Making sense of kit hop additions

As I have been taking in lots of new and interesting information from this forum and books, I start wondering if you all still follow hop addition instructions in kits or do something entirely different. I only buy kits less than half the time, the other half I either design the recipe or use something I pull off the internet. Let’s take for example NB’s Caribou Slobber which I brewed 2 years ago and was a very tasty beer. Granted a brown ale is not a hop forward beer, and the emphasis is not on the hops, but there’s three ounces of hops in there. We have a Goldings as a 60 min bittering addition. Fair enough, makes sense. Good duel purpose hop type. Then there’s Liberty at 45 min. Huh? Liberty is a Hallertau descendent, and I have used this family for light bittering at 60 min for wheat beers. So I can understand its place as a light bittering, but why at 45 min? Wouldn’t most of the flavor and aroma be gone after 45 min of boiling? Also, we already have given this malty beer a decent bittering backbone with the Goldings. Then we throw in Williamette, a Fuggle descendent, at 15 min for I’m assuming flavor. I would think we boiled off most of the aroma after 15 minutes. It is a mild flavor with a little earthiness, so why not?

 So what would happen if I brewed this beer again and saved the Liberty and Williamette at FO and did a whirlpool HS for 10 minutes instead?  The bittering might be a bit less, but wouldn't we have more flavor and also now some aroma?  Honestly, if I brewed a brown ale again, I am going to add the following varieties from my garden:  Goldings (maybe go up 1.5oz) at 60min (yeah, I know, I don't really know the alpha % of home grown hops), and Amalia (very pleasant aroma and lots of it!)and Williamette at FO.  But this is just one example.  In general, I'm just wondering how much tweaking you all do on your hop additions when it comes to kits.

Haven’t bought a kit in a couple years. Like you most of my recipes are pulled from the web, typically altered a bit for my efficiency and intended purpose, or just cobbled together from bits and pieces of other recipes I like.

I think what you propose would make a slightly more hop forward brown with more earthy aroma. May not be strictly by the book for a brown but I bet it would be good.

You’re correct that most of the flavor and pretty much all the aroma is boiled off from the 45 minute addition but you do get bittering from that addition. So my concern with your new approach is how many IBUs of bitterness you lose by moving the 45 min addition to FO. You’ll certainly lose some bittering and could potentially end up with an unbalanced sweet beer with more hop flavor and aroma.

If I were considering this I’d plug it into BS2, or your choice of brewing software, and look at the total IBUs from the 60 and 45 min additions. Then I’d increase the 60 min addition to that level if I were going to move the 45 to FO.

[quote=“dannyboy58”]Haven’t bought a kit in a couple years. Like you most of my recipes are pulled from the web, typically altered a bit for my efficiency and intended purpose, or just cobbled together from bits and pieces of other recipes I like.

I think what you propose would make a slightly more hop forward brown with more earthy aroma. May not be strictly by the book for a brown but I bet it would be good.

You’re correct that most of the flavor and pretty much all the aroma is boiled off from the 45 minute addition but you do get bittering from that addition. So my concern with your new approach is how many IBUs of bitterness you lose by moving the 45 min addition to FO. You’ll certainly lose some bittering and could potentially end up with an unbalanced sweet beer with more hop flavor and aroma.

If I were considering this I’d plug it into BS2, or your choice of brewing software, and look at the total IBUs from the 60 and 45 min additions. Then I’d increase the 60 min addition to that level if I were going to move the 45 to FO.[/quote]

 Thank you, Danny.  That makes a lot of sense.  Is a 45 min addition aimed at adding a different kind of bittering to the beer?  There's less time for isomerization, so why not add less and put it at 60 min instead if all we're going to get is bittering?  Or is there enough residual flavor that it's still preferred to keep it at 45 min?  I haven't invested in BeerSmith or other software yet but have been considering it more lately.  It sounds like I definitely need to play around with some type of software.  Maybe it would help me answer some of my questions?  Thanks again.

[quote=“brewdvm”][quote=“dannyboy58”]Haven’t bought a kit in a couple years. Like you most of my recipes are pulled from the web, typically altered a bit for my efficiency and intended purpose, or just cobbled together from bits and pieces of other recipes I like.

I think what you propose would make a slightly more hop forward brown with more earthy aroma. May not be strictly by the book for a brown but I bet it would be good.

You’re correct that most of the flavor and pretty much all the aroma is boiled off from the 45 minute addition but you do get bittering from that addition. So my concern with your new approach is how many IBUs of bitterness you lose by moving the 45 min addition to FO. You’ll certainly lose some bittering and could potentially end up with an unbalanced sweet beer with more hop flavor and aroma.

If I were considering this I’d plug it into BS2, or your choice of brewing software, and look at the total IBUs from the 60 and 45 min additions. Then I’d increase the 60 min addition to that level if I were going to move the 45 to FO.[/quote]
You can demo BS2 for 30 days before paying I believe. There are other tools out there…some free. I’ve only used BS2 and love it.

 Thank you, Danny.  That makes a lot of sense.  Is a 45 min addition aimed at adding a different kind of bittering to the beer?  There's less time for isomerization, so why not add less and put it at 60 min instead if all we're going to get is bittering?  Or is there enough residual flavor that it's still preferred to keep it at 45 min?  I haven't invested in BeerSmith or other software yet but have been considering it more lately.  It sounds like I definitely need to play around with some type of software.  Maybe it would help me answer some of my questions?  Thanks again.[/quote]