When to add bittering hops

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When to add bittering hops

Postby jonnymorris » Sun Feb 04, 2018 15:14

I always add my bittering hops at the start of the boil. Obviously. Or so I thought.

However, I went on a tour of a micro brewery on Saturday and they only add a handful of hops (500g) at the start of the boil and only then to reduce the chances of a boil over. They add their bittering hops (25kg) 45 mins into a 60 min boil.

Anyone else do this?

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby jkp » Sun Feb 04, 2018 16:21

I think this is pretty common for beers with a lot of late hops, it keeps the bitterness down.

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby robwalker » Sun Feb 04, 2018 18:04

60 mins helps to set the filter bed. The 15 mins addition will be a trade off between bittering, flavour and aroma I guess..
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby jkp » Sun Feb 04, 2018 18:29

jonnymorris wrote:... bittering hops (25kg) 45 mins into a 60 min boil.


you called it their bittering addition at 15min. Does that mean there were later additions too, or just the one?

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby jonnymorris » Sun Feb 04, 2018 21:03

Their first hop addition (save the initial handful) was at 15 mins from flame out with further additions thereafter including post boil hops. They reckoned that even the late additions, when the wort had cooled to 85degC, still provided a degree of bittering.

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby jkp » Mon Feb 05, 2018 02:47

Indeed, if they are using a whirlpool for example even the post boil hops will be in contact with 80c plus wort for a considerable length of time with some degree of utilization. I recall the Meantime brewer talking about 20% utilization from their whirlpool addition in a CYBI interview.

Even on the homebrew scale I think a lot of people employ this method of for "Hop Burst" beers, New England styles would certainly be ones that you'd only want a minimal bittering charge plus lots of late/post-boil hops.

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby Pakman » Mon Feb 05, 2018 22:16

jonnymorris wrote: ......... They reckoned that even the late additions, when the wort had cooled to 85degC, still provided a degree of bittering.


This matches what I have found. I used bittering hops at the start of the boil and then added flavour hops at T-15. The beers always came out very bitter with little flavour. I now add a very small amount at the start and twice that at T-15. I then chuck in loads after the brew has cooled to 80C. This provides a reasonable amount of bitterness with plenty of flavour. You can see in the Partygyle recipe viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11954#p154323 that I only used 10gms of Minstrel at the start of the boil and 20gms at T-15.
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby jonnymorris » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:11

I'll definitely be giving it a go. Just a bit of a surprise that after years of brewing and never having seen a recipe without hops at the start of the boil, I find out this is an option.

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 20:53

Most of our beers at work follow this method. One of our bitters has around 300g at the start, 450g 30 mins in and 20kg at the end of boil and left for 30 mins before we start runoff. Of course, you need to figure in that runoff can take about an hour, so the contact time of the final hop addition is more significant than you give it credit.

I’ve just brewed at home on Sunday using a similar method and leaving the flameout hops to stand for 30 mins before runoff to the FV. I guess we will see if this makes a difference on a homebrew scale.

At work we work on the assumption of around 7% utilisation with the final hop addition.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 20:58

Also, the hop additions during the boil are mainly to aid with the boil as the hop oils assist in a vigorous boil, or so I’m told.

300g in a 20BBL batch is pretty small. We’re talking about a 7%AA hop.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby jonnymorris » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:16

Just read an article entitled Save Your Hops for Post-Boil by Brad Smith in BYO magazine where he argues that because flavour and finishing hops are both a compromise you should drop both in favour of a single bittering addition and then whirlpool or dry hopping.

This is pretty much the opposite of that discussed above and what I was planning, save the addition of flame-out hops.

Whilst 15min hops will clearly not be as efficient at bittering as 90min hops, is the logic that they may impart a more pleasant/less harsh bitterness at the expense of efficiency?

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby robwalker » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:41

Where u working now HTH?
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby HTH1975 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 14:59

robwalker wrote:Where u working now HTH?


York Brewery

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby HTH1975 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 15:55

jonnymorris wrote:Just read an article entitled Save Your Hops for Post-Boil by Brad Smith in BYO magazine where he argues that because flavour and finishing hops are both a compromise you should drop both in favour of a single bittering addition and then whirlpool or dry hopping.

This is pretty much the opposite of that discussed above and what I was planning, save the addition of flame-out hops.

Whilst 15min hops will clearly not be as efficient at bittering as 90min hops, is the logic that they may impart a more pleasant/less harsh bitterness at the expense of efficiency?

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The longer you boil, the more bitterness (this tends to drop off massively after 60 mins - diminishing returns). You also boil off the flavour/aroma too.

As for the quality/harshness of the bittering, I’d not think it would make a difference if you bitter to say 30IBU at the start, middle or end - it’s still the same bitterness. The difference is hop flavour/aroma, which will give a different perception of bitterness and flavour.

My own (current) preference is to bitter at first wort, then 30 min and a hop stand at the end of the boil for 30 mins. This is broadly speaking - things change depending on style. For pale beers and bitters, this works fine.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby oz11 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 20:21

jonnymorris wrote:Just read an article entitled Save Your Hops for Post-Boil by Brad Smith in BYO magazine where he argues that because flavour and finishing hops are both a compromise you should drop both in favour of a single bittering addition and then whirlpool or dry hopping.

This is pretty much the opposite of that discussed above and what I was planning, save the addition of flame-out hops.

Whilst 15min hops will clearly not be as efficient at bittering as 90min hops, is the logic that they may impart a more pleasant/less harsh bitterness at the expense of efficiency?

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I read an interview with Mark Tranter from Burning Sky, ex-Dark Star, and he talked about layering the final hops on top of each other for the final 10-15 minutes of the boil, so two or three additions (eg 10,5,0 mins), to get the best depth of flavour and aroma out of them. As always, many ways to skin a cat in this game, and your own experience on your own equipment should be your guide. Experiment and find what works best for you.

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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby Lanky94 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 00:32

My own (current) preference is to bitter at first wort, then 30 min and a hop stand at the end of the boil for 30 mins. This is broadly speaking - things change depending on style. For pale beers and bitters, this works fine.[/quotE

At what temp do you hop stand at please HTH?
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby HTH1975 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 13:32

Lanky94 wrote:My own (current) preference is to bitter at first wort, then 30 min and a hop stand at the end of the boil for 30 mins. This is broadly speaking - things change depending on style. For pale beers and bitters, this works fine.[/quotE

At what temp do you hop stand at please HTH?


At work the hop stand is right after we turn the steam off, so boiling essentially as the wort doesn’t cool till it goes through heat exchanger.

At home, I tend to lose temp down to around 90C in a 30 min hop stand.

I’ve done it at 80C and below in the past, but not sure I got more flavour/aroma.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: When to add bittering hops

Postby Rolfster » Mon Feb 19, 2018 15:29

I add my bittering hops first wort. Then my next hop addition is at 5minutes and/or flameout.... depending on what mood I'm in! Then a healthy dose of dry hops.

I've tried adding my hops at 80 degrees but I'm not sure that it adds much.
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