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Single Hop Experiment

I’m pretty stoked to embark on a single-hop small batch series starting this weekend. My primary goal is to explore the nuances of each hop variety and how it suits my palate, so I have a better idea how to use them in recipes. A secondary goal is to burn through a good portion of hops I’ve accumulated from the 2012 harvest.

Two gallon batches. Same recipe, except for the hop variety and amount used in the bittering charge. Seven hop varieties. Target is 37 IBUs. I’m basically brewing a hoppy pale ale.

Who else has done this? What did you learn?

I just started something similar to you. I did a all Centennial ipa that turned out great and I have a Chinook ipa and cluster apa that are almost done. I used that same grain bill for the ipa’s and same hop schedules ibu should be very close. The cluster apa is a smash 2row and cluster. It should be very interesting to see how they turn out and learn a lot about each hop. I’m pretty new to brewing and was making my own recipes but was making guesses on what works good with each other, so I decided to do this to learn. Next up Columbus ipa!

As far as what I learned so far is that I like centennial a lot has a late addition hop and dry hop but the bittering did not have enough kit to it for a ipa IMO

The unfortunate thing about these experiments is that certain hop oils and compounds are only brought to light through blending in other hops with complimentary substances that activate them. There’s a really good article on this in Zymurgy’s May/June issue by Stan Hieronymus. I’ll try to find a way to post it.

So while you’re getting an idea of what the hop does you might want to throw in a very small amount of other hops to see how they play together. The point in this is that how hops interact is a combination of their powers. When boiled together they create something that is wholly different than if they were boiled separately and put together later. At least that’s how I understood it.

Not to squash your excitement. I’ve done near single hop style IPA’s and Pales before, but there’s a downside to this. I feel the same way about SMaSH brewing, too.

[quote=“Hoppenheimer”]The unfortunate thing about these experiments is that certain hop oils and compounds are only brought to light through blending in other hops with complimentary substances that activate them. There’s a really good article on this in Zymurgy’s May/June issue by Stan Hieronymus. I’ll try to find a way to post it.
[/quote]
Yeah, I’ve read the article. Blending does indeed change the overall outcome. Definitely had that experience with a Glacier/Centennial APA that I brewed earlier in the year. Both are amazing hops, but together created something that did not work for me (although other people really liked it). I considered this before deciding to do the experiment, but I accept the risk. :smiley:

Single hopped Columbus IPA is one of my absolute favorite beers to brew. For such a high alpha acid hop (I think my last Columbus hops were 16.3) it is remarkably mellow with a TON of different citrus aromas and flavors going on. I usually brew my Columbus IPA’s at right around 55 IBU and they turn out fantastic. Columbus is just one of those hops that work very well all by it’s lonesome.

I did a bunch of these last summer and I’m overdue for another round of these with the new hops that came out this year. Here’s a post I made on the AHA forum about my procedure and results:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/f ... .msg171180

Basically, I did a series of 1-gallon Extract Pale Ales. I did a pseudo FWH for 40-45 IBU’s, 1/4 oz at flameout and the rest of the ounce (usually right about 1/2 oz) of dry hops. By doing 15-minute boil extract batches and using separate kettles for boiling and chilling, I was able to do 6 batches one-after-another in the time it takes for my typical All-Grain brewday.

I feel like I got a decent picture of the flavor, aroma and bittering character of each of the hops I used. Some I liked, some I loved, and some I wasn’t a big fan of. I highly recommend doing something like this to learn about new hop varieties. the best part about 1-gallon batches is that if they suck you don’t have much to dump.

[quote=“erockrph”]I did a bunch of these last summer and I’m overdue for another round of these with the new hops that came out this year. Here’s a post I made on the AHA forum about my procedure and results:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/f ... .msg171180

Basically, I did a series of 1-gallon Extract Pale Ales. I did a pseudo FWH for 40-45 IBU’s, 1/4 oz at flameout and the rest of the ounce (usually right about 1/2 oz) of dry hops. By doing 15-minute boil extract batches and using separate kettles for boiling and chilling, I was able to do 6 batches one-after-another in the time it takes for my typical All-Grain brewday.

I feel like I got a decent picture of the flavor, aroma and bittering character of each of the hops I used. Some I liked, some I loved, and some I wasn’t a big fan of. I highly recommend doing something like this to learn about new hop varieties. the best part about 1-gallon batches is that if they suck you don’t have much to dump.[/quote]

Excellent post on AHA sir! Thank you for taking the time to do that and share your results. Outstanding!!!

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