Author Topic: low OG / light bodied beer and hops?  (Read 533 times)

Offline goschman

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low OG / light bodied beer and hops?
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:32:56 AM »
I am considering doing what I would call an American Wheat Pale Ale. My question is if the OG is below 1.050 with light body and color, how careful should I be with the hops? I don't want a hop bomb but a nice hop presence that doesn't overpower the beer.

I was thinking about hopping up to about 30 IBUs since I would assume the hop character won't have much to hide behind. Also thinking about dry hopping with Columbus but don't want to overdo it. Maybe just us 1/2 oz?

Online gmac

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Re: low OG / light bodied beer and hops?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 10:55:19 AM »
I do a really nice one that I like a lot.  Won a silver medal at the Toronto Beer Week competition in the Wheat Beer category but the comment was made that "maybe it should be in Pale Ale" because of the hops.  Wheat was right but the judge was wrong.

4 lbs Pils malt (or 2 row depending on what I have on hand).
4 lbs wheat malt
1 oz Citra at 15 mins
1 oz Amarillo (or citra) at 5 mins
1/2 oz Citra dry hop.
1/2 distilled water, 1/2 tap cause that's what I need for lighter beers.
WLP001 California Ale
OG 1.049 - I use about 83% efficiency when making a recipe.

The thing that I really love about this beer is that it's a 60 min boil but it's all late hops so you get a tonne of flavour and aroma with a really nice subdued bitterness.  I'm considering doing more pale ales this way by switching out the wheat with Munich.

Edit:  I forgot to mention that I've also done it this way with Centennial and Sorachi Ace as well as just Hallertau. Different characters but similar results.  I love how this balances very delicately with the wheat and light body. 
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:59:18 AM by gmac »

Offline goschman

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Re: low OG / light bodied beer and hops?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 11:06:06 AM »
Thanks. I forgot that I have done an all citra wheat that I did a very small bittering addition then used the rest for flavor/aroma. That one was about 25 IBUs...

I guess my worry is using more aggressive hops like Columbus with such a light beer. I guess I just need to be careful. I think I will do a normal bittering addition but keep it at or below 50% of the total IBUs.

Offline erockrph

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Re: low OG / light bodied beer and hops?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 11:12:32 AM »
It's really all about your tastes. If you like a lot of late hop character, then bombs away. If you want more balance then 0.5-1 oz at both flameout and dry hopped paired with 25-35 IBU's at either FWH or 15-20 minutes is a good place to start. Columbus can give a pretty sharp bitterness when used at 60+ minutes, so you may want to steer away from that. A beer like this works pretty well without a traditional 60 minute addition.
Eric B.

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

Offline goschman

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Re: low OG / light bodied beer and hops?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 11:17:56 AM »
Great...that is good to know. I plan to probably use some cascade, centennial, and amarillo as well. I am more curious than anything as I try to decide what to brew next. I would probably forgo a 60 min addition for FWH in this circumstance.