Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Recipe posted, and a bit about hops

The Recipe Page has been updated to show the Maris Otter - Centennial SMaSH recipe.  Here it is in all it's complicated glory.

SMASH: Maris Otter - Centennial, Pale Ale/IPA
Final Volume: 3.25 Gallons     OG: 1.065     FG: 1.015     ABV: 6.7%    IBU:61

8lbs Maris Otter Malt
0.68oz Centennial, 12.5% (60 min) (Measuring mistake.  I didn't mean for that much.)
0.32oz Centennial, 12.5% (5 min) (The remainder of the ounce.)
0.25oz Centennial, 12.5% (flame out)
Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale (cultivated from the last batch)
And check it out here, along with the other recipes posted.

For some of the non-brewers (or novice brewers), this is a perfect example to talk about the timing of hop additions to the recipe.  While this is a very simple recipe, with one malt type and one type of hop, you will see the three different times at which the hops were added.

Among other chemicals in the hops, the Alpha Acids (notated by the percentage, 12.5% in these Centennial hops) are important for the bittering quality of the hops.  Those acids will contribute the bitterness after time in a boil.  Randy Mosher explains in Radical Brewing that when added to the boil, "the heat causes a chemical change called isomerization, which allows the formerly non-bitter, insoluble resins to become highly bitter and dissolve into the wort." (Mosher, page 48).  Thus the hops added at the beginning of a 60 or 90 minute boil are called "bittering" hops and contribute most of the hop bitterness to the beer.  In the same fashion, the hops added at the end of the boil won't have a chance to isomerize, leaving in the hop aroma.  Hops added during the middle or later portions of the boil will have a chance to begin the chemical conversion, but not completely, lending the hop flavor to the beer.

All that to say, it is important at what point the hops are added and ofter there are multiple additions of hops, in order to get obtain the bitterness, flavor and aroma of the hops.