Author Topic: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers  (Read 1410 times)

Offline skyler

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Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« on: March 12, 2016, 06:51:20 PM »
A post a while ago led to a discussion about blending El Dorado with CTZ. Then I drank a 100% El Dorado IPA at a local brewpub, followed by an "experimental IPA" that has continued my curiosity about the newest generation of American hops.

Other than Mosaic, which I think tastes and smells like Simcoe mixed with Amarillo and CTZ (a glorious combination), most of these newest varieties of hops have seemed odd to me. Calypso, El Dorado, Azacca, Belma... the list goes on. Last night I drank an IPA at a brewpub that I know to make great IPAs, and this new "experimental" IPA tasted like French lavender candy. I imagine there were so many of the newest new school hops in it without the dank, herbal punch of something like CTZ or Simcoe to balance it out. I appreciate the high oil content in these hops, but they seem imbalanced on their own.

So I want to know if I can make better, bolder hop-forward beers with these newer varieties of hops in blends, or if I should just stick to the tried and true. Can I get something really special by mixing the perfume-candy of El Dorado and Calypso with the Cannabis-Grapefruit punch of CTZ? Should I be pulling out the Apollo to balance out the Belma? How is everyone else utilizing their newest new school hops?

I am tentatively planning an Apollo/El Dorado/CTZ (2-2-1) DIPA to see if mixing dank with candy gives me what I'm looking for.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 07:55:00 PM by skyler »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2016, 07:53:57 PM »
I hate to give you a non-answer, but it's really all up to personal preference. I have yet to run across a "bad" hop combo. I typically get an idea of what I'm looking for in a beer and string together the pieces that I think will work well. I mix noble hops with American hops, American hops with English hops, and tropical hops with American hops quite often.

I'd start with 2-3 varieties that seem to get you in the ballpark of what you want, base your quantities on the relative potency of each (preferably based on personal experience, but total oil content can be a guide if it is something unfamiliar to you), and just go for it.

Your 2:2:1 ratio seems like a good starting point for what you're looking for, but smell your Apollo first. Sometimes it's just dank and resinous, other times it can get a lot of citrus. Neither type is bad, but adjust your recipe based on what you're shooting for. Or don't adjust and make a note so you know for next time.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2016, 12:15:07 AM »
I agree it's hard to gauge personal preference. I like several of the newer hops but there are a few I'm not a huge fan of. I really like Equinox, Mosaic, Azacca, Galaxy, Lemon Drop, and Nelson Sauvin, to name a few. I'm a chronic hop experimenter, so sometimes I blend hops like these for 'new' style IPAs, sometimes I blend one of these with C hops and/or U.S. 'noble' varieties like Mt Hood for a familiar yet different beer. I totally agree with looking at oil contents on your hops. It's a pretty good way to gauge intensities of hops and therefore be able to balance them. Example - if you want to balance a hop having oil content of 1 with another hop having oil content of 2 , you'd use twice the amount of the former hop.
Before I brew an IPA or APA I form a mental picture of the hop character I'm after and blend accordingly. Have fun with it !
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Offline fmader

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2016, 12:28:34 AM »
Yeah. I think it's just a matter of preference and what your pallet enjoys. I like most of the new hops out there, but I'm clearly on the record for hating mosaic. You love it. I hate it. There's nothing wrong with either of our opinions... Everybody's taste buds are different.

A really under-rated hop out there to try is meridian. Equinox is also a phenomenal and complex hop.
Frank

Offline denny

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2016, 04:21:32 PM »
I am not a big fan of all the new fruity hops out there.  If I like them at all, it's only on combos with other hops  At Hop & Brew School last fall, Stan talked about adding Bravo into certain hop combos to bump up and meld the flavors.  I bough a bunch of Bravo and I'm gonna start experimenting with that.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 04:42:18 PM »
I am not a big fan of all the new fruity hops out there.  If I like them at all, it's only on combos with other hops  At Hop & Brew School last fall, Stan talked about adding Bravo into certain hop combos to bump up and meld the flavors.  I bough a bunch of Bravo and I'm gonna start experimenting with that.

I have never brewed with Bravo, but I have seen it compared to CTZ (dank, spicy, and citrusy to me) and Nugget (herbal, earthy, and spicy to me). Would you say that Bravo is more on the herbal/spicy side of things than the citrusy "IPA hop" side of things?

I never considered myself a hop-snob. I have enjoyed old world hops, C-hops, and the newer 2000-2009 hops quite a lot. My favorite single-hop hoppy beers have been made with Cascade, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, and Mosaic. In the past, the only really aromatically hoppy well-made beers where I haven't really enjoyed the hop character have been beers aggressively late-hopped with Galena, fuggle, Styrian Goldings, and Saaz - all what I classify in my mental palate as "spicy/earthy" and "non-IPA" hops. Could it be that the newest batch of hops are so candy-sweet that they need backup from "non-IPA" hops or is it just that adding some spicy and earthy elements helps balance them? I remember back when cascade was often blended with willamette or goldings to get a less overtly "west coast" tasting pale/amber ale. I suppose I will have to try the same thing with the pound of El Dorado and half pound of "Vinnie's Special" that I have in the freezer.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 04:58:11 PM »
Stan talked about adding Bravo into certain hop combos to bump up and meld the flavors.  I bough a bunch of Bravo and I'm gonna start experimenting with that.



Never heard that, Denny. I'm definitely gonna give that a shot, too. That's a prime reason I need to go to Hop and Brew School some year!
Jon H.

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 05:07:18 PM »
Would you say that Bravo is more on the herbal/spicy side of things than the citrusy "IPA hop" side of things?


Haven't used it yet, so I can't say.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 05:12:03 PM »
So is the point to use bravo at multiple addition points or just for bittering?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 05:47:09 PM »
I am not a big fan of all the new fruity hops out there.  If I like them at all, it's only on combos with other hops  At Hop & Brew School last fall, Stan talked about adding Bravo into certain hop combos to bump up and meld the flavors.  I bough a bunch of Bravo and I'm gonna start experimenting with that.
He recommended Bravo and Simcoe. Another was Nugget and ?, need to look at my notes.

This was due to the high amount of geraniol in Bravo, Nugget is loaded with linalool.

Here you go.
http://appellationbeer.com/blog/cascade-a-study-in-hop-terroir/
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 05:53:25 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 05:54:13 PM »
So is the point to use bravo at multiple addition points or just for bittering?
I would use late, whirlpool, dry hop.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2016, 05:54:31 PM »
So is the point to use bravo at multiple addition points or just for bittering?
I would use late, whirlpool, dry hop.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Balancing "New New School" Hops for Hop-Forward Beers
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2016, 08:18:18 PM »
All right, I know that I don't like El Dorado as the single hop and I don't really like 100% candy hops (that's what I'm calling them). I have decided that I am going to try out my pound of El Dorado hops in two ways. First, I am going to brew an IPA with El Dorado as a "supporting actress" sort of hop. Then I am going to brew a DIPA with El Dorado and Apollo playing lead. I am keeping the malt bill very simple in both so the hops shine. Both beers will be bittered primarily with hop shots.

For the "supporting actress" beer, the aroma hop bill will be 4-1-1-1-1 Simcoe-Columbus-Apollo-Citra-El Dorado at Flame-out (chilled to 180F then whirlpooled for 15 mins), 140F whirlpool, and dry. I probably won't know what specifically El Dorado is doing, but I will get a good idea whether (a) it really stands out even in small amounts or (b) it plays well with others in a support role. I'm looking at 91% 2-row, 7% CaraHell, and 2% Acid Malt and I'm splitting the yeast (one English, one American). ~1.059 ~68 IBUs. Total amount of aroma/dry hops: 380g (13.4 oz) for 12 gal batch (~10.5 gal finished beer).

For the "star role" DIPA, the aroma hop bill is 1-1 El Dorado/Apollo at 10 mins and flameout (+180F whirlpool), then 3-3-1 El Dorado/Apollo/Columbus at the 140F whirlpool, and 2-2-1-1 El Dorado/Apollo/Columbus/Cascade dry. This beer should tell me whether this hop is a nice balance to another super-oily hop that is more resinous/dank/citrusy, as well as whether this hop sucks as a 10 min addition. I know from experience how Apollo plays with Citra, Amarillo, Summit, Nelson Sauvin, and other "bold" hops, so the choice to use Apollo rather than CTZ seems safe to me. This will be 87% Canadian Pilsner Malt, 5.5% CaraFoam, 1.5% Acid Malt, and 6% sucrose. Split between Joystick (Pacman) and US-05. ~1.076 ~105 IBUs. Total amount of late/dry hops: 630g (22.22 oz) for 12 gal batch (~10.5 gal of finished beer).

I'll report how they turn out