Author Topic: Concentrated boils and hop utilization  (Read 1301 times)

Online Joe Sr.

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Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« on: October 23, 2013, 09:07:31 AM »
I was reading yesterday that supposedly John Palmer and others now state that hop utilization is independent of wort gravity.  These were third person attributions on another forum with no reference to source material, but others seemed to agree and take this as a known and generally recognized fact.

I had never heard this before.  Ever.  And I can't find anything in (admittedly brief) searches on-line that would support the attribution of this statement to Palmer other than third party attributions.  As a matter of fact, almost all links take me back to that same forum...

Anybody heard this before?  I suppose it could be total BS but I simply don't know.  It has always been my understanding that a concentrated wort had lower hop utilization.  Is the consensus changing?

I'm curious to know in general and especially since there have been a couple recent posts here about concentrated boils.

Maybe someone can chime in on the science behind all this.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 09:40:50 AM »
I've heard that too, but never seen an attribution, let alone data. In Hops (p188) Heironymous does say that utilization is inversely correlated to wort gravity, and as a general rule I trust that he was as up-to-date as anyone in the industry, but it did go to press almost two years ago now.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 10:15:37 AM »
There were some references to a paper that said it was not the sugars, but beak material that inhibited utilization. More gravity will have more break with it.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 10:21:15 AM »
Can those sources be posted here? I'm curious.
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2013, 10:26:40 AM »
There were some references to a paper that said it was not the sugars, but beak material that inhibited utilization. More gravity will have more break with it.

How would you differentiate the impact of the sugars vs. the impact of the break?

If there's more break with higher gravity than it still seems that hop utilization and wort concentration would be highly correlated.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 10:29:33 AM »
If you are using Malt Extract, break material is extremely reduced, so that may be part of it.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 11:04:55 AM »
There were some references to a paper that said it was not the sugars, but beak material that inhibited utilization. More gravity will have more break with it.

How would you differentiate the impact of the sugars vs. the impact of the break?

If there's more break with higher gravity than it still seems that hop utilization and wort concentration would be highly correlated.

If you are using Malt Extract, break material is extremely reduced, so that may be part of it.

Yeah, that would be the way to test. If the correlation is specific to the break material then an all-malt-extract brew should have a higher utilization than an all-grain batch of the same boil gravity. If it's related to the sugars, then it should be the same for either. Also, if utilization really isn't affected by sugar concentration then an all-extract brew should have the same utilization regardless of the boil gravity.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2013, 04:32:39 PM »
Can those sources be posted here? I'm curious.
I have heard of those papers, but no links. Those were also discussed briefly on the Brew a Strong with Dr. Tinseth.

You might try and contact John Palmer.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2013, 06:21:42 PM »
Is break that reduced in an extract brew?  Are the maltsters removing that much break material?  I never noticed this.
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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2013, 07:25:43 PM »
It just seems like a big shift in thinking to have nothing people can point to as far as data.

I realize a lot of our truisms have been discarded over the years but I'd like to at least hear anecdotal evidence on this one.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2013, 11:40:51 PM »
Well, the White Labs IBU assay is only $38...
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2013, 06:16:47 AM »
Well, the White Labs IBU assay is only $38...
Coastal labs is only $5. Shipping is the expensive part.

This would be a good experiment to submit for an AHA research proposal. If I had time to do it in the near future I'd do it myself.
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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2013, 08:09:10 AM »
Coastal labs is only $5. Shipping is the expensive part.

This would be a good experiment to submit for an AHA research proposal. If I had time to do it in the near future I'd do it myself.

Ooh, good to know. Although the WL kits include shipping, so it might be a wash.

I may just write this up, actually. I forgot about the new AHA program.
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2013, 08:54:14 AM »
If you do it, please post back.  Or write an article for Zymurgy.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Concentrated boils and hop utilization
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2013, 09:38:50 AM »
Could explain the difference between FWH and a standard bittering addition.
Lennie
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