Author Topic: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?  (Read 2033 times)

Offline erockrph

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Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« on: May 07, 2012, 08:33:50 AM »
Up to this point when I've been combining flavor/aroma hops in a recipe I've generally been working with hops in a similar AA% range (i.e., all high-alpha US hops for example). If you're working with two hops with a drastically different alpha acid percentage and you're looking strictly for a similar flavor/aroma contribution from each, do you need to adjust for AA% or would you simply use the same amount by weight?

For example, if I wanted to get an equal flavor/aroma contribution from Columbus at 16% AA and something like Fuggles at 4%, would I want to use 4 times more Fuggles than Columbus in my late/whirlpool/dry hops? Or is the flavor contribution pretty much the same on a per-weight basis?

Obviously, some tasting and recipe-tweaking will likely be involved, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a rule-of-thumb that will get you in the right ballpark to start.
Eric B.

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Offline denny

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 08:36:27 AM »
 I don't adjust for AA since you get little to no IBU from them.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 08:41:15 AM »
I think it would depend on how quickly you can chill, and whether or not you're doing an extended hop stand post-boil. If you're chilling within 10min it probably won't matter, but if it takes 20-30min to chill it, that could make a difference.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 08:53:42 AM »
The IBUs from late additions can be high if you put a ton in. You get aroma from dry hopping, not much bitterness.

For flavor and especially aroma, you might look at the essential oil content for the hops.  In your 2 hops listed, Fuggles =0.44 - 0.83% and Columbus =1.5 -2.0%. Citra is alway called intense, well it is at 2.2 - 2.8%, which is pretty high.

I can't tell you what to do, as it is recipe, equipment and process dependent. You can try different amounts for different beers and find out what you like.

http://www.freshops.com/hops/usda-named-hop-variety-descriptions#usda_id_19209
http://www.usahops.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=hop_info&pageID=8
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Offline krazykrausen

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 09:22:26 AM »
AA% doesn't factor in for flavor or aroma. Similar weight is a good way to start, and you'll have to adjust from there

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 10:05:14 AM »
The IBUs from late additions can be high if you put a ton in. You get aroma from dry hopping, not much bitterness.

For flavor and especially aroma, you might look at the essential oil content for the hops.  In your 2 hops listed, Fuggles =0.44 - 0.83% and Columbus =1.5 -2.0%. Citra is alway called intense, well it is at 2.2 - 2.8%, which is pretty high.

I can't tell you what to do, as it is recipe, equipment and process dependent. You can try different amounts for different beers and find out what you like.

http://www.freshops.com/hops/usda-named-hop-variety-descriptions#usda_id_19209
http://www.usahops.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=hop_info&pageID=8

Ahhh... that sounds like what I was looking for. I'm not too concerned about bitterness since I almost always do a 60-minute addition and would adjust that to hit my target IBU's as I tweak my late adds. I was wondering if AA% typically correlated with flavor/aroma contribution, but the oil content is probably a much better marker for that.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline nateo

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 10:25:19 AM »
There is a correlation between high AA% and high oil levels, but it's not a causal relationship, and there are definitely examples of high oils and low alphas, and vice versa. 
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 11:05:29 AM »
There is a correlation between high AA% and high oil levels, but it's not a causal relationship, and there are definitely examples of high oils and low alphas, and vice versa.
Yes.

For the OP. Smell your hops, look at the data, make a guess on the finished beer.  Brew it agian with adjustments if you need to dial it in.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2012, 11:30:26 AM »
There is a correlation between high AA% and high oil levels, but it's not a causal relationship, and there are definitely examples of high oils and low alphas, and vice versa.

So if you had to make an educated guess and you had a batch of hops that was at the high end of its AA% range, would it be safe to assume it was likely at the high end of it's essential oil range as well?
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline skyler

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Re: Flavor/Aroma hops - adjust for AA% or no?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2012, 08:36:26 AM »
So if you had to make an educated guess and you had a batch of hops that was at the high end of its AA% range, would it be safe to assume it was likely at the high end of it's essential oil range as well?

Not really. A better assumption would be that "newer" varieties generally have a higher oil content than older and more established varieties. But even better would be to just go here to http://www.usahops.org/userfiles/file/HGA%20BCI%20Reports/HGA%20Variety%20Manual%20-%20English%20(updated%20March%202011).pdf check the oil content of the hop variety you're interested in using.