Author Topic: Is there such a thing as brewing with too many hop varieties in one beer?  (Read 394 times)

Offline Uvolnit

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So, my 11th 5-gallon extract brew was a double IPA that I bottled and was just ready today, so I had to try a few.  I would say I have a good tasting palate for hop flavors but this one turned out "muddy" tasting.  It was an experiment, as were a number of my IPAs, and I probably used too many varieties of hops that caused the over-intensity, muddling of primary flavors.  I would like to prove or get approval from others that using too many varieties of hops end up making the beer too "complex" and thus losing the good flavors from each type of hop.  The reason I used so many varieties is that I had so many leftover from buying multiple ounces at once and having many left from previous brews.  I now realize I probably should have not used some to reduce the "over-flavoring" I am asking about.  I know the Golding hops are not great for an IPA but figured it would add an earthy/grassy note.

I double dry hopped for 7 days each set of dry hops.

Here is the recipe:

5.75 G boil water
OG 1.071
FG 1.010
8% ABV

WLP001 1L yeast starter + yeast energizer in primary

6# LME pils light
4# DME pils light
1# dex

Steeping grains:
.75# 2-row
4 oz C-15

Hop bill (all pellet):
summit 1.5 oz 75 min
summit 1.5 oz 65 min
summit 1 oz 55
CTZ 1 oz 40
chinook 1 oz 15
chinook 1 oz 10
motueka 2 oz 5
nelson sauvin 1 oz whirlpool
galaxy 2 oz whirlpool
styrian golding 2 oz whirlpool
chinook 1 oz dry #1
falconers flight 1 oz dry #1
galaxy 1 oz dry #1
nelson sauvin 1 oz dry #2
pacific jade 1 oz dry #2
motueka 1 oz dry #2

I know that it is common conception/truth that IPAs need to be drank asap to keep the fresh hop flavors but is it possible it will take some time for the flavors to age and arise?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 06:27:04 AM by Joseph »

Offline Pope of Dope

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That is a lot of hops!  Yeah, I generally use just one to three varieties, but that's just me.  The only hop I've had some trouble with is Saaz for dry hopping, I just didn't like it and thought it made the beer taste like dirt.   

I think I've added up 20oz of hops in your 5 gal batch.  That's a lot of hops!  I said that twice now.  Maybe I stand to be corrected by others with more experience, but my 2xIPA's have at most half that quantity. 

BUT...then again, your hop choice might be just fine.  Could it be that they're old?  I just noticed you said they were "leftovers."  Old hops = dirt flavor. 

And your last question, I have had beer mellow in the keg.  I wouldn't say age, but some time in the cold keg has improved the flavors of some brews. 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 07:08:12 AM by Pope of Dope »

Offline kramerog

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Probably not, but you can waste hops.  I would get rid of all the non-bittering 40 min - 5 min boil additions.  You could move them to bittering or to the whirlpool depending on your vision. 

Often settling out of the yeast in the keg improves the flavor of the beer. 

Offline klickitat jim

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More types of any ingredient doesn't always equate to more complexity in the finished product. Tasters might find 10 different flavors in a beer with one malt and then only one flavor in a beer that has ten different malts. I think just about every hop can compliment a few other types when paired up, but just like too many grains... I think you can have too many varieties of hops and defeat the purpose. Look at some results of tasting panels on single hopped beers. Tasters might find 6 or 8 different things. Then the results of a 10 hop beer might just be... hoppy.

Offline Uvolnit

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First off, I just opened a bottled bomber and the aroma is amazing.  I definitely smell and taste the Galaxy hops and a tad bit of pine along with a mix of other mixed flavors.  The hops are not old, nor are they fresh crop.  I originally bought the hops online from reputable vendors in their original 1 oz, nitrogen vacuum bags and were kept in my beer freezer/fridge until brewing.  The muddy/dirt taste from my opinion is from too many hops being used and all of their flavors being muddled together without any specific flavors. 

I kept hop additions out for the 30-15 min addition due to the reduction of flavor but could have eliminated some more around there for less useless hop flavor additions. 

Also, I did not keg my beer, I bottled so figured some further yeast aging would happen and this a recent brew so some aging will happen until I put all of the bottles in the fridge.  I usually keep my beers in the basement at near 65 degrees F to age until I put the bottles in the fridge for a few days to make drinkable.

The one I am drinking now is good with some Galaxy aroma and taste but still muddled with too many hop flavors to aim at one or two.  I love the specific flavors of the hops I chose for this brew but am still decided that too many hop varieties are in my brew to taste each specific flavor profile which results in a muddled hop flavor overall.  It's a good beer and strong tasting at 8% ABV but no pronounced flavors.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Yeah, my local brewery did a staff beer where each staff member selected a hop from the freezer. It has a “muddled” aroma, and tastes “muddy”. They have a single hop IPA made with Cashmere that i really enjoy.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Yeah I used to blend more hops for IPA in earlier years, assuming more varieties would unleash this cornucopia of aromas. Often 4, even 5 late/dry hop varieties. For the last few years I've been using 2 or 3 late/dry varieties total. Sometimes similar varieties for a specific character, some times differing varieties to get the citrus, fruity and pine (or floral) character all in one. Definitely agree too many varieties seems more generically 'hoppy' and even muddy sometimes.
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Offline Uvolnit

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Yeah I used to blend more hops for IPA in earlier years, assuming more varieties would unleash this cornucopia of aromas. Often 4, even 5 late/dry hop varieties. For the last few years I've been using 2 or 3 late/dry varieties total. Sometimes similar varieties for a specific character, some times differing varieties to get the citrus, fruity and pine (or floral) character all in one. Definitely agree too many varieties seems more generically 'hoppy' and even muddy sometimes.
Yeah, my local brewery did a staff beer where each staff member selected a hop from the freezer. It has a “muddled” aroma, and tastes “muddy”. They have a single hop IPA made with Cashmere that i really enjoy.

Thanks for the info guys!  The "overhopping" made sense to me and I'm glad to hear your stories to confirm.