Author Topic: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops  (Read 1783 times)

Offline qm3k

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Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« on: August 14, 2016, 05:02:54 PM »
I have not brewed a good hoppy beer in years. Stay with me here...

I typically brew the recipes out of Brewing Classic Styles, and it has served me well for a long time. Some of my favorite recipes in there are the American Pale Ale, American IPA and the West Coast Blaster (hoppy amber). The first time I brewed these up they were killer.

Then, I rebrewed...and rebrewed...and rebrewed again. All of them duds.

I have been searching for the reason for going on 3 years now. I finally veered away from super-hoppy beers and made some really good examples (my Cal Common was particularly good) of other styles. So, with a renewed sense of confidence in my brewing ability, I tried the American Pale Ale recipe again. Dud. Total drain material.

The one factor that is different between my successes and failures on these beers is the Horizon hop. When I first brewed the recipes, I could not get Horizon hops in my area, so I was substituting other hops in. When Horizon finally became available, I started using them and following the recipes to the letter.

Is it possible that I simply don't like the results that a Horizon-based beer gives? I find the bitterness almost totally lacking (the recipe should be coming in at 40 IBU, and I am taking into account AA% when I scale the recipe to my system) and the beer tastes very dull (I have messed with the water in about every configuration you can think of. This time I landed at Bru N Water's Pale Ale Profile). I have looked around to see if others have had issues with this hop variety, but no, all I'm finding are articles about how wonderful they are.

Offline denny

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2016, 05:17:04 PM »
Horizon reminds me a lot of Magnum and I don't care for Magnum for hoppy beers.  Too smooth for my tastes, not enough character.  That may be what you're experiencing.
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Offline qm3k

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 05:20:39 PM »
That's what I was thinking. Every beer I've brewed with them came out very dull-tasting to my palate. I'm a bit of a hop-head, and when I was unable to get the Horizon hops I would sub in something as drastic as Simcoe...totally different, I know, but I was just going for a similar AA% as what was called for in the recipe. Those beers turned out great.

Offline denny

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2016, 05:23:38 PM »
That's what I was thinking. Every beer I've brewed with them came out very dull-tasting to my palate. I'm a bit of a hop-head, and when I was unable to get the Horizon hops I would sub in something as drastic as Simcoe...totally different, I know, but I was just going for a similar AA% as what was called for in the recipe. Those beers turned out great.

I think you've found the problem!  Just don't use Horizon for bittering and you should be happier with your beers.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2016, 05:32:19 PM »
+1.  Are you only unhappy with the bitterness quality, or hop flavor and aroma as well?  BCS has some good recipes to use for your first time with a style, but the hoppy recipes are my least favorites. His hoppy recipes aren't especially hoppy IMO, and also there are some newer hopping methods for late hop character that he doesn't touch on. Don't get locked into one hop - there are MANY great varieties out there now.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2016, 08:55:59 PM »
Are you sure the beer has changed from when you liked it or have you changed since you were last happy with these brews?
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Offline txpitmaster

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2016, 10:41:20 PM »
...BCS has some good recipes to use for your first time with a style, but the hoppy recipes are my least favorites. ...

Is there a link to this?  Im looking for a good generic recipe thats not tricked out for several styles as a benchmark to progress from!  thanks

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2016, 10:54:26 PM »
...BCS has some good recipes to use for your first time with a style, but the hoppy recipes are my least favorites. ...

Is there a link to this?  Im looking for a good generic recipe thats not tricked out for several styles as a benchmark to progress from!  thanks



Here ya go:   http://www.brewerspublications.com/books/brewing-classic-styles-80-winning-recipes-anyone-can-brew/


Edit -  Cheaper here -  https://www.amazon.com/Brewing-Classic-Styles-Winning-Recipes/dp/0937381926
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 10:57:53 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline txpitmaster

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2016, 02:20:37 AM »
Thank you!  I see a kindle purchase in my future!

Offline zwiller

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2016, 01:14:25 PM »
I am pretty into neutral hops and magnum is probably my favorite.  In the day, I made a PA with magnum and late cascade and loved it and it was easily my best beer.  That said, it is a very dated flavor (mild) in today's age.  Just like SNPA.  One thought I have is that if the beer was so bad you dumped it, you might have gotten some bad/old hops or mislabeled.  Clean hops still bitter beer.  I can see it being a dud but not a dumper. 

Let's try this: what sorta beer are you aiming for?   

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2016, 02:10:52 PM »
Horizon can be a good bittering hop, but it only has 1% oils. Compared to Citra with up to 3% oils, it would be a little weak. I did not look too hard at the oils content, and the differences there are what gives the different hops their characteristic aromas.

Look here.
https://ychhops.com/varieties
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2016, 12:10:19 PM »
I feel like Magnum, Nugget and Horizon make very good "cleanly-bittered" beers.  Those three hops represent the vast majority of my bittering hops but I'm not into ultra-hoppy beers so that says something.  A lot of APA and IPA guys I know who love hoppy beers typically bitter with something else like Chinook, Columbus, Apollo and some of the newer hops like Azacca and El Dorado.  It's more than AA% that you want.

Offline santoch

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2016, 05:37:10 PM »
I like bittering with Centennial, or if using a neutral hop, adding a touch of Chinook to add character.  I find Pure Chinook a little much if used by itself as the sole bittering hop, but it does a great job to "liven up" an otherwise too-neutral bittering charge.

I used Azacca for my last batch. . It came out very nice, but it was on the low end IBU wise, so it's not a fair comparison.  I'll try it again next time I make an IPA and see how it does in comparison to my normal hops.  So far, though, it shows promise.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2016, 04:44:16 AM »
Chinook, Chinook, Chinook.  God I love that hop!  Denny, what say you? ;)
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Offline fmader

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Re: Underwhelmed by Horizon hops
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2016, 02:23:33 PM »
90% of my hippy beers are bittered with Columbus.
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