Author Topic: Best malt for running a hops experiment?  (Read 4311 times)

Offline ScottVoak

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Best malt for running a hops experiment?
« on: December 26, 2012, 08:32:16 PM »
I want to do a series of brews to get more familiar with different hops strains.  The idea is to brew 5 gallon batches using 7lbs of LME (Golden Light SRM=4) and a clean yeast (WLP001).  I want to use 4 oz of hops in each batch 1 oz each at FWH, 15 min, 2 mins and knockout (let it sit for 10 min before cooling).  I want to run this with a single variety 3-5 different times and bottle some of it for comparison once the last batch is done.  I am thinking that I should steep some grain with the FWH and I am wondering what would let the hops come through the best.  I don't want a complex malt character as this is a hops experiment.  I was thinking I could use 1-2 lbs of Munich, Crystal 60 or even Honey malt.  Does anyone have a recommendation?   I am thinking a pale ale is going to be better than an amber for this purpose.  Any feedback would be appreciated!

KernelCrush

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Re: Best malt for running a hops experiment?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 04:35:00 AM »
You may want to try a smash (single malt and single hop) beer.  Munich would have to be mashed.

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Best malt for running a hops experiment?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 05:06:56 PM »
I would also suggest a smash beer.  I have made one so far, and it was with maris otter.  My only regret was that I didn't use enough willamette in my smash, and it was maltier than expected.  Bitterness was ok but late additions needed to be upped to showcase the hops.

Offline grathan

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Re: Best malt for running a hops experiment?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 05:54:39 PM »
I participated in a group brew where they did like 48 different hops. We got the unhopped wort from a local brewery. It was mainly 2-row, little cara-pils, little crystal.

If I were do this again, I would probably use pilsner instead of 2-row because it would leave more flavor room for the hops. I would also ditch the crystal, the sweetness was more distracting than anything. So yeah, just the LME should be good.

If you just say always put 1 0z at 60 minutes without taking alpha % into account some beers will be massivley more bitter than others. Instead try something like 15AAU at 60 minutes so the beers are equally bitter with the remainder of the hops used more for aroma.

It was neat looking at how different so many people brewed the same wort. I would make sure you get a good hot/cold break and cold crash with gelatin, this will let more of the hop flavor shine through. Keep a few bottles of each type for mixing experiments (some of the hops aren't the greatest on their own, but really shine when blended, simcoe comes to mind).

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Best malt for running a hops experiment?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 03:35:07 PM »
My hop self-education came from a season of brewing session ales (not too strong, not too bitter, easy to drink mass quantities without getting too stupid), each with identical ingredients (8# pale with 8oz crystal I think?) with exception of the hops.

They had a starting gravity in the 1.040 range, and the hop regimen was 1oz for 60, .5 for 30, .25 for 15, and .25 at flameout ( I think? again going by memory).  This gave a good indication of bitterness, flavor and aroma without being overpowering.

Four ounces per batch sounds like a lot, and it sounds expensive if you're not buying them in bulk (hopsdirect dot com, by the pound for under twenty bucks, heck yeah!).
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Offline ScottVoak

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Re: Best malt for running a hops experiment?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 04:52:31 PM »
Great ideas - Thank you!  I really like the idea of mixing brews later to taste how they blend.  I will go with the idea of hitting a target AAU with FWH and the rest by the ounce - will let you know how it goes.

 

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