Author Topic: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA  (Read 36342 times)

Offline davejanssen

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2012, 01:41:11 PM »
I'm pretty excited about this Q&A session. Thanks for organizing it. Here's my question:

I've read in a couple recent homebrewing books (The Brewer's Apprentice, the IPA excerpt in Zymurgy) that cohumulone is related to the harshness of bitterness, with more cohumolone seeming more harsh. However, I've also read in scientific papers that this is somewhat outdated and incorrect information and that cohumulone is no more bitter than other alpha acids, although it might be more soluble/survive to the finished product more than the others (Schonberger and Kostelecky's 2011 article in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing titled The Role of Hops in Brewing, see p. 262). Can you weigh in on this? Does cohumulone contribute a more harsh bitterness? Are there recent experiments confirming this?

Thank you. And thanks for all the information you've shared with the homebrewing community.

Dave

Offline troybinso

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2012, 03:00:20 PM »
My questions about recipes:

For hopping rates do we use the IBU listing and work the numbers around to keep the percentages right? I tried to make it work for the Meantime IPA and it came out to an obscene amount of hops - about 4 lbs per barrel vs. the 2 lbs per barrel mentioned in the recipe. Can we assume a more efficient use of hops at the professional level vs. homebrew level?

Can you be more specific for yeast strains? The homebrew strains that are typically available are purported to be from some of these breweries: Brakspear, Worthington, Whitbread, Boddingtons, Timothy Taylor, Fullers, Ringwood.

Offline gandelf

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2012, 04:12:28 AM »
My question concerns stability in kegs. The flavor and aroma in my hoppy ales start to diminish after two to three weeks. I rack under co2 with a closed system. I would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations you would have concerning increasing stability in packaging. My typical hop additions are FWH, 15,10, 5 and then 2 to 3 ounces in the hop rocket before plate chilling. I then slowly recirculate beer through 2 to 6 ounces of hops in my "torpedo" for two days after kegging; this is done at cellar temps (60-65 F). All of this is done completely under co2. Thanks and love your beers. Cory
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2012, 07:55:11 AM »
When designing an IPA, what specific component or combination of chemical components in the hop am I looking for?  I want to venture out more, and try new hop varieties in an IPA.  Besides looking for the freshest hops, should I be looking at hop components such as, total oil, co-humulone, beta-acids, alpha-acids, myrcene, humulene, or farnesene?

Often times I can't find the classic IPA hops, such as, Simcoe, Citra, or Centennial.  So I would like to know what exactly to look for in a hop variety before I buy it and run a test brew.

Thank you. 
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2012, 08:19:41 AM »
I haven't finished the book yet but I would like to ask a question that may be answered in the book but might be informative to those without the book.

I was wondering if you could just outline the top 3 (or 4 or 5) things you think makes a great IPA. Where should we really be concentrating our efforts and what is your process when designing an IPA?

Thanks,

-Mike

BTW, Loved the Ruination 10th anniversary beer.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 12:01:53 PM by brewmichigan »
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline erockrph

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2012, 10:20:59 AM »
A) What are your preferred hops for bittering an IPA and why?

B) Are there any combinations of hops (or types of hops) that work particularly well together for flavor/aroma? Any combinations that you've tried that don't work well together?
Eric B.

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

Offline n0ah

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2012, 05:21:16 PM »
Word around the kettle seems to profess the following two truisms:
  • High-alpha hops are continually developed and made accessible.
  • Long hop boil time destroys any flavor/aroma contribution and leaves only bitterness.
So, for bittering additions, why would anyone use anything but the cheapest most high alpha hop they can get their hands on?

Assuming that there is some good reason for not always using a super-high-alpha bittering hop, what else should be considered? What, besides bitterness, is transferred into the final beer if not flavor or aroma?

Offline majorvices

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Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2012, 06:43:46 PM »
I have been homebrewing for 10+ years - bottling & kegging.  I never have gotten good results from dry hopping.  Currently, I put whole leaf hops in a hop bag, drop in keg & rack on top.  I then remove after 5-10 days & add another charge the same way (hop bag) if called for.

However, every time I've gotten just vegetal, grassy flavors regardless of the varietal used.  Because of this, I have cut out dry hopping in all my beers 100% & just add those same hops at flameout which provides exactly what I am looking for.

Do you have any clue what could be cause the unpleasant flavors in dry hopping using the procedures above?  Is late hopping just as effective & dry hopping unnecessary?

Thanks,
Jonathan

Obviously I'm not Mitch, but have you ever tried dry hopping at fermentation temps? Dry hopping cold leads me to the flavors you are talking about, especially with whole hops.
Keith Y.
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Offline gmwren

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2012, 06:53:03 AM »
When designing an IPA, what specific component or combination of chemical components in the hop am I looking for?  I want to venture out more, and try new hop varieties in an IPA.  Besides looking for the freshest hops, should I be looking at hop components such as, total oil, co-humulone, beta-acids, alpha-acids, myrcene, humulene, or farnesene?

Often times I can't find the classic IPA hops, such as, Simcoe, Citra, or Centennial.  So I would like to know what exactly to look for in a hop variety before I buy it and run a test brew.

Thank you.

I'd like to piggyback this question as well with respect to dry hopping temperature as it relates to hop essential oils ratios. I usually dry hop in keg for a period close to fermentation temperature, but I would like to know how these variables effect aroma over ranges from near freezing to room temp.

Thanks

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2012, 07:41:27 AM »
One more question:

Do you have any techniques to favor certain flavors/aromas over others from a type of hop in the finished beer. Specifically, is there a way to get that great tangerine character out of Summit without getting the onion/feet/cheese character. Another example would be for hops like Cascade or Amarillo that have both floral and citrus qualities, is there a way to adjust the balance towards either floral or citrus in the finished beer?
Eric B.

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

Offline ericmagruder

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2012, 03:11:48 AM »
Hi Mitch!

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!  I've been home brewing for a couple of years on the same system.  I'm producing 5 gallon batches currently, and I'm thinking of upgrading my setup to brew bigger batches.  I think you're experience brewing on many different size systems would help me.

My question is multi-part, but all parts revolve around scaling up recipes.  First, on a personal level, if I were to upgrade to a system that is capable of producing batches three times the size I am currently producing is scaling up my recipes as simple as multiplying my ingredients by three?  What are the common problems that I should be prepared for when scaling up recipes to larger systems?  What size of a pilot system do yo use at Stone to test new recipes?  And, lastly, how do you go about formulating recipes from a homebrew system to brew on your full scale production brew house... is it all about proportions and percentages or are there limiting factors too?

Thanks again!

Offline beersk

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2012, 01:19:47 PM »
Mitch must be busy eh? Hope he gets a chance to answer some good questions here.
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Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2012, 02:14:42 PM »
Hello and thanks to Mitch for taking the time to answer questions for the homebrewing community!  Also, thank goodness Stone is finally in Iowa!
     Here is my question.  I can not seem to make an IPA that is even close to commercial levels and I always seem to get the same flavor profile; a kind of dirt flavor with a nasty bitterness.  I have tried different water, malts, hops, mash temps and hop addition times.  I am shooting for a nice dank or resinous IPA and have been using Simcoe, Centennial, Chinnok and CTZ mostly.  I am pretty confident that the hops are not the problem as I have used from several different sources. I am also pretty solid on my fermentation temps.  I usually just toss my pellets into the boil and ferment for 2 weeks or so.  My last 2 ideas are to bag my hops and to rack off the trub as soon as the bulk of fermentation is done, any other helpful hints?

Thanks again, Chad

Offline jeffy

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2012, 07:32:02 PM »
I have often wondered how close to reality the hop bitterness is calculated for historical IPA's.  You mentioned at one point in your book that Americans sometimes heated the hops too much when drying them, but moisture content is important when calculating the weight of hops in any recipe.  Also, it said that sometimes fresh hops were used, but I assume you meant hops that weren't already used in the recipe, not actually fresh or "wet" hops.  Cold storage wasn't available for the most part, so the bitterness would decrease over the season.  I also read that brewers sometimes removed hops from the boil after certain times because they thought it would add harsh flavors.
Do we pretty much assume that all the hops in the 1800's were about the same alpha acid percentage and fairly low - 3 or 4?
So when the historical brewer's log says 5 pounds per barrel, just how much hop flavor or bitterness is that really?

Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline ultravista

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Re: Ask the Experts: Mitch Steele on IPA
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2012, 07:50:29 PM »
Albeit not likely .. I would like Mitch's feedback on hops in Arrogant Bastard. The CYBI and other "standard" recipes call for Chinook. The Craft of Stone Brewing, absent of A.B, references a lot of non-Chinook hops for the hoppy beers.

Crossing the fingers and holding my breath ...