Author Topic: hop-forward or malt-forward.  (Read 14822 times)

Offline OzarkBrewer

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hop-forward or malt-forward.
« on: January 05, 2014, 09:03:48 AM »
I was reading an older thread about water prep for I.P.A. brews and wanted some one to elaborate on  making adjustments or additions based on the beer being hop-forward or malt-forward.

What does beer being hop-forward or malt-forward actually mean and what additions or adjustments are commonly done?

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Offline all grain

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 10:00:16 AM »
as far as I know the water is what makes the difference for hoppy or malty beers. s0 4 and ci ratio . s04 is gypsum and ci is calcium chloride. if you have three times more s04 than ci you will get a bitter hoppy beer. if you have three times more ci that so4 your beer ends up more on the malty side. of course the amount of hops and there flavors  will play a part in this to, not to mention mash ph and OG.  PS I'm not a master at this or nothing so if I'm totally wrong let me know  ya all.
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KernelCrush

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 10:32:52 AM »
You are not wrong, but I think ingredients has a larger role.  What you mention are fine tuning steps to get where you want to be.  But water balance is important too.

Offline philm63

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 04:00:33 AM »
Palmer's "How to Brew" has some good info on adjusting your brewing water - good place to start. There are also spreadsheets available on-line for adjusting salts, but if you're going to start messing around with your water, the first place you should start is getting your water analyzed by a reputable lab such as www.wardlab.com. This assumes you're getting your water from the tap - filtered or otherwise. If you're purchasing Spring or RO water, no need to send a sample for analysis. Spring water does have a fair amount of variability, though, so I'd recommend RO if you're purchasing your water.

Kernel's got it right; ingredients play a much larger role in determining flavor and balance (malt- or hop-forward). Adjusting your water will serve to accentuate certain characteristics of each style, and if you're mashing any of your grains (as opposed to steeping specialty grains) it can also help get your water where it needs to be for good conversion if balance in that arena is needed (hard water with light-colored beers or soft water with dark beers, etc.)
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Offline OzarkBrewer

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 08:49:23 AM »
Palmer's "How to Brew" has some good info on adjusting your brewing water - good place to start. There are also spreadsheets available on-line for adjusting salts, but if you're going to start messing around with your water, the first place you should start is getting your water analyzed by a reputable lab such as www.wardlab.com. This assumes you're getting your water from the tap - filtered or otherwise. If you're purchasing Spring or RO water, no need to send a sample for analysis. Spring water does have a fair amount of variability, though, so I'd recommend RO if you're purchasing your water.

We are using spring water from the land our brew house is on and only know that it's hard water.  So is there an over the counter kit recommended that we should use to see where we are at with this water?

Offline philm63

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 11:17:40 AM »
I'm not aware of any good over-the-counter kits for testing your spring water. Not sure how much info you could get out of a pool supply store regarding how to test for the specific ions and other characteristics you're going to be interested in for brewing.

The Ward Lab suggestion in my initial response is tried and true - so many brewers have used their services and continue to do so, myself included - I can highly recommend sending them a sample. You can go on-line and order a test kit, they'll send all that you need, and you capture the sample and send it in, and your results come via email. Simple.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 01:07:30 PM »

AFAIK, pool places can test for total and free chlorine/bromine, pH and total alkalinity.  All the pool places in my area simply use one of their over-the-counter kits for you.  I don't think this is of much (or any) use for brewing. 

"Hard" Water generally means that it has some amount of Mg and/or Ca and maybe other "stuff".  Pool supply places won't test for any of these as part of a normal test.  Besides, I doubt they even have the ability.  They aren't chemists or lab technicians, just sales people.  As such, I wouldn't trust the results for my brewing, anyway.

Ward labs is THE way to go.  Bite the bullet, and get it over with.  the sooner you do it, the sooner you know what you are working with. 
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Offline all grain

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 03:13:39 PM »
  variables, variables , too many variables.
brewing is an art form not just a science ,dude where's my beer!

Offline durrettd

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 11:18:29 AM »
  variables, variables , too many variables.

Yep, lots of variables! That's the challenge that makes brewing so interesting. Brewing requires a series of decisions, each of which affects every other decision. Good brewing software can help a lot, but in the end we make the decisions that determine how well we like the final product.

So how do we make good decisions? Either by making lots of mistakes or by learning from others' mistakes. Read. Brew. Take notes. Read. Brew....

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 11:31:44 AM »
I agree.  One thing I've learned is if I read, brew, take notes and taste the outcome and take more notes that it's best to make changes to the recipe while it's fresh in your mind.  If you go back over your notes, you might not remember exactly what or why you planned on doing something.  If you make a new updated improved version of the recipe right away and copy your notes over to that newer version, your chances of making successful changes goes up.
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Offline haerbob3

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Re: hop-forward or malt-forward.
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 11:59:32 AM »
I am on a well and this is how I do it.

1.  For hoppy beers straight from the well, very hard plus iron,  really brings the hops forward

2.  For malty beers the softened water makes a great pils

3.  For customized water I use our house's RO system and the appropriate additions

I know not very scientific but has worked great for me   

 

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