Need help with hop tuning to please wife

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Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby G-bert » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:43 am

Here is my dilemma, and I'm grateful for any advice:

Like you, I absolutely love the floral qualities of hops. Cascade are my favorite - open a fresh bag and smell up all of the goodness before dropping and hopping - a good Sam Adams Boston Lager burp tells you all you need to know about my preference. Because I don't yet know the science, but love hoppy-ness, I do the same thing almost every time I brew because it gets me the hop flavor I crave: 1 oz at boil, 1/2 oz at 45 minutes in, 1/2 oz at 5 minutes remaining. I do either honey ale or a good stout most of the time, and am still extract-only.

Now: my wife is not an avid beer gal, but she's game to try them all and wants to like them - likes them because I do, you see - but she doesn't like it when the beer is too bitter, so I want to craft a beer that we can both appreciate. Dark or light, I'd love a hoppy beer that isn't bitter so the Mrs. can appreciate it. She's the greatest lady in the world, so you know I must. She prefers a darker home brew, so I seek a malty, non-pale, clean, hoppy but not bitter beer - I know it exists. I suspect it's somewhere in the magic of the different hop addition schedules I've never tried.

Obsequious, I yield the floor...
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby CA_Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:40 am

Have you looked at any of the Cascadian Dark Ales or perhaps the Alt beers? Cascadian Dark Ales are similar to the Black IPAs and the Alts are more like hopped browns and nut browns.

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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby dmtaylor » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:41 am

You can throw in all your hops in the last 1-5 minutes of the boil, with no other bittering or flavor additions, and make a killer hoppy blonde ale or red ale or whatever color ale you want that way. Adding most or all of your hops at the very end of the boil is a technique called hop bursting. All the hop flavor and very little of the bitterness. I've done it with a blonde ale and loved it. Use a good 2 to 5 ounces in the last few minutes of the boil, depending on how hoppy you want it to be. It works.
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby pclemon » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:48 am

CA_Mouse wrote:Have you looked at any of the Cascadian Dark Ales or perhaps the Alt beers? Cascadian Dark Ales are similar to the Black IPAs and the Alts are more like hopped browns and nut browns.


I would recommend leaning in this direction too though maybe toning down the Black IPA into a black pale ale.

Do you know for a fact that she doesn't like bitter? My experience with others has been that they're often not accustomed to the later hop additions in most craft beers and therefore more the hop flavors and aroma is what throws them off. If it's really the bitterness she doesn't care for, then cut back some on the 60 minute addition and boost the 15/5 additions a little.

You also stated the quantities of the hops you're boiling but not the varieties (unless it's always cascade). That's going to play a HUGE part in how bitter the final product is.

For the record, Sam Adams Boston lager uses East kent Goldings hops.

If you like hops and want something to blow your mind pick up a Bear Republic Racer 5 or a Firestone Walker Double Jack or a DogfishHead 90 minute (there's a ton others too but those are some of the more widely available).
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby usmcruz » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:48 am

Make her an altbier or a bock.
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby dmtaylor » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:03 am

At risk of sounding like a jerk, which is NOT my intention... I am pretty certain Sam Adams Boston Lager uses a blend of German Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Tettnanger, not EKG hops. Just sayin'. The Boston Ale possibly uses EKG, I am not sure what they use for that.
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby pclemon » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:28 am

dmtaylor wrote:At risk of sounding like a jerk, which is NOT my intention... I am pretty certain Sam Adams Boston Lager uses a blend of German Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Tettnanger, not EKG hops. Just sayin'. The Boston Ale possibly uses EKG, I am not sure what they use for that.


I am going based off what a an acquaintance told me who happens to work at the brewery in Boston. I totally accept that I may be wrong but I'm getting my information from what I consider a solid source. They do list a different hop bill on their website though, so who knows... In either case I would not consider the SA BL an overly-hoppy beer.
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby pclemon » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:32 am

dmtaylor wrote:At risk of sounding like a jerk, which is NOT my intention... I am pretty certain Sam Adams Boston Lager uses a blend of German Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Tettnanger, not EKG hops. Just sayin'. The Boston Ale possibly uses EKG, I am not sure what they use for that.


And you can sound like a jerk if you want - I don't get my pants in a bunch like someone else that has been recently posting to the board. :D
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby dmtaylor » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:57 am

We're getting off-topic here, but... I don't know what it is, or who might have caused it, my memory fails me... but I've been trained to tread very very lightly in this forum. I don't pull a lot of punches in the other ~4 forums that I regularly post in. </off-topic>
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby r2d2 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:11 am

usmcruz wrote:Make her an altbier or a bock.

+1
Or a Maibock.
Even a mild English brown ale.
She doesn't like hops so brew styles that use very little hops.
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby CA_Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:12 am

pclemon wrote:
CA_Mouse wrote:Have you looked at any of the Cascadian Dark Ales or perhaps the Alt beers? Cascadian Dark Ales are similar to the Black IPAs and the Alts are more like hopped browns and nut browns.


I would recommend leaning in this direction too though maybe toning down the Black IPA into a black pale ale.

Do you know for a fact that she doesn't like bitter? My experience with others has been that they're often not accustomed to the later hop additions in most craft beers and therefore more the hop flavors and aroma is what throws them off. If it's really the bitterness she doesn't care for, then cut back some on the 60 minute addition and boost the 15/5 additions a little.


I agree with this as well... Maybe a BIPA and cutting the 60 minute hops to 40 minutes? I had to do that for a blonde ale using hops that were 17.5AA instead of the usual 14AA.

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That which does not kill us makes us stronger. - Friedrich Nietzsche


Primary: Hopping Dead
Secondary: Mead - Cinnamon; Boysenberry; Blackberry; Tart Cherry
Barrel #2: American Barleywine
Secondary: Dark Cherry Sour '13
Secondary: Pom-Cran Sour '13
Keg #1: Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout
Keg #2: Cascade Pale Ale
Keg #3: Berliner Weiss
Keg #4: Cascade Pale Ale
Keg #5: Irish Red
Keg #6: Tart Walking IPA
Keg #7: Dad's Apple Cider
Bottled: Robin's Root Beer
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby G-bert » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:45 am

Awesome responses, thanks all! I've sort of shied away from the Lager end of things as I don't really have a good way to ferment a lager at the right temp. I think I'll try a brown ale and the fantastic late-hopping suggestions. Bravo!
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby alewife » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:09 am

Or, alternately, you could try first wort hopping for a nice smooth bitterness, and then do some flavor and aroma hops at the end in amounts your wife might like.

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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby BrewBum » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:12 pm

dmtaylor wrote:We're getting off-topic here, but... I don't know what it is, or who might have caused it, my memory fails me... but I've been trained to tread very very lightly in this forum. I don't pull a lot of punches in the other ~4 forums that I regularly post in. </off-topic>


I guess this is true, we don't like a-holes but that just means talk on the forum like you would in person to someone you like. We don't like internet tough guys here. I am not saying that is what you are at all, but I wouldn't cal speaking civilized to people as treading very very lightly. Sorry you feel that way. I personally love the fact we don't have people getting butt hurt all the time on here because someone wants to prove a point.
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Re: Need help with hop tuning to please wife

Postby CA_Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:30 pm

alewife wrote:Or, alternately, you could try first wort hopping for a nice smooth bitterness, and then do some flavor and aroma hops at the end in amounts your wife might like.


I've never tried first wort hopping, but wouldn't most of it be just bittering? Granted that most 60 minute additions are only bittering, but there is always a little bit that comes through on the flavor/aroma side as well. Is first wort hopping worth trying or is it just a specific type of bitter that it imparts?

Mouse
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-=ô¿ô=-
That which does not kill us makes us stronger. - Friedrich Nietzsche


Primary: Hopping Dead
Secondary: Mead - Cinnamon; Boysenberry; Blackberry; Tart Cherry
Barrel #2: American Barleywine
Secondary: Dark Cherry Sour '13
Secondary: Pom-Cran Sour '13
Keg #1: Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout
Keg #2: Cascade Pale Ale
Keg #3: Berliner Weiss
Keg #4: Cascade Pale Ale
Keg #5: Irish Red
Keg #6: Tart Walking IPA
Keg #7: Dad's Apple Cider
Bottled: Robin's Root Beer
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