Author Topic: Hop Audition APA Series  (Read 919 times)

Offline el_capitan

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Hop Audition APA Series
« on: December 12, 2016, 05:05:49 AM »
Hey Guys - with all of the new hop varieties I'm reading about, I need an efficient way to test them out.  I plan to brew a bunch of 3-gallon batches of APA this winter, and I want your opinions on the best way to get a sense of what each variety will give me in terms of flavor and aroma.

I plan to produce about 6 gallons of wort and split it evenly into two kettles, then conduct separate boils.  The grain bill will look like this:

11 lb Simpson's Golden Promise
.75 lb C 40
.75 lb Munich

Bitter with Nugget @ 60 min.

Now comes my question -

Should I chill to about 180 and then do a 30 min hopstand with 1 oz of my "test" hop?
Or should I split it and use .25 at 10 and 5, then .50 oz at flameout?   

Either way I want to target about 42 IBU. 

Seems to me that a single one ounce hopstand would be quite a bit easier.  I just want to be sure that I'm getting a good sense of what each hop will give me. 

Also, I would like to start out with a yeast audition to determine which strain to go with.  I just picked up some Omega Labs OYL-52, DIPA yeast (aka Conan) to play with.  I thought about putting that up against some US-05 slurry, some WY1450, and some WY1728 Scottish Ale.  I've read that Conan can give poor attenuation on the first batch, so I thought that an APA would be a good way to wake it up a bit.  Either way, I figured I could do some 6-gal split batches to identify my favorite APA strain too. 

Any thoughts about the hop schedule and yeast options would be welcome.  Thanks!


Offline neddles

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 07:01:30 AM »
Use 1450 and go with 2oz of your test hop in the whirlpool and another ounce dry hop of the same hop.

Those hop quantities are minimums for my palate.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 07:04:25 AM by neddles »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 04:59:52 PM »
If you are testing hops for your own purposes then you should select a recipe that best reflects the types of beers you normally brew. If you normally brew west coast IPAs then the way a particular hop interacts with Conan in an APA probably isn't as indicative of how you might use that hop in the future as it could be.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 09:48:54 PM »
If you are testing hops for your own purposes then you should select a recipe that best reflects the types of beers you normally brew. If you normally brew west coast IPAs then the way a particular hop interacts with Conan in an APA probably isn't as indicative of how you might use that hop in the future as it could be.
Agreed. I try to keep my hop trial recipes as simple as possible. I use about 90% light DME, and 10% Munich LME. In a one gallon batch I use 40 IBU at 15 minutes, half ounce at flameout and a quarter ounce of dry hops, all with the same hop. I use US-05 as the yeast.

I like having a neutral background, with just enough malt character to see how the hops stand up to some malt backbone. A neutral bittering hop will work, but I'd rather use the hop I'm testing to get a handle on the bittering quality while I'm at it.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2016, 10:47:33 PM »
I try to keep my hop trial recipes as simple as possible. I use about 90% light DME, and 10% Munich LME. In a one gallon batch I use 40 IBU at 15 minutes, half ounce at flameout and a quarter ounce of dry hops, all with the same hop. I use US-05 as the yeast.

I like having a neutral background, with just enough malt character to see how the hops stand up to some malt backbone. A neutral bittering hop will work, but I'd rather use the hop I'm testing to get a handle on the bittering quality while I'm at it.



Same philosophy here. Mostly pils DME with 2 or 3 oz of crystal, 40 IBU. 1 gallon batches if it's a new variety I haven't used.

Edit -  One place I deviate though is that I usually bitter with Magnum. I have enough hops on hand that I like for bittering that I just do my trials to eval late and dry character.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 11:03:31 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 03:18:39 AM »
I picked up 2 oz of a bunch of different strains, and I was hoping to sample each hop alone before going for some combos.  I originally planned to do something more like a SMASH APA using Vienna, which always turns out nice.  But, I just picked up a sack of Golden Promise so I thought I'd go that route. 

I could use 2 oz in a 3-gal batch, which would allow me to bitter and dry hop with it. 

So you're saying that Conan won't work well in an APA?  Is that pretty much a DIPA yeast and that's it?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 12:43:37 PM »
  So you're saying that Conan won't work well in an APA?  Is that pretty much a DIPA yeast and that's it?


Not at all. Conan would work fine in several styles, including APA. I just personally think you're better to use a neutral strain like 1056/05 to eval your hops accurately, since Conan tends to have more fruity esters. But if you like Conan and want to see how it plays with various hops, go for it. No wrong answer here.
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 11:44:31 PM »
  So you're saying that Conan won't work well in an APA?  Is that pretty much a DIPA yeast and that's it?


Not at all. Conan would work fine in several styles, including APA. I just personally think you're better to use a neutral strain like 1056/05 to eval your hops accurately, since Conan tends to have more fruity esters. But if you like Conan and want to see how it plays with various hops, go for it. No wrong answer here.

This is my first trial of Conan, and I've never tried any Heady so I don't have a reference point to work from.  I think I'll start with some hop combos that I'm familiar with, and nail down my yeast strain.  Then I can start playing with hop combos.  The experimentation aspect will be fun - I don't know that I'll still be an APA fan after all of this though! 

Maybe I should brew up sampler sixers and pass them around for feedback.  That would be a good way to get some different perceptions of the beer and also move the product. 

I've only used Golden Promise once, on a Surly Furious clone.  I think I remember some people saying they get kind of a dark berry character from it in some sense, although I could be wrong.  Do you see a problem with using Golden Promise as my base malt?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 12:11:41 AM »
  Do you see a problem with using Golden Promise as my base malt?

No, not at all. Other brewers here have used it as their base. Keep in mind that it's a malt with a touch of malty sweetness. Depending on the style of APA you're after, you might consider getting good attenuation, keeping crystal in check, or using sulfate for dryness. Or not. It makes nice beers.
Jon H.

Offline el_capitan

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Re: Hop Audition APA Series
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 12:14:52 AM »
  Do you see a problem with using Golden Promise as my base malt?

No, not at all. Other brewers here have used it as their base. Keep in mind that it's a malt with a touch of malty sweetness. Depending on the style of APA you're after, you might consider getting good attenuation, keeping crystal in check, or using sulfate for dryness. Or not. It makes nice beers.

All good info - I appreciate it!  I've been using some of the more sulfate-heavy APA profiles in Bru'nWater and have been pleased with the results.  I like a sharper mineral edge in my hoppy beers.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.