John Palmer on Hops and Home Brewing – BeerSmith Podcast 46

by Brad Smith on October 1, 2012 · 0 comments

This week my guest is John Palmer, author of “How to Brew”. John shares his thoughts on brewing with hops including some of the newest understanding regarding how to get the most out of high alpha hops, hop freshness and when to best add hop additions to maximize your flavor and aroma.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (47:22)

  • John Palmer the author of How to Brew and also Brewing Classic Styles (Amazon affiliate links) is my guest this week. John joins us to talk about a recent presentation he did on hops including how to best maximize your hop flavor, hop storage and recent thinking on hop use.
  • John starts with a simple explanation of what alpha and beta acids are in hops and the importance of alpha acids.
  • He shares some of the history of the science of hops and how that understanding has evolved over the last 100 years.
  • We talk about what an IBU (International Bitterness Unit) really is and how it is measured. John explains why the IBU number does not tell the whole story as far as hop bitterness and flavor go.
  • We discuss the isomerization process, and also how it provides the majority of bitterness, but not the entire hop flavor profile. Fragile hop oils often account for additional bitterness.
  • We discuss the debunking of the classic “60 min, 30 min, 10 min” hop additions and why many brewers are moving towards truly late hop additions and whirlpool/hop backs to get more flavor from their hops
  • John talks a bit about hop oils and some of the methods to get the most of these – many of which are volatile and boil off easily
  • Palmer shares his thoughts on high alpha hops and how hops that we once reserved just for bittering are now becoming popular for their unique aromas as well.
  • John shares some thoughts on hop categorization from his book “Brewing Classic Styles”
  • We discuss his upcoming book called “Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers” which will be coming out in the Spring of 2013

Thanks to John Palmer for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

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