Author Topic: Late Hop Additions, Hop Stand....Highly Hopped Beers  (Read 3083 times)

Offline rjreusch

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Late Hop Additions, Hop Stand....Highly Hopped Beers
« on: June 27, 2015, 07:31:03 AM »
These are my developing opinions and observations on late boil and hop stand hop additions. It is a complex subject for sure. I did some side by side brews with some very heavily weighted to the hop stand (20min) and others more heavily weighted to late boil additions. Also various types of hops. I bottle condition and that plays a big factor in hop forward beers but I also tried to pull in some information provided by others on force carbonated, kegged beer.
- It is clear that the hop flavor and aroma is excellent with hop stands however it is my observation that the flavor diminished more rapidly over time than with late boil hops (although it does also drop some there as well).
- This is a big factor with bottle conditioned beer because they simply take longer to mature than force carbonated beer. I believe this makes hop stand beers more difficult as you lose a large portion of the flavor by the time the beer is ready. You can still make a fine beer and maybe compensate by adding even more hop stand hops. With force carbonated beer you simply need to consume early and over as short a time as possible!
- The gravity of the beer may play a factor because higher gravity beers take longer to bottle condition and therefore are even harder to deal with when using a high level of hop stand hops.
- The type of hop plays some factor in the fading of flavor. This is a tricky subject but I think maybe with boiling you produce some different compounds that are more stable. With some hops the general oil profile may be more stable in general.
So after experimenting with hop stand additions for very hop forward beers, I have decided to go back to adding more during the late boil to allow a more stable hop flavor profile when bottle conditioning. For certain hop types and beers that mature more quickly I may still fool around with hop stands because I like the flavor and aroma profile you get (I still don't have much info here). For sure typical west coast hops like Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, etc have this fading issue. I seem to find more stability with some varieties like EKG and Fuggles....don't put to much faith in those comments.
Any supporting or contradictory comments would be appreciated.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Late Hop Additions, Hop Stand....Highly Hopped Beers
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 11:52:52 AM »
Those are some pretty cool observations.

The biggest factor in aromatic fade is oxidation, the second biggest is allowing them to become volatile. At every point past the hop stand, you need to keep the churning and splashing to a minimum. If you can smell a lot of hop aromas early on, then is isn't going to be in the finished beer.

Hop oils are very vulnerable to oxidation, which cuts their aromatic properties. Hops take on a certain aged character that might be desirable for some brewers. Not in an off way, but just a character. This may be why you accept the UK hops a little more.

There is a semi-famous story about Hop Union sending US hop samples to Germany. They kept getting rejected because they were "too American." Finally, it dawned on the Hop Union folks that the German's let their hops dry a little longer before pressing them into bales. So, they pulled some samples, let them age a few days, then repressed the hops and shipped them off. Lo and behold, the hops were accepted.

Just last year, the Hallertau growers unveiled a half dozen new hops, which were baled earlier and had characteristics very desirable to the US market. They couldn't be called "Noble" in the classic sense because the aromatics were so bright and fruity.
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