Author Topic: Making a Custom Hop Blend  (Read 2448 times)

Offline erockrph

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Making a Custom Hop Blend
« on: September 15, 2012, 10:27:17 AM »
I've been wanting to make a couple of custom hop blends for a while now. Now that I've had a chance to brew with the hops in my stockpile that I wasn't really familiar with, I'm ready to throw one together. Has anyone else done this? Any pointers?

My biggest concern is that since I am working with hops that are already in pellets, I may get some inconsistency from one addition to another. I'm hoping that since I plan on using this for late additions (and therefore in larger quantities - like 1/2oz or more at a time), that should keep my additions fairly homogenous. I was also planning on going over the pellets lightly with a rolling pin. I don't want to crush it to a powder, but I'm hoping to break some of the bigger chunks into smaller pieces. I'm planning on letting it sit at room temp for a week or so to try to let the flavors meld a bit before I throw it back in the freezer.

Here's what I'm planning. Any suggestions or critiques are more than welcome.

Average AA%11.35
Total Weight in Oz27
Hop NameAA%Ounces in blendPercentage of total blend
Nelson Sauvin12.1518.52%
Galaxy15622.22%
Citra12.2311.11%
Cascade5414.81%
Rakau11.4311.11%
Motueka7.227.41%
Calypso12.827.41%
Sorachi Ace12.627.41%
Eric B.

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

Offline Mark G

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Re: Making a Custom Hop Blend
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 01:41:28 PM »
Why not just measure your blend into 1 or 2 oz portions and vac-seal them. Then you don't have to worry about it being homogenous unless you have hop additions smaller than that. I'd probably avoid the rolling pin and letting them sit warm methods. They'll meld together just fine in the kettle.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Making a Custom Hop Blend
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 06:11:55 AM »
Too many different hops can yield a hop character with muddled, soft edges. Its like they cancel each other out.

Kind of the same as a really busy malt bill.

I use, at most, 4 different types of hops in any IPA/pale ale. Increased complexity comes with playing with the addition of these fewer varieties at different stages, especially in multiple whirlpool and dry-hop additions.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Making a Custom Hop Blend
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 08:48:24 AM »
Too many different hops can yield a hop character with muddled, soft edges. Its like they cancel each other out.

Kind of the same as a really busy malt bill.

I use, at most, 4 different types of hops in any IPA/pale ale. Increased complexity comes with playing with the addition of these fewer varieties at different stages, especially in multiple whirlpool and dry-hop additions.

That's why I tried to keep the focus on a few of the hops, and use smaller amounts of the others as highlight notes. I'm hoping that I'll get a nice complex fruitiness, and the non-fruit aromas and flavors contributed by the various hops will sit way in the background.
Eric B.

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

Offline erockrph

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Re: Making a Custom Hop Blend
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 09:28:14 AM »
Well, I tasted the IIPA that I made with this blend last night. The hop character is pretty muddy (granted, part of that is just that I used way too much hops - dry hops in particular). While I wouldn't completely write off the idea of making a hop blend again, I would definitely be much more selective in choosing what hops to use. The Nelson Sauvin is too assertive to work well in a blend, and some of the others don't really add enough to be worth including. I have enough left for another batch or two, so I'll try it out in a more reasonably hopped beer.

If I were to do this again, I'd consider Citra + Galaxy + Amarillo + Motueka. But honestly, I don't think it's worth my while to pursue again. Hops blends just don't make as much sense on the homebrew scale as they do on the commercial scale. It was a fun experiment, but lesson learned.
Eric B.

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