Author Topic: Late Hopped APA...BU:GU ratio  (Read 770 times)

Offline roguejim

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Late Hopped APA...BU:GU ratio
« on: March 28, 2012, 11:40:32 AM »
I would like to formulate a late hopped all-Cascade APA recipe.  An SG of 1.053, and a hop schedule of 15-5-1min additions.  The grain bill will be pretty standard.  My question concerns the BU:GU ratio, and how many IBUs per each hop addition.  Do I go with the traditional 36-40 total IBUs, or bump them up because of the lowered/smoother bitterness of late hopping?  I'm really looking for lower bitterness, and big hop flavor.  Not sure how to approach this.

Offline denny

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Re: Late Hopped APA...BU:GU ratio
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 11:44:11 AM »
When I do something similar, I've found that I need to really up the amount of hops/IBU to get the bitterness I like.  How much is kind of a crap shoot IMO.  It often takes me 2-3 batches to get it right, unless I make a lucky guess the first time.  OTOH, you said you're looking for low bitterness, so maybe if you shoot for a 1:1 ratio it will work for you.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Late Hopped APA...BU:GU ratio
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 12:39:09 PM »
I recently had similar goals described by the OP, i.e., a "sessionable" IPA that emphasizes flavor and aroma, or an Extra Pale Ale (XPA).  I found success with using BeerSmith and shooting for the very low end of the style guidelines for OG, IBU's, and ABV, while keeping FG and ABV in the low-average range.

Due to higher hop charges needed, I found more bitterness than I would like if I did all late hopping (including aroma steeping at or past knockout)--I think the reason for this is that IBU's continue to get extracted when wort temps are elevated (albiet slowly).  I do 10 gallon batches and use a 50 ft IC.  Your experience may be different with other batch sizes/methods.

I would stick with a small amount of high AA hops (e.g., Magnum) with clean bittering and focus more on small additions of the Cascade hops from 40 minutes down to knockout to get the flavor complexity. 

Aroma hopping can be achieved with aroma steeping and/or dry hopping.  I find aroma steeping to be cleaner and more subtle (yet approachable--it appeals to a wider audience of non-craft beer drinkers), while dry hopping gives us craft beer drinkers the "Wow!" we're looking for--however, the higher aroma levels often comes accompanied by grassy flavor and aroma notes that many non-craft beer drinkers struggle with initially).  I find dry hopping's flavor/mouthfeel contributions seem to heighten my perception of hop bitterness and lessen my perception of the malt and hop flavor contributions.  YMMV.

Try a split batch and only dry hop one keg to see which way you'd like it personally.