Author Topic: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques  (Read 999 times)

Offline BrodyR

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Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« on: February 12, 2015, 03:31:34 AM »
My favorite style lately has been very hoppy pale ale's. Especially those that come close mimicking the intense ad resiny character of a solid double IPA but with a reasonable ABV. As a result I've been mostly brewing pale ale's lately and thinking a lot about hopping technique.

I came across the hop tea method and wondered if anyones had any experience with it and thoughts on maximising hop aroma and flavor in general? I just experimented with it tonight on the extreme end by adding a 2oz F7 tea to a keg with maybe 1-2 gallons left, I'll have a pint tomorrow and see how that goes.

My Current Hopping regime:

1) Obtain all my bitterness (usually ~30ibus) from a single addition of CTZ or an Apollo Hop Shot at First Wort
2) Cool the wort down to 170f and add around an oz/gallon to steep for an hour stirring occasionally.
3) Dry hop around ½ oz per gallon twice. Once in the primary a couple weeks after the brew day and a second time in the keg in a canister when I transfer 3 weeks in. I'll let that sit around 60f for 3-7 days before dropping it in the kegerator.

I buy my hops by the pound. To store I wrap up the back, rubber band it, then throw it in a freezer bag for cold storage. I've heard of people C02 purging their hops but I've never tried it. Also I adjust my water appropriately for pale ale.

I've been hitting the bitterness I like and some fairly solid hop flavor/aroma but I'm no where near that intense fresh resiny flavor of cracking a Heady Topper or a really fresh IPA at a local brew pub. The hop tea was one thought, as was adding hops throughout the boil instead of the lone 60m/FWH buttering addition. And another thought was to add even more hops.

Any thoughts on what works for you guys to maximize hop character? 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 04:05:50 AM by BrodyR »

Offline wingnut

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 12:56:43 PM »
My opinions... (ask 5 others and you will get 6 more opinions)

1.) I do not like the strategy of having the wort less than boil and above 170 for an hour... that is asking for off flavors.  10 to 15 minutes would be plenty. 
2.) I would add charges at 10 minutes of boil, 5 minutes of boil and 0 minutes of boil, and see what that does.... the charcter of adding hops is differet depending on the time you drop them in... and I think you need a RANGE of character to get the full hop effect you are looking for. Adding a bunch at one shot, give you a limited range of hop character.
3.) Compare finishing gravity of your beer to your favorite beer.  You may need to get your beer dow to 1.008 or below to get the mouth feel you are looking for.  (get the body of the beer out of the way a bit so the hops shine through)
4.) your more hops idea is probably a good idea.  I think you get everything out of the hops in about 10 to 15 minutes...once the stuff is in the wort, the green stuff is just taking up space.  (again opinion)  The hop stand you are doing at the end between boil and 175.... is a good thing, just not for an hour.  No added benefit for going past 15 minutes, and there are some cons that make me wrinkle my nose at the idea.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 03:08:37 PM »
My opinions... (ask 5 others and you will get 6 more opinions)

1.) I do not like the strategy of having the wort less than boil and above 170 for an hour... that is asking for off flavors.  10 to 15 minutes would be plenty. 
I have done this many times and I haven't picked up any off flavors that I can attribute to this. My hoppiest IPA has all the hops in a 90-minute flameout/whirlpool addition.

2.) I would add charges at 10 minutes of boil, 5 minutes of boil and 0 minutes of boil, and see what that does.... the charcter of adding hops is differet depending on the time you drop them in... and I think you need a RANGE of character to get the full hop effect you are looking for. Adding a bunch at one shot, give you a limited range of hop character.
I think you can get the full range of hop character from a whirlpool addition that you can get from late boil additions, and then some. If you want a range of flavors, then use a few different hop varieties.

3.) Compare finishing gravity of your beer to your favorite beer.  You may need to get your beer dow to 1.008 or below to get the mouth feel you are looking for.  (get the body of the beer out of the way a bit so the hops shine through)
+1 on this. Also, limit crystal malt and get at least 200PPM of sulfate in the finished beer.

4.) your more hops idea is probably a good idea.  I think you get everything out of the hops in about 10 to 15 minutes...once the stuff is in the wort, the green stuff is just taking up space.  (again opinion)  The hop stand you are doing at the end between boil and 175.... is a good thing, just not for an hour.  No added benefit for going past 15 minutes, and there are some cons that make me wrinkle my nose at the idea.
While I haven't heard it straight from the source, I've heard several mentions that Ray Daniels quotes the sweet spot for hop stands at 80 minutes. I don't know the specifics of the experiments and if it's universally applicable, but I have gone up to 90 minutes before chilling with good results.

I also agree big time that more hops can't hurt. Also, keep in mind that not all hops are created equal regarding oil content. One ounce/gallon of Citra will give you a lot more hop presence than 1 oz/gal of something like Motueka or Cascade.

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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 03:19:24 PM »
My opinions... (ask 5 others and you will get 6 more opinions)

1.) I do not like the strategy of having the wort less than boil and above 170 for an hour... that is asking for off flavors.  10 to 15 minutes would be plenty. 
2.) I would add charges at 10 minutes of boil, 5 minutes of boil and 0 minutes of boil, and see what that does.... the charcter of adding hops is differet depending on the time you drop them in... and I think you need a RANGE of character to get the full hop effect you are looking for. Adding a bunch at one shot, give you a limited range of hop character.
3.) Compare finishing gravity of your beer to your favorite beer.  You may need to get your beer dow to 1.008 or below to get the mouth feel you are looking for.  (get the body of the beer out of the way a bit so the hops shine through)
4.) your more hops idea is probably a good idea.  I think you get everything out of the hops in about 10 to 15 minutes...once the stuff is in the wort, the green stuff is just taking up space.  (again opinion)  The hop stand you are doing at the end between boil and 175.... is a good thing, just not for an hour.  No added benefit for going past 15 minutes, and there are some cons that make me wrinkle my nose at the idea.

I appreciate all the input!

Concerning the hop stand: I'm trying to find the link that details the results of a taste test experiment with hop stand duration as well as dry hopping. The gist was that the longer hop stands, I believe it was 60 or 90m, produced a lot more hop flavor than the shorter (30m) stand which is why I go for the long time. However, as you warned, I did just get an infection in a pale ale that underwent a long hop stand (although it could be coincidence rather than causation). I just googled it again and came across a claim that it's really at 170f and below that risk of an infection occurs so one thought was to increase my temperature. But then another test trial revealed 170f stands to produce the best flavor (https://alchemyoverlord.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/hop-stand-experiment-1/) which makes sense since you're blowing off less oils.

Concerning timing: Yea, I think I would love to brew two identical beers one where I hop at 20, 10, 5, 0 and another with all those hops added to the steep and a single charge at 60/FWH or maybe try to get all the IBU's from a hotter hop stand.

Concerning Gravity: My beer's have all attenuated fairly low. The current one is 1.007 (or was it 1.006?). But along the same line of thought of letting the hops shine maybe I'll try US 2 Row instead of Marris Otter in a batch.

 

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 03:21:20 PM »
Eric - yea, I'm thinking about going nuts and throwing a whole pound in a 4.5 gallon batch and see what happens.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 03:30:02 PM »
My opinions... (ask 5 others and you will get 6 more opinions)

1.) I do not like the strategy of having the wort less than boil and above 170 for an hour... that is asking for off flavors.  10 to 15 minutes would be plenty. 
I have done this many times and I haven't picked up any off flavors that I can attribute to this. My hoppiest IPA has all the hops in a 90-minute flameout/whirlpool addition.

2.) I would add charges at 10 minutes of boil, 5 minutes of boil and 0 minutes of boil, and see what that does.... the charcter of adding hops is differet depending on the time you drop them in... and I think you need a RANGE of character to get the full hop effect you are looking for. Adding a bunch at one shot, give you a limited range of hop character.
I think you can get the full range of hop character from a whirlpool addition that you can get from late boil additions, and then some. If you want a range of flavors, then use a few different hop varieties.

3.) Compare finishing gravity of your beer to your favorite beer.  You may need to get your beer dow to 1.008 or below to get the mouth feel you are looking for.  (get the body of the beer out of the way a bit so the hops shine through)
+1 on this. Also, limit crystal malt and get at least 200PPM of sulfate in the finished beer.

4.) your more hops idea is probably a good idea.  I think you get everything out of the hops in about 10 to 15 minutes...once the stuff is in the wort, the green stuff is just taking up space.  (again opinion)  The hop stand you are doing at the end between boil and 175.... is a good thing, just not for an hour.  No added benefit for going past 15 minutes, and there are some cons that make me wrinkle my nose at the idea.
While I haven't heard it straight from the source, I've heard several mentions that Ray Daniels quotes the sweet spot for hop stands at 80 minutes. I don't know the specifics of the experiments and if it's universally applicable, but I have gone up to 90 minutes before chilling with good results.

I also agree big time that more hops can't hurt. Also, keep in mind that not all hops are created equal regarding oil content. One ounce/gallon of Citra will give you a lot more hop presence than 1 oz/gal of something like Motueka or Cascade.

The 80 minute figure came from an experiment that was done by Rock Bottom at their various breweries. That gave the most flavor and dry hopping was used for aroma. First heard of this in his talk with Randy Mosher at the  2009 NHC. Those used to be posted, but I can't find it on the NHC page.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 03:47:07 PM »
I also am a proponent of a single 60 minute bittering charge and a single 170* hop stand.  One only gets 2 things from hops: Alpha Acids and oils.  A full 60 minute boil is the most efficient way to get AA into your beer.  Hop oils boil at very low temperatures compared to wort, so lower is better, but below 170* risks infection, so...  For me those are the only two additions.

Can one get a different hop flavor profile by doing multiple hop additions late in the boil?  Yes, but I'd argue that is the result of specific hop oils leaving your wort, changing the mix.  I'd sooner not add hops than just see the their oils boil off like DMS.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 05:58:01 PM »
FYI, the Rock Bottom experiment is discussed in Hops on pp. 201-02.

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Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 07:47:10 PM »
I just googled it again and came across a claim that it's really at 170f and below that risk of an infection occurs so one thought was to increase my temperature.

For what's worth, vat pasteurizing of milk occurs at 145F.   While spores can withstand 170F, vegetative (living) cells cannot.  Vegetative cells kick the bucket by 70C (162F).  Infection does not become a serious threat until the wort drops below 120F.  I pour autoclaved (absolutely sterile) media into dry sterilized petri dishes after it cools to between 120F and 140F with no infection.

OP, your infection was due to either poor sanitation or an infected culture, which, in turn, could be poor yeast handling/management on your part or a culture that was infected at the source.  If the infection is indeed brett and you have not been playing with brett, then odds are that you received an infected culture.