Author Topic: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones  (Read 1427 times)

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« on: October 29, 2017, 07:49:25 PM »
Brewing again after a long layoff and about to try an American pale ale with my homegrown Columbus hops. Worked the recipe using the Brewer's Friend calculator. For reference, here it is:
OG   1.055
FG   1.010
IBU   40.62
ABV   5.8 %
SRM   5.15
Specifics
Boil Volume 2.5 gallons
Batch Size   5 gallons
Yeast   81% AA

Fermentables
% Weight   Weight (lbs)   Grain         Gravity Points   
43.4 %      3.30   Light Malt Extract Syrup   22.4      1.3
43.4 %      3.30   Light Malt Extract Syrup   22.4      1.3
13.2 %      1.00   Light Dry Malt Extract         9.0      0.4

Hops
% Wt   Weight (oz)   Hop   Form      AA%   AAU   Boil Time   Utilization   IBU
33.3 %   1.5   Columbus   Whole      15   22.5   30      0.104   35.10
16.7 %   0.50   Columbus   Whole      15   7.5   10      0.049   5.52
33.3 %   1.00   Columbus   Whole      15   22.5   Dry hop   0.0      0.0

Total boil time will be 40 minutes, w/first hops added at the 10-min. mark. The AA% is the book average; I have no idea how these first-year cones actually rate other than that they seemed rich in lupulin and smelled great - really exceeded expectations. So I'm trying to figure whether I should think about adjusting the amounts. (They're dried, vacuum-sealed and frozen.) I've heard conflicting suggestions. The guy at the shop where I buy supplies suggested plussing them up by as much as 50 percent because they might not be as potent as they would be in Year 2, etc.; a guy on BF suggested REDUCING by as much as 30 percent for first-year hops and 15 percent for second-year. Any thoughts on this or on the recipe in general? Appreciated.

Offline Bob357

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • I can't hang with Denny. My day ends at 1.060.
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 08:06:15 PM »
It's pretty common to use hops with known alpha acid content for bittering and home grown hops for flavor and aroma additions where they will be boiled for 15 minutes or less or for dry hopping. It's also pretty common for home brewers to experiment. That's the great part about this hobby. Whatever you want to do is fine. 
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline dmtaylor

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2884
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 03:38:03 AM »
I have found my homegrown hops to have at least average if not slightly more than average alpha acid content.  I don't believe first year hops should be much different from other years.

I do use fully dried hop cones.  If your hops are still a little wet then all bets are off as they must be dried for accurate and reproducible results.  So do keep that in mind.

Assuming you are using dried hops, then a pale ale is the perfect thing to brew on your first batch with these hops for bittering.  If the beer turns out too low in bitterness, then call it a blonde ale instead!  And if too bitter, then just call it a session IPA!  Then adjust the amounts on future batches.  With experience and over the years you will figure out the average alpha acid of your hops and then can use them in many other beer styles beyond blonde, pale, or IPA.

Cheers and enjoy!
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 06:30:33 AM »
Made me laugh, DMTaylor. I think I dried them pretty well and might just stick with the weights in my recipe. Thanks.

Bob357, that's what I did with my first batch - Chinook pellets for bittering and my dried Chinook cones to dry-hop. Thought I'd give using all whole cones a try. Appreciate the encouragement.

Offline dmtaylor

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2884
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 06:50:48 AM »
Sorry, I just cannot contain my enthusiasm for using homegrown hops for bittering, so here's more:

I really don't understand why most homebrewers are afraid to try their homegrown hops for bittering.  In my experience, bittering is truly the very best use for them.  And people have been boiling whole hop cones for hundreds of years without having any idea what an "alpha acid" even is.  No one should ever feel discouraged from using them for bittering.  Seriously.  Sure, you have to guess on alpha initially if you care about IBU precision, but after just one or two uses, you'll know exactly what you've got based on taste, and then in future years, they'll be pretty much the same every year.

I strongly encourage everyone to try their homegrowns for bittering.  Please do, and enjoy.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 06:51:06 PM »
Thanks, Dave. No fear here! Just trying to keep it all in the ballpark on these newbie batches. Excited to see what these Columbus cones produce. Will keep you posted. Thanks.

Offline scrap iron

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 69
  • K C
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 01:39:54 PM »
Sorry, I just cannot contain my enthusiasm for using homegrown hops for bittering, so here's more:

I really don't understand why most homebrewers are afraid to try their homegrown hops for bittering.  In my experience, bittering is truly the very best use for them.  And people have been boiling whole hop cones for hundreds of years without having any idea what an "alpha acid" even is.  No one should ever feel discouraged from using them for bittering.  Seriously.  Sure, you have to guess on alpha initially if you care about IBU precision, but after just one or two uses, you'll know exactly what you've got based on taste, and then in future years, they'll be pretty much the same every year.

I strongly encourage everyone to try their homegrowns for bittering.  Please do, and enjoy.
  I agree with dmtaylor when using hi- alpa type hops for bittering. I brewed a American Brown with homegrown Nugget.  Homegrown Cascade and Nugget for flavor with Nugget dry hop. Tasty.  Just used an average of the AA range for both hops. Wished I still lived there, had to move and leave the plants
Mike F.                                                                               "I am what I am and that's all that I am" Popeye the sailor

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 08:07:43 PM »
Thanks, scrap iron. I'm going with the average. What a drag to have to leave your plants! I grew Columbus, Chinook, Cascade and Magnum in large pots this summer (our backyard soil tested for lead) and was pleasantly surprised to get first-year cones out of all but the Magnum - 23.5 ounces (dried) out of the other three. Plenty to play with this winter.

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 452
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 06:51:26 PM »
Sorry, I just cannot contain my enthusiasm for using homegrown hops for bittering, so here's more:

I really don't understand why most homebrewers are afraid to try their homegrown hops for bittering.  In my experience, bittering is truly the very best use for them.  And people have been boiling whole hop cones for hundreds of years without having any idea what an "alpha acid" even is.  No one should ever feel discouraged from using them for bittering.  Seriously.  Sure, you have to guess on alpha initially if you care about IBU precision, but after just one or two uses, you'll know exactly what you've got based on taste, and then in future years, they'll be pretty much the same every year.

I strongly encourage everyone to try their homegrowns for bittering.  Please do, and enjoy.

I grow Zeus, which is quite productive.  I always have waaay more than I need.  Maybe I'll start using them to bitter hoppy beers, starting with a pale ale as you suggested.  Should be a great bittering hop, once I dial it in.  It would be nice to start using them up.  I brewed an all-Zeus IPA once, but it came across as kind of oniony. 

Offline dmtaylor

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2884
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 05:46:05 AM »
I grow Zeus, which is quite productive.  I always have waaay more than I need.  Maybe I'll start using them to bitter hoppy beers, starting with a pale ale as you suggested.  Should be a great bittering hop, once I dial it in.  It would be nice to start using them up.  I brewed an all-Zeus IPA once, but it came across as kind of oniony.

That's the spirit.  I haven't experienced the oniony thing but based on zillions of others who have, it should fade and disappear after a few weeks.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 18652
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 10:43:02 AM »
I was told at Hop and Brew School that a garlic/onion character is due to harvesting too late.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Andy Farke

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 95
  • Homebrewing Paleontologist
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Brewing Blog
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 07:56:17 AM »
I brew with homegrown fairly frequently....if it's anything I have in quantity, I just send 'em off to a lab that can do the alpha acid calculations. It's a little bit of an outlay of cash ($35-$50 total, when you factor in shipping and all that), but in terms of stupid things I spend money on for my hobby, it's on the more useful end for the "peace of mind."

Otherwise, I either just use the things more on the late side, or guesstimate with an average number for the variety.
____________________________
Andy Farke, Homebrewer and Paleontologist
Website: http://www.andybrews.com
Twitter: @andyfarke
Facebook: Farke Brewing

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 452
    • View Profile
Re: Hops calculation w/homegrown cones
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 07:16:35 PM »
I'm brewing Dean Larson's Celebration Ale clone this weekend, using all homegrown hops.  Looking forward to it!  I do think that Chinook tends to shift character when grown in the Midwest though.  Somebody on here was talking about reclassifying Midwestern Chinook with a new name.  Mine is much more grapefruity than piney.