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Hop questions 2019


Titan
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Hi Popo

I cannot really describe Topaz as I have not used it on its own.  I have only used it once so far.  However, I got 400 grams a while ago, so I will be using it for a little while.

The time I used it was a dry hop:  40g of my own grown Cascade; 25g of Topaz and 25g of Vic Secret; in a 3.2% lager.  This combination is a nice blend, but exactly what Topaz brings I cannot describe, other than what you can get from Google.  This dry hop combo is a winner.

I have done another lager with 25g of Topaz and 25g of Vic Secret (30 minute steep) plus 25g of Topaz and 25g of Vic Secret (dry hop) (6 days in the bottle). 

Also doing an Amber Ale (5 days in the fermenter) with the same hop additions (I also got 400g of Vic Secret).  When I did the dry hop last night I gave the two hops a sniff.  Both smelled nice, but one seemed twice as fruity as the other.  I forgot to note which one though.  They are supposedly sister hops.

Given some of Topaz's suggested substitute hops (Galaxy, Citra, Cascade, Riwaka, Rakau, Amarillo) I reckon it would go well with any of them.

Cheers Shamus

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Side question:

Would it be fair to say that I can use any hop I have in my freezer @ 10-15g for 60m, in 30L of after mash boil for purely bittering, and that the 'taste' will be gone, so I can further add taste as late or dry hops?

Cheers

Edited by Worthog
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Hops in a boil will add bitterness to a brew. Aroma is something a little more subtle. You need to research the hops and see what aroma it gives. Remembering we taste with 3 senses, look, smell and taste.

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Heres one for those who grow their own hops. Sorry in advance for the backstory but i feel it is necessary. I got a good mate of mine hooked on homebrewing a couple of years ago, but he passed away last year. He was a very good gardener and loved to grow all things edible. It didn't take long for him to start growing hops. He only had one plant, a Cascade variety. The first year didn't yield anything, but his younger brother called me up a few weeks ago and said it was taking off with all these little flowers. I went over with limited knowledge about fresh hops, but i could see the yellow lupulin stuff on them so i gathered they were ready to pick. I ended up drying them out on a container lid sat in the shed for a few days or more, now i have them in the fridge. So heres my questions, did i pick them too early? Because they look very small, do they look dried out enough? And how do i use them in a brew? Note: the browner looking ones at the bottom were picked by his old man a few days before i went over there and he just put them in a paper bag, will they be ok to use too?

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You need to feel them as well. They should be papery and make a sort of crunch/crinkle sound when they're ready to pick. Just going by the yellow powder isn't enough, that appears before they're ready to pick. 

As for use, same way as pellets but about 10% more by weight.

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They look a bit too green, but how did they feel when you picked them? Were they a bit dry or were they moist and soft? Not sure if I'd use the brown ones...

The best way I've found to dry them is on a screen type thing raised off the ground. This allows air to pass above and below them. 

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I can't fully remember what they felt like, but im pretty sure they were still a little soft. Maybe i shouldn't use them this time around, might wait for next years harvest and try and pick them at the right time, that is if his old man keeps watering the hop plant!

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His mum and dad gave me alot of his brewing stuff too with a bunch of pellet hops, so i might just make a beer with those instead. The plan was to use the fresh hops he grew in a tribute beer brewed with the help of his younger brother. We'll still make the beer, just not with his homegrown hops.

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19 minutes ago, Rowbrew said:

His mum and dad gave me alot of his brewing stuff too with a bunch of pellet hops, so i might just make a beer with those instead. The plan was to use the fresh hops he grew in a tribute beer brewed with the help of his younger brother. We'll still make the beer, just not with his homegrown hops.

If there not at there peak you could maybe throw them in as a whirlpool flavour hop under 80c just to give you a bit of punch flavour?

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Cheers @Shamus O'Sean - thanks for your thoughts. I hope your brews turn out well.

I ended up bittering with a little bit of Magnum and whirlpooled and cube hopped with equal amounts of Topaz and Moutere. I'll dry hop with the rest. I doubt I'll be able to really pinpoint either hop but they both needed to be used up.

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Hi RowBrew.

9 hours ago, Rowbrew said:

...So heres my questions, did i pick them too early? Because they look very small, do they look dried out enough? And how do i use them in a brew? Note: the browner looking ones at the bottom were picked by his old man a few days before i went over there and he just put them in a paper bag, will they be ok to use too?

If it were me I'd get them into a brew pretty quickly. Think "wet hopped" beer. Given the alpha acids level is unknown, I'd probably follow The Captain's suggestion of a hot steep/whirlpool or dry hop with them. Like Otto Man, I don't hold much hope for the brown hops shown in the picture. You can check them for validity though. Simply remove one then squeeze & run it back & forth between your index finger & thumb until you've squished it good. If there is any resin/oils remaining you'll be able to feel & smell them on your fingers, if not, turf them. Same applies for the green hops (I do hold some hope for them atm).

If you can't get them into a brew quickly, then freeze them until you can to hopefully preserve as much of those oils/resins that still remain.

The kilning & pelletising etc. of hops after harvest happens fairly quickly to retain & preserve these precious resins & oils. If you do decide to wet hop them in a beer, expect some grassy, green vegetal flavour carryover though that is common with this practice. At least you will have retained the aromatic properties of the hops though.

Here's a short article that explains things pretty well...

The Difference Between Wet Hop, Fresh Hop, & Dry Hop Beers

I hope that helps.

Lusty.

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With mine, they were picked when ready then dried on a screen for 2-3 days until they weighed about 25% of their wet weight. After that they were vacuum sealed and put in the freezer until use. Each batch I've brewed with them has turned out well. They were mostly used as late boil and flameout additions although I did brew one batch where I used them for bittering as well. It needed more in that regard but when you're only estimating the alpha acids it's not gonna be perfect. I'll do it again but next time use more early. 

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On 2/26/2019 at 1:37 PM, Otto Von Blotto said:

As far as I know dry hopping doesn't add IBUs, these are a measurement of isomerised alpha acids. 

I have heard it said that IBUs are a measurement of 'bitter stuff'. Basically things that absorb 275nm wavelength light. These include beta acids and oxidised alpha acids as well as isomerised alpha acids, which both taste bitter. Hence dry hopping adds measurable bitterness. 

Cheers, 

John

Edited by porschemad911
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  • 2 months later...

So I dry hopped 25g of Fresh Cascade Hops in my FV on day 5 of fermentation. On day 7 I opened the lid and had a sneaky look but saw the hops have remained pretty much floating above the beer. I wonder if this is normal or if I should have stirred? My gut tells me stirring is a huge no-no!

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2 hours ago, GolGolPistola said:

So I dry hopped 25g of Fresh Cascade Hops in my FV on day 5 of fermentation. On day 7 I opened the lid and had a sneaky look but saw the hops have remained pretty much floating above the beer. I wonder if this is normal or if I should have stirred? My gut tells me stirring is a huge no-no!

It sounds pretty normal.

How did you put the hops in?

  1. Commando (just dropped them in loose)?
  2. Stainless steel mesh ball?
  3. Wrapped in a Chux cloth?

Hop flowers or pellets?

No matter which they will float, without a weight to sink. 

Others can comment on commando hopping because I have never done it.  I think cold crashing will make them sink to the bottom.

Based on my experience I would remove the mesh ball or the chux (with a squeeze to get more hoppy goodness) later on day 8.  I have left the hops in longer and have got grassy aroma/taste in the beer.  Hence I now tend to minimise the length they are dry hopped for to three or four days max.

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