quality, have been hit and miss in recent years. At the International Brewers Symposium on Hop Flavor and Aroma in Beer (see Vol. 1, No. 3) USDA research plant geneticist John Henning listed one of goals of new crosses made in 2017 is to find a new “Centennial-type” hop with better agronomics. Of course, that’s a long-term project.
 
In his harvest update earlier this week YCHHops COO Steve Carpenter reported that overall crop quality has been excellent and yields have been average to slightly above average on most varieties. The Citra crop was good, while Mosaic yields were slightly under average in many locations.
 
How old is that plant?
The first measure of a crop is yield – just how many pounds of hops did we end up with? New hop farmers beyond the Pacific Northwest are still trying to figure out just what their yards are going to yield, and if that will be enough to sustain a business. By rule of thumb, a new field should reach its full (yield) potential in Year 3. But there is another measure, and that is the quality of the hops coming out of those yards. Of course, there are factors beyond the plants themselves, because process (picking, kilning, packaging) comes into play. And what one brewer wants from a cone isn’t necessarily what another values.
 
Nonetheless, research by Suntory Beer in Japan focused on Saaz hops likely has implications for other varieties. Dr. Takako Innui presented the results at the International Brewers Symposium on Hop Flavor and Aroma in Beer. Among other variables, the study measured the impact of root age.
 
Thirty-five percent of the Saaz plants grown in the Saaz region of the Czech Republic are 20 years old or older – an age at which, Innui said, the amount of linalool (one measure of aroma quality) will slowly begin to decline. Only 4% are 15 to 19 years old, so as new ones replace the oldest the over 20 population will decrease. Otherwise, 16% are less than 5 years old, 21% between 5 and 9, and 24% between 10 and 14.
 
The researchers analyzed hops both on their own and in brewing trials. They found that the younger hops, particularly less than 3 years old, had more luxuriant vegetative growth and were late flowering. They contained lower amounts of monoterpenes associated with floral, fruity and citrusy aroma and flavor. They contained more sesquiterpenes that contribute to sylvan (woody) character. As a result, beers brewed with them were less floral, fruity and citrusy.
 
A similar study focused on New World hops with higher levels of, say, geraniol or various thiols might well yield different results. But this certainly suggests that the composition of compounds within hops change as the plant matures, particularly in the first three years. So it shouldn’t be surprising that as production of a popular variety ramps up to meet demand that some brewers and drinkers suggest it might be different than the year before. For instance, in 2013 Washington farmers harvested 382 acres of Mosaic. Acreage grew to 671 in 2014, to 1,528 in 2015, and to 2,029 in 2016. Plenty of young plants there.
 
Practical hop blending
The Mad Fermentationist Michael Tonsmeire reported on putting recent research about oxygenated compounds and thiols to practical use in a recent blog post. He brewed beers with a) Nugget, Chinook and Eureka!, and b) Citra and Galaxy, then compared them. You can read the complete results there, but a quick summary.
 
Cheaper hops
 
Taste – Falls a little short of full-on NEIPA, lacking that wonderful saturated juicy hop flavor. Although the fullness of the hop character has increased while sitting on the keg hops. Pineapple, orange candy, and dank. Slightly sharp bitterness, a bit lupulin bite in the throat.
 
Drinkability & Notes – A nice solid NEIPA with some character that might appeal to the cross-over West Coast drinker. Certainly nice to be able to get that good an IPA from 2/3 inexpensive hops, but it isn’t fooling anyone.
 
Citra/Galaxy (Cheater hops)
 
Taste – It has that saturated fancy hop (4-MSP) flavor. Bright, fruity, really juicy. Nice toasty-malty note in the finish, lingering with just a touch of resin. Firm bitterness. The aftertaste is where I really get the Citra-Galaxy rounded tropical fruit compared to the Cheaper hops.
 
Drinkability & Notes – I’m a sucker for that full fruity flavor with a slight weirdness from the hops. Drinkable and wonderfully hoppy.
 
Feedback
Thanks again for subscribing. If you have queries you’d like to see addressed drop me a line at stan@appellationbeer.com."
 


2
The Pub / Article: "ABI To No Longer Focus On Brewery Acquisition"
« on: September 22, 2017, 03:26:57 PM »
Pretty interesting. After the layoffs, it looks like a change in strategy involving a focus on existing acquisition expansion while stopping further buyouts. Could shake out in a number of ways. Time will tell.

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/09/after-high-end-layoffs-ab-inbev-to-no-longer-focus.html

3
General Homebrew Discussion / "We Might Have Been Wrong About FWH"
« on: August 17, 2017, 04:15:32 PM »
Found this article on Stan H's blog pretty interesting regarding FWH:

http://appellationbeer.com/blog/we-might-have-been-wrong-about-first-wort-hopping/

5
Ingredients / Cascade and Chinook Terroir
« on: April 10, 2017, 03:31:16 PM »
From Stan H's blog, an interesting article about how different the character from hops like Cascade and Chinook can be when grown further and further east from the West Coast. I get the terroir thing, but didn't realize it could change so much.

http://appellationbeer.com/blog/a-hop-by-any-other-name-the-un-chinooking-of-chinook/

6
Commercial Beer Reviews / Green Flash Fearless 50
« on: February 22, 2017, 04:40:03 PM »
I meant to post this review last night, but this is a saison with sweet orange peel, rose hips, and El Dorado hops, brewed for Trader Joe's 50th anniversary. Honestly, it raised red flags - a 'saison' brewed by a brewery known for mostly hoppy beers, with orange peel, rose hips (which have to be used in tiny amounts to keep me from spitting it out), and El Dorado hops which aren't my favorite and easily dominate. A recipe for $5.99 down the drain.

But it's a surprisingly good beer. First off, amazingly enough, it actually uses a saison strain , a huge pet peeve for American beers labeled as saison that.....aren't. 3711 by my estimation. It's very well attenuated, another frequent pet peeve. Thankfully, the orange peel is subtle and the rose hips as well, thankfully so (worried me considerably). And the El Dorado are far from up front - definitely no IPA/saison. I really like it and will buy more. Don't get me wrong - it won't overtake Dupont any time soon,  but it's an actual legit American saison at a nice price point.
 

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Good Hops Deal
« on: November 28, 2016, 06:57:26 AM »
Obviously lots of good online deals today, but for hop lovers, YVH has a nice deal. Buy either 1/2 lb or lb increments each of Mosaic, Centennial and Azacca (a package deal) and get a free 1/2 lb or 1 lb of Citra, all 2016 hops. Buy at the 1/2 lb level and it's 1/2 lb free Citra, buy at the lb level and it's a free lb of Citra.This assumes you like these hops, of course. I do. Works for me.


 http://www.yakimavalleyhops.com/category_s/1998.htm

8
The Pub / Mitch Steele Leaving Stone
« on: June 22, 2016, 04:40:56 PM »
Guess I missed the announcement last week. I'm sure Mitch's brewery will be great.

http://allaboutbeer.com/news/brewmaster-mitch-steele-leaves-stone/

9
This article is about Greg Koch's (of Stone) new investment group, formed to allegedly help give small breweries the finances to resist 'Big Beer' buyouts. Don't know how feasible it is long term but I love the idea in principle.

http://www.brewbound.com/news/greg-kochs-answer-big-beer-new-platform-called-true-craft


10
Really cool article from Martyn Cornell about the evolution of porter in England - from the preferred drink to out of favor over time. The parallels to BMC are interesting.

http://zythophile.co.uk/2016/05/08/will-big-lager-one-day-go-the-same-way-as-big-porter/


12
General Homebrew Discussion / Oxidation - Mitch Steele
« on: January 27, 2016, 11:29:37 AM »
With all the talk about oxidation in a thread or two lately, I read this article recently on Mitch Steele's blog. It's pretty informative for a newer brewer, good reinforcement for experienced brewers  :

http://hoptripper.com/the-real-quality-issue-oxidation/

13
The Pub / Pretty Funny
« on: December 10, 2015, 05:34:43 PM »
Got a pretty good chuckle at this old AB ad from Stan's blog. Note the condescending tone toward breweries that used what they considered inferior fermentables.   ;D

http://appellationbeer.com/blog/corn-beers-coarse-barley-malt-beers-spunky/

14
The Pub / Critical Drinking - What Beer Costs
« on: October 10, 2015, 07:08:25 AM »

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Nice Article, Marshall
« on: September 18, 2015, 04:29:39 PM »
Just read your article "A Brewer's Thumbprint" in the new BYO - nice work !  Just goes to show the silliness of hoarding prized recipes. I've tried the same with brewer friends making identical recipes. No two beers are ever identical. Too many variables.

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