Author Topic: HSI  (Read 1316 times)

Offline yso191

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HSI
« on: December 15, 2015, 04:43:48 AM »
I've posted elsewhere that I'm working for a while in the lab at BSG (Brewers Supply Group) testing hops for alpha & beta acids, as well as HSI: the Hop Storage Index.

I am frankly surprised at the degradation of alpha acids in hops.  In the 3 months since harvest, the hops I am testing have dropped 1-2 % points in alpha from the harvest alpha.  I'm not experienced enough to know if that will continue at a steady decline or not.  I do know that the variety also influences the rate of decline.

What I am wondering is if we homebrewers are not taking this into account as much as we should - if at all.  All the hops in my freezer are 2014 hops.  They have an alpha acid % listed on the package but I'm not sure how to account for the decline, and they never list the HSI.  It seems to me this would be an important thing to factor in.  Any thoughts?  Do any of you factor in the age of the hops for calculating IBUs?
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: HSI
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 04:50:32 AM »
I don't.  I have never thought my bitterness levels seemed low.

Offline Stevie

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Re: HSI
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 04:58:59 AM »
Many varieties have a storability rating. I don't care enough to account for losses. If I do care for a particular batch, I buy as fresh as possible.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: HSI
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 05:47:06 AM »
I dont worry about that. 99% of the time I dont even change my hop calculator to the actual AA on the package. If I were a large commercial brewer I would probably be far more attentive.

Offline erockrph

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Re: HSI
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 05:52:35 AM »
I dont worry about that. 99% of the time I dont even change my hop calculator to the actual AA on the package. If I were a large commercial brewer I would probably be far more attentive.
Same here. The vast majority of my beers are one-offs. If I were trying to recreate the same beer over and over, then this is certainly something I would be better off paying closer attention to.
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Offline yso191

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Re: HSI
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 06:33:17 AM »
Part of my interest in this is due to the fact that I have yet to get my IPA's to have both the noticeable bitterness level I'm looking for.  I am casting about for what to try next.

My water salts are where they should be (300 sulfate, 54 chloride, 18 magnesium)
My pH is where it should be (5.4)
I'm using a neutral yeast (US-05)

I've tried hop shots.  I've tried 120 IBU (calculated) loads of bittering additions.

Don't get me wrong the beers are good, and balanced, but they have an APA level of bitterness.  I've noticed several commercial examples that have the level of hop flavor that I like are also lacking the bitterness of an IPA - not all certainly, but a large number.

So I found myself wondering if the calculations are off because I am not factoring in the alpha losses.

My next attempt will be to use a dreaded high co-humulone hop to see if that is what I am looking for.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: HSI
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 06:47:46 AM »
Ya, im thinking you just might have a more than average love of scorching bitterness my friend. You might have to try hop extract.

Offline erockrph

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Re: HSI
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 07:09:06 AM »
Your IBUs are going to max out around 100, so there's no harm in way overshooting just to be sure that you max it out. Shoot for 200+ IBU's of Polaris as your bittering hop and go from there.
Eric B.

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

Offline jeffy

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Re: HSI
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 11:19:34 AM »
Since you work at BSG, why not test some of your 2014 hops and compare the results with the labeled percentage?
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Offline 69franx

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Re: HSI
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 12:47:37 PM »
Since you work at BSG, why not test some of your 2014 hops and compare the results with the labeled percentage?
I think that's the answer right there, if they will let you
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Offline yso191

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Re: HSI
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 02:43:11 PM »
Since you work at BSG, why not test some of your 2014 hops and compare the results with the labeled percentage?
I think that's the answer right there, if they will let you

That's a great idea.  I would if we were not so far behind.  This is the first season for the lab and we have had an amazing series of issues putting us behind.  Perhaps later when things are caught up - if I am still there.
Steve
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Re: HSI
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2015, 02:46:27 PM »
I am frankly surprised at the degradation of alpha acids in hops.  In the 3 months since harvest, the hops I am testing have dropped 1-2 % points in alpha from the harvest alpha.
...
They have an alpha acid % listed on the package but I'm not sure how to account for the decline, and they never list the HSI.  It seems to me this would be an important thing to factor in.  Any thoughts?  Do any of you factor in the age of the hops for calculating IBUs?

How are those stored? 1-2% at room temperature wouldn't surprise me - that's something like a 0.3 HSI which is typical. And bear in mind it's exponential decay.

Here's the formula just in case you don't have it: http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue2.1/garetz.html

I do the calculation every once in a while, but since I store hops in a freezer under relatively oxygen-free conditions it doesn't usually end up being necessary. Case in point, I brewed with 2014 CTZ yesterday and probably should have bumped it up a bit, but the predicted alpha has only dropped from 12.0% to 10.2% and I'm doubting I'll miss the ~5 IBU. It would be interesting to know how widely the HSI can vary within a given variety; if it isn't on the packaging I just assume the typical value. If you look at something like the Hop Union data sheets they'll at least have a range. (Of course, being at BSG you could probably just walk over to the warehouse and look at some boxes.)
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Offline yso191

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Re: HSI
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2015, 03:34:04 PM »
I am frankly surprised at the degradation of alpha acids in hops.  In the 3 months since harvest, the hops I am testing have dropped 1-2 % points in alpha from the harvest alpha.
...
They have an alpha acid % listed on the package but I'm not sure how to account for the decline, and they never list the HSI.  It seems to me this would be an important thing to factor in.  Any thoughts?  Do any of you factor in the age of the hops for calculating IBUs?

How are those stored? 1-2% at room temperature wouldn't surprise me - that's something like a 0.3 HSI which is typical. And bear in mind it's exponential decay.

Here's the formula just in case you don't have it: http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue2.1/garetz.html

I do the calculation every once in a while, but since I store hops in a freezer under relatively oxygen-free conditions it doesn't usually end up being necessary. Case in point, I brewed with 2014 CTZ yesterday and probably should have bumped it up a bit, but the predicted alpha has only dropped from 12.0% to 10.2% and I'm doubting I'll miss the ~5 IBU. It would be interesting to know how widely the HSI can vary within a given variety; if it isn't on the packaging I just assume the typical value. If you look at something like the Hop Union data sheets they'll at least have a range. (Of course, being at BSG you could probably just walk over to the warehouse and look at some boxes.)

Thank you!  I'll check that link when I get home.

No the hops in question were stored in a refrigerated warehouse.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline nathan74

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Re: HSI
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2015, 03:56:24 PM »
I wonder the same thing. And as home brewers we often don't know how old the hops are when we buy them.

So I ask, why don't hop suppliers stamp the packaging date on them?


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Offline brewinhard

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Re: HSI
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2015, 10:57:08 PM »
I wonder the same thing. And as home brewers we often don't know how old the hops are when we buy them.

So I ask, why don't hop suppliers stamp the packaging date on them?


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+1!  I would at least expect a harvest year date on them (at least the single oz packages anyway).  Wouldn't take much to add that.