Question about 30 min hop additions

20 batch rookie here.
I’m not sure why I would add hops at 30 min in a 60 minute boil. Depending on the style, I usually add at 60 and maybe at 15 and/or 2 min. I think bittering at 60, flavor at 15, aroma at 2 (and maybe dry). Am I missing something?

Thanks for the help.

There are plenty of recipes with hops at 45 and 30. When I’m designing a recipe I probably would never bother with those times but I think most of it just comes from old habits and things people tried that produced results they want. So instead of trying to redesign it they just continue with what worked.

I have to imagine there are small differences in flavor when adding hops at 30 than adding the equivalent at 60 and 15. Whether its detectable by most people would be an interesting experiment.

I never do 30 minutes. It’s stupid. A recipe maker should make up their mind whether they want bitterness or flavor. If bitterness, go the full boil. If flavor, save for the last 5 minutes of the boil. There’s no need for in between, none at all. That’s a fact, per me. :mrgreen:

Several of my most popular recipes use 30 min. hop additions. Why? Because when I wrote the recipes years ago, that’s what was done! If I wrote those recipes today I don’t know if I’d use that or not…probably not. OTOH, the beers are fantastic and one has been brewed by commercial breweries around the world, so why mess with success? Kinda like the metric buttload of gypsum in Papazian’s Toad spit stout. When asked he said he wouldn’t do that these days, but so many people loved the beer that he wasn’t going to take it out of the recipe.

As to Dave’s contention that a 30 min. addition is “stupid”, thanks for deciding how I should brew. I thought I got to do that for myself.

To the OP, it’s pretty simple…split a batch of wort, try it both ways, compare objectively and decide for yourself.

I didn’t tell anyone how to brew. I just provided an opinion, worth perhaps 2 cents on its own, or a dime a dozen. Depending on each individual buyer, my opinion may be valued a little more or a little less, and frankly I don’t really care which, as I give away both knowledge and opinions freely with no expectation of payment. If I were writing a book, my publisher might not let me call anything stupid. But I’m not doing that today. Some days I don’t feel the need to be perfect. Zero days do I feel the need to be politically correct.

The OP’s question is a valid one. Why 30 minutes? Why indeed?

Opinion’s aside, the fact is that most brewers now in the 21st century wouldn’t specify 30-minute additions, because they denote either a poor utilization of alpha acids, or a very wimpy attempt at hop flavor, or both.

But, is there any time at all that a 30-minute addition would be a good idea? Well, actually yes, I can think of at least two examples:

  • An obvious one: If you only plan on boiling for 30-40 minutes anyway. I can actually see this happening in my near future, for purposes of time savings and probably no noticeable effect on finished beer quality. The only drawback from what I can tell is that more boil hops are needed to get the right bitterness, compared to the old standard 60- or 90-minute boils, so maybe it costs an extra buck.

  • If you are trying to totally nail the IBUs on a recipe, AND you insist on only using full ounce packages of hops and don’t want any leftovers. For example, there has probably been an occasion or two in my brewing history where I needed 0.75 oz of X hop if boiled for 60 minutes, but I thought it might be wise to just use the full ounce to avoid leftovers, so I calculated how many minutes to boil in order to keep it at 1 full ounce. Or maybe I was following a recipe that specified a 20-minute addition (borderline flavor contribution if you ask me) that required 1.25 oz there but I only had 1 full ounce on hand. Something like that. With non-late boil additions, you can play with IBU calculations to get things to even out if you want, with minimal impact on final beer quality.

There. Is that helpful enough now?

Now you’d better brew my way, or else you’re stupid. :oops:

Sometimes I like to layer in the hops. Does if make a difference? Who cares. Dogfish does that continuous hopping thing. Is it a gimmick? Maybe. Your recipe, your hop schedule.

There are reasons to do it.
Like if you buy your hops in 1oz increments and a 30 minute 1 oz addition gives you the perfect balance, but adding it at 60 would mean you’d either make the beer too bitter, or have leftover hops.

The other thing to consider here is that everyone’s system is different, especially as it pertains to hop utilization. Some systems might get maximum hop flavor for a 30 minute addition.

I tend to not design beers with a 30 minute addition but if i run into a recipe with a 30 minute addition, I go with it.

Thanks for the responses!

I went to
and found that at 15 min I would get about half the bittering as I would at 60. I guess I would get some flavor from that dose but that the aroma would be about all gone?
If I dose at 1-2 min do I get flavor along with the aroma?

Thanks for your patience with me. :slight_smile:

Mitch in NC

Yes, a couple 2, 3, 5 minutes or whatever at the end of the boil will give you both flavor and aroma, but hardly any bitterness unless you use a lot of a very high alpha acid hop variety.

Or if you plan to whirlpool for any amount of time before cooling it will add some bittering.

I recently made the call to use a 30 minute addition. I just brewed NB’s Dry Irish Stout. The recipe directions called for 2 oz of Cluster hops at 60 minutes. When I pulled them out of the freezer, I noticed their Alpha Acid was 7.2%. I checked and their range is 5.5 to 8%. After plugging in the numbers on Brewtoad, the IBU’s would have been way out of style. When I plugged in 1 oz at 60 minutes and the other oz at 30 minutes, it brought the IBU’s right in style. I’m not sure if that was the best solution, but I just sampled it the other day and it tastes great.