Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Testing Commercial Beers

I recently tried Green Flash Palate Wrecker and was blown away by how well they are able to make that beer (and pretty much all of their others) scream HOPS. I’m pretty sure that no amount of hops will get me that, I’ve tried.

So what I’m wondering is, if I were to buy a bottle and send a sample to Ward Labs, do you think I could get a report that told me exactly how they build their water? Brewing salts, pH… it’s got to be something that I’m not doing at home and it’s driving me crazy.

If I could make IPA’s like that, I’d die a happy man.

I’d call them to make sure, but my guess is that they won’t be able to. The levels of minerals are usually fairly low and they’d have to do a digestion and/or dilution to get rid of all the stuff in the beer. My guess is they read the water samples direct with possibly only a small dilution for acidification.

Why not contact Green Flash and ask them what they do to their water? Most brewers and/or breweries that I have spoken to have been more than happy to answer questions about their recipes, processes, etc.

I’m not familiar with their beers, but is there a possibility that they are using hop oil to to make those hops “scream” louder?
They certainly wouldn’t be the first brewery to do so.

Perhaps you’ve already done so but have you listened to the 'Can You Brew It" episode where they do a Green Flash IPA?
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/489
Haven’t listened to that one myself but it looks like they talk to the brewer and often in other episodes the brewers give out a ton of info on the details of their beer.

[quote=“Flip”]Perhaps you’ve already done so but have you listened to the 'Can You Brew It" episode where they do a Green Flash IPA?
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/489
Haven’t listened to that one myself but it looks like they talk to the brewer and often in other episodes the brewers give out a ton of info on the details of their beer.[/quote]

Good idea. I listened to the whole thing and it seems that they are adding WAY more brewing salts than I am. I’ve adjusted my sulfate/chloride before but I’ve always gone to around 100ppm sulphate. I guess I should try going a bit higher. I think between that and dry hop agitation, that could be what my beers are lacking. I’m excited to give these a try on my next IPA.

How are you dry hopping?
Do you keg or bottle?

I certainly don’t know a whole lot about how water chemistry affects hop profile other than a couple basics, but if you haven’t experimented with first wort hopping or all late hop additions I’d recommend trying those techniques to get a different hop profile. They even call out on their Web site that they mash and sparge with hopped wort. More pronounced hop profile with a smoother/cleaner bitterness

Just guesses…

[quote=“Wahoo”]How are you dry hopping?
Do you keg or bottle?[/quote]

I dry hop extensively. I’ve gone as high as 2.5 ounces per 5 gal batch. I keg, but haven’t done a lot of keg hopping if that’s your suggestion. I just can’t believe how great their beers are even after being shipped across the country in a bottle. I want to make beer that great.

I also do a lot of first wort hopping. I really like how well it makes the flavor come through, but it just isn’t the same as Green Flash.

2.5 oz of dry hop in 5 gallons is a good amount, but doesn’t approach the upper limit of what some of these crazy west coast IPAs use. It’s not how much, it’s how you use it. I find keg hopping, for whatever reason, to be the real trick to making the beers a Hoppy Punch To the Face, which is what I think you’re looking for. Continue to experiment.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com