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Magnum for all around bittering

I bought a pound of magnum with the intent to use it as my bittering hops for pretty much all my brews.

Now that push comes to shove I find myself apprehensive about substituting this very high AA hop in the beers I plan to brew this weekend.

The bittering hops recommended for Irish red ale is Willamette, Irish draught calls for Cluster.

Obviously I’ll adjust the amount I use based on the target IBU of the beer.

My concern I suppose is that the magnum will change the characteristics of the beer.

I know the bittering addition does just that…bitter…but won’t it also impart other flavors/characteristics to the brew?

Should I just RDW and bitter with magnum or does anyone think my concerns are valid?

a lot of people do this - i use magnum or warrior for a lot of my beers, but some intensely hoppy beers like IPAs i prefer a bittering hop that has more bite to it as a result of other compounds not measured by IBUs. I often bitter those with Chinook or Columbus. but 70% of my beers get Mags.

Anyone have any sort of ROT for substituting style specific traditional bittering hops for magnum? I have to assume that each hop used in bittering gives subtle flavor difference. Is that flavor difference masked well by later hop additions?

If you’re using any late hops at all, i wouldn’t hesitate.

But if the late hopping is light, you may notice it. I brew a LOT of german lagers, some of which I use only one charge of hops (FWH) like a vienna, marzen or dunkel - for those, Mittlefruh or Tettnang only because I did notice the hop difference when I tried them with Mags.

I agree with Blatz, if you have a late hop addition, you won’t be able to tell the difference subbing magnum for some other clean-bittering hop. The biggest worry I have with very high AA hops like magnum is the accuracy of measuring the bittering addition. I brew a lot of malty and lightly hopped beers, and it can be challenging to measure a bittering charge with magnum without risking being off by enough to be noticeable.

Next beer I’m going to brew uses 0.5 oz williamette at 60 min to get 12 IBUs for bittering. If I was to sub magnum, I’d need to measure out 0.18 oz., and my scale is only precise to 0.05.

I use Magnum exclusively for bittering. Every beer every time. Pilsner to IPA to Stout to Wheat to O-fest to …

hamiltont thanks for weighing in on this. That’s good to know. I guess my question would be do you notice any difference in taste in lightly hopped beers? Say an irish red ale that gets .75 at 30 minutes.

rebuilt same here on the irish red. I usually use .50 Willamette or .60 fuggles which translates to about .18 magnum as well. Luckily I do have a very good scale.

I thought getting the Mags for about $1/oz was great. It hadn’t really occurred to me that with the higher AA I’d be using such small amounts on most of my beers.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]
Next beer I’m going to brew uses 0.5 oz williamette at 60 min to get 12 IBUs for bittering. If I was to sub magnum, I’d need to measure out 0.18 oz., and my scale is only precise to 0.05.[/quote]

My scale is the same way. If you want to get a more specific estimate of 0.18 oz, you could add pellets one at a time until your scale flips to 0.20, then remove a pellet or two. You could also see how many average size pellets make up 0.10 oz and then divide it out.

Or, you could use the Willamette! I did a lot of Magnum-hopped beers a couple years ago, including some like lightly-hopped beers like 70 shilling, English bitter, etc. They all turned out great, but I did pay special attention to measuring as accurately as possible.

I’m not sure my scale is accurate to 0.05, just precise to that figure. And any time the flip from one reading to the next can change the bitterness by 30%, I figure I should be nervous.

Not a problem with higher bitterness beer. I bought a half pound of magnum a few years ago and used it for much of my bitterning needs, but as my beers have shifted to maltier, I’ve decided to use lower AA hops more for that. But magnum is a great hop.

[quote=“dannyboy58”]hamiltont thanks for weighing in on this. That’s good to know. I guess my question would be do you notice any difference in taste in lightly hopped beers? Say an irish red ale that gets .75 at 30 minutes.

[/quote]
Can’t really say. I’ve almost always used Magnum for bittering and don’t have anything else to compare to. The least amount I’ve added for bittering is ~.4 oz. for a 10 gallon batch. Cheers!!!

My thoughts: Magnum is known as a ‘clean’ hop, with low “hoppy” signature in the finished beer (I know this from literature and experience).
Secondly, the smaller the amount of hop material used in the brew, the less impact “flavorwise” it will have on your beer (I know this from experience, not from literature). As you are using a clean hop with a low amt of materiel, the hop flavor/aroma should be quite negligible!
I just got done doing two German Pils’ and a Bock with magnum as the 60-minute – no issues.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]My thoughts: Magnum is known as a ‘clean’ hop, with low “hoppy” signature in the finished beer (I know this from literature and experience).
Secondly, the smaller the amount of hop material used in the brew, the less impact “flavorwise” it will have on your beer (I know this from experience, not from literature). As you are using a clean hop with a low amt of materiel, the hop flavor/aroma should be quite negligible!
I just got done doing two German Pils’ and a Bock with magnum as the 60-minute – no issues.[/quote]

Great feedback, Thanks!

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