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All Late Edition Hops

I’m toying with the idea of brewing a pale ale with a loads of late edition hops and skipping the bittering charge. Has anyone tried this before? What was the outcome? Would you do it again?

Yes I’ve tried it. No I wouldn’t do it again. It’s hard to explain, but it just wasn’t good. Just overly flowery with no bite/bitterness at all. Last summer I brewed a split batch IPA. 1/2 got 60min and 15min additions. The other half got 15, 10, 5, 1 minute additions. The first was FAR better. I’ve since come to realize that both early bittering and late flavor/aroma additions are needed along with a nice big dry hop… at least for IPA’s and APA’s. I really enjoy a neutral bittering hop like Magnum and a few late additions of American hops in my IPA’s. And a 2-3oz dry hop adds that big hop aroma and flavor that should be in and IPA.

Funny you mention this. I can’t help, but I’m starting to think about the same thing. Let me know how it works out for you.

I brewed a hopbursted APA a few months ago that turned out really well. I would say it’s the best I’ve brewed in several years. I used a Simcoe and Amarillo combination with first addition going in at 15. High AA’s with good flavor and aroma.

OG at 1.058 and 50 IBU’s (tinseth) The BU/GU ratio is a little high for a pale ale but it doesn’t really seem like it when you drink it. I will admit a couple of folks thought it could be an IPA but I don’t think so.

I would say give it a try. If you do I suggest you overshoot a little on the IBU’s.

Brewed a late-addition-only APA yesterday with second runnings from an IPA. OG of 1.052, 5.5 gallons, one oz Glacier @ 20, one oz Comet @ 10 and 5, then an oz of Glacier and two of Comet at FO. Only did a 30-min boil (waited 10 minutes for the hot break, then started the hops). Tasted the wort before pitching yeast and it was definitely on the low side for IBUs, probably should have led off with Comet instead (13% AA vs 5.6% Glacier). Going to dryhop it in the fermenter and then again in the keg, with something a little more aggressive like Columbus.

I’ve tried the late-addition only thing a couple of times with pretty much the same results - just not bitter enough for an APA/IPA even though the calculated IBUs are right in line. It did work out nicely with a Saison where I wanted lots of flowery/fruity hop character, though.

As a contrast, the IPA was done with a big bittering charge and a whirlpool addition only - 12 gallons @ 1.066 with six oz Magnum @ 60 and then three oz each of Centennial, Amarillo, Citra, and Columbus in the whirlpool. Wort smelled and tasted fantastic!

I recently did this (as a mild pale) and my outcome was a “smooth” bitterness. All the hops got added in the whirlpool where I did a 20 min hop stand. I will definitely do it again, but infrequently, as I’m not a big fan of using 6.5 oz of hops for every batch. I used 6 different varieties, next time I’ll try 3. Felt it got too muddled. OG 1.043, 18 IBU

Some info in a thread with Zwiller trying hop stand only on an IPA and I tried it with an APA.
I did a 10 gallon batch with 4 oz of high AA hops (would have to go back and check the varieties) at flame out, then let it stand for 1 hr before I cooled and transferred it. My beer is still conditioning but it is plenty bitter and has good hop flavor.

Just my opinion but without a hop stand or long whirlpool I’d still add some bittering hops, just less than normal if you’re loading up at the end.

Many thanks to everyone who has responded. A follow-up question for you: have you found that the shelf life of your beer is affected by doing all late additions?

After listening to a recording of a NHC presentation by Colin Kaminski, I’m rethinking whether I want to try this. He stated that that using this practice will result in decreased shelf life, because of decreased isomerization. He cites the following observation: 50% bitterness loss in one year is normal, but this becomes 90% with only a 20 minute addition.

The reference for anyone interested: ... inars/2011

Note that the presentation is currently mislabeled. Click the one titled “Hopping for the Sunset.”

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]50% bitterness loss in one year is normal, but this becomes 90% with only a 20 minute addition.[/quote]I think the late-addition only beer is one that you want to drink young and fresh to enjoy all the hoppy goodness, not something that you want to age.

Yeah, I figured the shelf life would be slightly diminished, but not this much. It usually takes me 3-4 months to burn through a five gallon batch. If the 90% rule is assumed to be linear, I’d be dealing with a ~25% bitterness loss in that time. This approach may not be for me.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]This approach may not be for me.[/quote]I’m experimenting with it for use in session beers, so five gallons won’t last long at my house. You could make smaller batches or just drink more. :wink:

I agree with Shadetree, you’d probably want to drink it sooner rather than later. My 20 min whirlpool hop stand batch got consumed rather quickly, however, I am still drinking a batch I brewed April 24th and it’s still flavorful, bitter and aromatic. It still laces nicely too. This was brewed with 1oz at 20min, 1oz 10min, .33oz 5min, 1.5oz whirlpool. Coincedentally, this batch was my 3rd of the day and I forgot to add the extract to the kettle! I just added the extract straight to the bucket, mixed like a mug and hoped for the best. Sure can be forgiving.

I hopbursted a Blonde Ale that turned out really good. Between the club members and my BMC friends this one was knocked out really fast.

Well, hopbursting is something I typically do for most of my APA’s and IPA’s. In fact, in the APA I’m planning, 80% of my kettle hops go in at 10 to 0 minutes, but that only accounts for 33% of my calculated bitterness. It’s getting rid of the 60 minute bittering charge that I was considering.

Just because I’ve got a ton of hops in the freezer and I’m feeling a bit frivolous, I might keep the bittering charge and just throw in a couple more ounces at 5-0 minutes. Should be the same basic affect, but increased shelf-life.

I went this route for a beer I wanted to bring to a camping music festival and it was ok. About 1.045, just MO and a bit of honey malt with some Citra hops. It was ok, not great. Not sure if it was the hopbursting or the solo use of Citra hops but it was very floral. Either way, the 2.5 gallon batch served it’s purpose and gave a nice reprieve from PBR for a handful of campers.

Something that seems to be omitted in this discussion is the necessary amount of hops to successfully hopburst. I suspect those who are unhappy with their hopburst technique are not using enough hops. Think 10-16oz for 5G… Run whatever brew program to hit your target IBU and you will get the bitterness. That said, if you desire a very bold bitterness, you might not achieve that with hopbursting. It is my contention the very bold bittering components of high cohumulone hops need a long boil to isomerize.

I think there are different kinds of hopheads: some who prefer bitterness over hop character OR some who prefer hop character over bitterness. Consequently, there are different techniques to perfect each goal. I am in the hop character over bitterness camp. It easier and cheaper to perfect bitterness over hop character by adding a nice dose of high cohumulone hops at the beginning of the boil and reduce late additions. For those of us looking for hop character nirvana, we are stuck with using odd techniques (FWH, hop steeps, hop stand), using tons of hops, and living with decreased shelf life. So far, I’ve found the hopstand to be a superior technique over hopbursting in my pursuit of the ultimate hop character. It is not a radical improvement over a properly hopbursted brew, but it is enough improvement that I am willing to add an hour to my brew day.

When I am over this nasty bug I will post results to the above referenced thread where I did a hopstand only.

Same here. :cheers: Slowly found my way there after brewing lots of different styles and finding that I loved beers like the Pro Series Bitter Brewer recipe (already knew I liked the beer). Found it was the load of hops at the end which was giving me the character I enjoyed. Even played with the Surly Furious kit, pulling hops out of the bittering charge and doing a hop stand to bring up the bitterness a bit. I found I preferred it to the ‘real’ Furious but my friends were split on that opinion as some preferred the firm bitterness of the original recipe.

I’m not using as much hops a zwiller but the recipe I’m playing with is a 1.045 Pale Ale, not an IPA.

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