Author Topic: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?  (Read 1568 times)

Offline chinaski

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wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« on: August 21, 2016, 04:18:16 PM »
The hop picking season is happening & I'm doing my second wet hop brew.  Last time (2-3 seasons ago) all the hops went in wet from 60 min to steep.  It turned out fine.  This time I'm adding the hop wet hops (Cascade) only at the end of the boil- 5 min to steep, with FWH and 60 min. addition of dried homegrown Chinook.  I'm doing it this way mostly because my brief "research" on the web indicated that this is how the majority of brewers (home or pro) approach it.

Why is this?  Is the thinking that wet hops contribute more grassy/chlorophyll flavor if boiled or otherwise left in the wort longer?

Just curious what the rationale might be.

FWIW, my wort is:
6.25 lbs Maris Otter
2 lbs. dark munich
1 oz. chocolate malt

Cheers- brew onward!

Offline goschman

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 06:27:29 PM »
I think part of the reason is most people don't know the alpha acid content of their homegrown hops so predicting bitterness levels can be difficult.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 09:05:10 PM »
I think part of the reason is most people don't know the alpha acid content of their homegrown hops so predicting bitterness levels can be difficult.
This is the reason.

I have made all homegrown hop ales and won awards with them. Procedure:

Select the average of the AA range.
Make a beer, taste it. Too sweet, add more bittering next time. Too bitter, add less. Think about how much is how much before you brew the next one.

You can blend batches if you wish, if the first is way too sweet, or way too bitter.

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Offline Stevie

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 12:53:56 AM »
He's specifically asking about wet hops, not just homegrown. I don't have an answer, just pointing to his query.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 01:08:50 AM »
He's specifically asking about wet hops, not just homegrown. I don't have an answer, just pointing to his query.

Well yeah, I have made wet hop ales with everything in the boil. Once it was good, after some time, one was grassy.

Do the average from AA to estimate the alpha, multiply by 5 and that is the amount. Lots of vegetable mater in there for sure.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 12:18:48 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline goschman

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 02:37:36 AM »
He's specifically asking about wet hops, not just homegrown. I don't have an answer, just pointing to his query.

My mistake. I guess I was assuming homegrown wet hops.

To the op, do you have alpha acid content info?
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Offline kramerog

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 02:11:03 PM »
Wet hops for bittering have no advantage over dry hops.  Wet hops for flavor theoretically is advantageous over dry hops because dry hops lose some oil during drying.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2016, 02:46:14 PM »
You would have to throw a lot more vegetal matter in the boil which might approach the volume necessary to get grassy/chlorophyll type flavors, especially in IPA/DIPA.

On a pro level I suspect the challenges involved in getting wet hops means they have to be put to use where they will have the greatest impact, which is not going to be bittering. Unless you get something special out of bittering with wet hops then you can bitter with dried hops and make a lot more wet hopped beer.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2016, 11:30:57 PM »
Personally, I do not like the vegal-like chlorophyll-ish flavors associated with wet hop beers. I imagine boiling them would increase those (to my palate) unpleasant flavors.

Offline denny

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2016, 04:19:09 PM »
Personally, I do not like the vegal-like chlorophyll-ish flavors associated with wet hop beers. I imagine boiling them would increase those (to my palate) unpleasant flavors.

Yeah, I've concluded the same thing.
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Offline stpug

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2016, 04:42:19 PM »
Personally, I do not like the vegal-like chlorophyll-ish flavors associated with wet hop beers. I imagine boiling them would increase those (to my palate) unpleasant flavors.

Yeah, I've concluded the same thing.

I'm in the same boat.  When I make a "fresh hop" beer I'll dry the hops for 24-48 hours and then use them just to reduce the chlorophyll character from the fresh-from-the-bine wet plant material.  Makes a huge difference - and I still call it a "fresh hop" ale :D

Offline chinaski

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2016, 01:49:13 AM »
He's specifically asking about wet hops, not just homegrown. I don't have an answer, just pointing to his query.

My mistake. I guess I was assuming homegrown wet hops.

To the op, do you have alpha acid content info?
I don't have %AA directly.  But I'm lucky to have quite a bit of %AA data from university extension research programs for the varieties I grow from studies that were/are being done very near by.  On top of that, I have a very good feel for what the %AA could be through brewing with my hops (mostly after drying them) and tweaking the %AA in ways described by another poster here.

This brew I did all my wet hop additions 5 min or less and the aroma from the fermenter is very very nice.  I'm looking forward to taking the first sip of this batch!

Offline santoch

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2016, 04:32:18 AM »
One other variable is water content.  All our calculations assume the hops were dried to a standard water content level.  When you use fresh hops, you can only guess how much to use because you can't be sure of the water weight that is still in them.  We take a stab and guess that you need to use about 5 times the weight you would use if they were dried, but that is just a guess.  Depending on the humidity levels you have faced over the past few days, they could dry out a lot, or even soak up some moisture from the air if it's been raining.

And I'm another one in the "I hate the chorophyll grassiness" camp too.
Even when they are in late, the vegetal flavor is a big distraction for me.
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Offline fmader

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2016, 05:30:50 PM »
Personally, I do not like the vegal-like chlorophyll-ish flavors associated with wet hop beers. I imagine boiling them would increase those (to my palate) unpleasant flavors.

Yeah, I've concluded the same thing.

Chlorophyll? More like borophyll!

But yeah. I agree with this. I made an "at will" fresh hopped ale a couple years back. Basically, as we picked them, they got tossed in the boil. It tasted very green in an unpleasant way to me. However, my uncle (who I brew with) loved the beer and couldn't understand what I didn't like about it. So I'm guessing some people are more deceptive of this flavor than others.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: wet hop ale - why not boil wet hops?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2016, 05:35:19 PM »
I said all that and yet filled two firkins with "wet" hops picked from my  biz partners bines then make 8 gallons of "wet" hop IPA that had all the "wet" hops added at flame out (and some CTZ pellets @ 60 for bittering.) I'm not going to be super interested in drinking them but there will be folks out there who will be.