Tuesday Beer Trivia: Hop Utilization and Late Hop Additions

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Test yourself on hop additions in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia.

Brewers are finding all kinds of methods and techniques to maximize hop flavor and aroma. Test yourself on the principles of hop utilization and late hop addition methods in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia.

After you take the Beer Trivia quiz below, scroll down to “Beer Trivia Answer Explanations” section to learn more about maximizing hop flavor and aroma.

Beer Trivia Answer Explanations

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The following explanations were taken from “Hop Bursting: Maximizing Hop Flavor and Aroma” by Mitch Steele–formerly of Stone Brewing and now of New Realm Brewing–and was originally featured in the November/December 2013 issue of Zymurgy.

Question 1: Depending on the amount of time the hops are boiled, alpha acid content of the hops, intensity of the boil, and wort gravity, hop utilization with pellets should fall somewhere between 25 and 35 percent.

Question 2: False. Whole hops actually provide the lowest utilization while extracts provide the most, sometimes up to 40 percent when added early in the boil.

Question 3: Since the homebrewing revolution started in the 1970s, most brewers have approached kettle hopping by using three to four hop additions during a 60- to 90-minute boil. The first, or bittering, addition usually consists of what is commonly referred to as a bittering hop, usually with high alpha acid content and little in the way of hop oils (or flavors).

Question 4: First wort hopping is when hops are added to the first bit of wort recovered from the lauter. The traditional bittering hop is then skipped and no more hops are added until the late flavor and aroma additions. Research has proven up to a 10-percent increase in utilization by using first wort hopping versus a traditional bitter hop addition.

Question 5: True. Hops, once added and suspended in wort, act as a very effective foam inhibitor. One way to deal with this is to simply add a very small amount of hops at the beginning of the boil to control the foam.