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Hey Hop Heads

What’s the Hoppiest 7% to 9% ABV IPA you have made, by IBUs? We have some intelligent, crazy, and experimental brewers out there. Who’s gone nuts with the IBUs?

I made one about 4 months ago that was 144 IBU and 7.1% I called it Shut Your Face IPA

I made a Pliney the Elder Clone and it was 8.2% and 224.6 IBUs

That sounds absolutely delectable. Care to share the recipe?

FYI, 100 IBUs is the limit in the beer, regardless of the calculated IBUs.

I’d heard that before. So then why do you suppose there is a definite taste difference in a beer that calculates at around 100 IBU and one that calculates way above that?

It’s from hop flavor contribution that is not from the bittering components.

+1. Check out the latest Zymurgy. It’s all about hops. They talk about IBU’s and how much you can actually get into a beer. The more you try to get in there the harder and harder it is to accomplish. Meaning 1oz of hops will add so many IBU’s, but you reach a point where you need to add a lot more hops to bump up the IBU’s the same amount. And there is also the idea that a person can only perceive IBU’s or bitterness to a certain point.

Pliny recipe:

http://farmhousebrewingsupply.fmtemp.co ... 0PDF-1.pdf

Interesting recipe, I’m surprised there isn’t more crystal in a beer with that much hops. I actually just put a beer on tap that isn’t too far off. I used 8oz in the boil and another 3oz for dry hopping, qualitatively similar hops to those in the recipe (Simcoe, Cent, Chinook, Columbus, Sorachi). Its really got a good hop flavor and biterness although I kind of think its a bit dry and unbalanced. When I add about 1/3 of my British bitter it really shines. It’ll no doubt mellow with a few more weeks in the keg, at least that last gallon will.

After you hit diminishing returns with IBU’s I think it’s a matter of quantity. Typically my IPA’s are near 100 IBUs and have about 1 lb of hops (5G batch). Don’t think I would even consider making an IPA with less than 8oz these days. I laugh at the thought of IPA’s I made years ago with like 2-3oz of hops…

The craziest thing I saw was 5lbs hops in 5G of brew. Wort was actually green. Personally I don’t think more than a pound will make a real difference and have never tried more than that.

[quote=“zwiller”]After you hit diminishing returns with IBU’s I think it’s a matter of quantity. Typically my IPA’s are near 100 IBUs and have about 1 lb of hops (5G batch). Don’t think I would even consider making an IPA with less than 8oz these days. I laugh at the thought of IPA’s I made years ago with like 2-3oz of hops…

The craziest thing I saw was 5lbs hops in 5G of brew. Wort was actually green. Personally I don’t think more than a pound will make a real difference and have never tried more than that.[/quote]

A lb??? Really??? I don’t see a need. What types of hops are you bittering with?
You don’t need much of a high alpha hop to get our IBU’s up. Sure a few healthy late additions and dry hop are needed for a good IPA, IMHO, but 1lb is ridiculous. Did you ever here of any of these: Magnum, Nugget, Admiral, Chinook, Columbus, Galena, Calypso, Horizon, Pacific Gem, Warrior… all good high alpha bittering hops.

I can brew a good IPA for under $20 per 5 gallon batch and while using 1/2lb or less of hops. Adding a lb of hops would up that cost by about 50%.

A pound does seem a little excessive, but I would say my 10oz batch is just right. I know what you mean about a 3oz pale ale, thats been my standard recipe and I keep finding that after a few months there is relatively little hop character left. I don’t see this hoppy batch becoming an amber ale anytime soon.

My hop blends typically have a mix of low and high alpha hops. This does contribute to using more hops but I like the results. Also I never add bittering hops but add large quantities of late additions for bitterness. Play around with an ibu calculator. Takes alot more hops to hit your target ibu. Not that it matters but I always buy hops by the pound so it keeps the cost down.

I made an IPA that had 50 IBUs for balance but had tons of hop flavor through dry hopping. Yeah, suck on that. IBU does not mean flavor/aroma.

I find the IBU numbers somewhat insignificant, given it is at least within the guidelines or above. chinook adds a rather unpleasant bitterness at high levels, while magnum adds a more smooth bitterness. it has to do with the cohumulone levels. at a certain point the bitterness hits a threshold where our taste buds can only detect so much. computers can detect more, but your taste can not. as mentioned above there is also a saturation point, where you need to add more hops exponentially to achieve a higher bitterness. personally, i find excessive harsh bitterness, can give a numbing effect, that hides the flavor.

I find that the hop flavor vs bitterness ratio is more important than the number of IBU’s. the sweetness of the malts can help here. IBU does not = better. even in west coast IPA’s the hop flavor and aroma is what impresses me; not the bitterness. bitterness is important in IPA’s, but to an extent.

Yeah, I find my balance point for an IPA is about 50 IBU’s. I typically use 0.5oz of a high-alpha hop at 60 minutes, then get the rest of the IBU’s starting between 20 and 10 minutes. I usually use about 5-6 ounces between 15 minutes and flameout with a hot hop steep of at least 30 minutes. Dry hops are about 3oz or so.

So, yeah - I think 10oz for an IPA is about right, and a pound isn’t unreasonable. As I keep brewing, I end up using more and more late/dry hops, but less IBU’s (and less crystal malt too). I have plans for an IIPA in a couple of months and I’ll probably end up using a pound and a half of hops, but try to keep the IBU’s under 80.

I’ve read that a hop steep can actually be detrimental to flavor/aroma since several of the essential oils are volatile at 110F. I’m adding more hops at flameout and chilling right away.

Second dobe. I rarely use more than 8oz in an IPA including the dryhop. If you’re bittering with something that tastes and smells good, you’re wasting it. Bitter with something that has a clean neutral bitterness, like Warrior. 1oz is bitter as hell at 60 minutes and I can’t imagine you’d want more than 1.5oz. Then hammer the late additions with your flavor and aroma hops. Saves a bunch of money.

[quote=“spykeratchet”]Bitter with something that has a clean neutral bitterness, like Warrior. 1oz is bitter as hell at 60 minutes and I can’t imagine you’d want more than 1.5oz.[/quote]Bittering with something higher in cohumulone has its place, though - good examples include Arrogant Bastard(Chinook) and Ruination (Centennial). And Columbus is hard to beat for that biting bitterness that lingers and lingers.

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