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silvertip8k

how much hops?...

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OK...how much is too much?? boiling in extra for flavor at what point does adding too much exceed desired amounts...I love "hoppier" brews...and I use MRB HME,UME etc...with some other spice or honey added...I dont have access to do any more advanced techniques at this time...so I pretty much do variations on a theme of existing MRB recipes...or just tryting different HME/UME combos...

I have been using 1 oz of the hops from MRB ground up and boiling 20 minutes to add to my wort...I do not notice as much "hoppy" flavor as I want to get to...but at what point in a 2 gal batch is overdoing it...

thanks for any advice...

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It's an entirely subjective subject. I personally like 100+ IBU ales, alot of people don't like hoppy beers at all. Do you use a calculator like qbrew or beersmith? They can be invaluable brewing aids.

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I agree with oly. This is very subjective. A calculator like Qbrew or Beersmith would allow you to quantify the amount of hops you use with what tastes good to you.

I wonder if you are confusing hops flavor with bitterness and aroma. All three play a role in the overall taste sensation. 20 minutes is the optimal time for flavor, but for more bitterness and aroma, you might want to split your boil. Because the Mr Beer HME's already have some hops in them, I have found that splitting my additional hops into a 45 min, 30 min, 10 min schedule gives me more of the flavor I like. For DME or all grain, I usually do 60,40,30,20,10 minute schedule for hoppy beers and 60,25,10 for maltier ones and use less overall. I have found Qbrew to be very helpful in calculating how much to use.

It is your beer though, so do what tastes best to you. Just keep good notes so when you find what you like you can repeat it.

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silvertip8k wrote:

I have been using 1 oz of the hops from MRB ground up and boiling 20 minutes to add to my wort...

You're grinding your hops? Any reason why?

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thanks for the input...I have been grinding up the hops and not using a bag...they stay in the brew to bottling...no adverse effects...also I was told that doing so(grinding) gets more flavor out w/ less boiling...

so let me refine the question a bit more...dont have the Qbrew etc...only go by recipes etc. its easier to use an existing brew for me to explain a goal, since all the numbers are over my head. Sam Adams "Noble Pils" has for me a very enjoyable "hoppy" flavor...this is something I would like to add to my recipes...is going to two-three ounces of extra hops excessive??( thats a 2 gal MRB batch) I am using either single MRB HME and single UME cans in my batches or Double HME /Single HME to gain a higher ABV...so far have been very happy w/ results...only desire like I said is to increase the "Hoppy" factor....

thanks for the help...t

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silvertip8k wrote:


I have been using 1 oz of the hops from MRB ground up and boiling 20 minutes to add to my wort...I do not notice as much "hoppy" flavor as I want to get to...but at what point in a 2 gal batch is overdoing it...

thanks for any advice...

Are you boiling the hops in some UME? The acids hops need to have something to bind to. With plain water, you're not giving that, and the flavor/bitterness is not sticking.

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silvertip8k wrote:

OK...how much is too much?

Short answer: Only you can determine how much is too much.

Long answer: Chezjuan brings up a good point. In the words of a man much smarter than I (How to Brew - By John Palmer):

Hop resins act like oil in water. It takes the boiling action of the wort to isomerize them, which means that the chemical structure of the alpha acid compounds is altered, so that the water molecules can attach and these compounds can dissolve into the wort. The percentage of the total alpha acids that are isomerized and survive into the finished beer, i.e., are utilized , is termed the “utilization.” Under homebrewing conditions, utilization generally tops out at 30%.

Several factors in the wort boil influence the degree to which isomerization occurs. Unfortunately the way all these factors affect the utilization is complicated and not well understood. But empirical equations have been developed that give us at least some ability to estimate IBUs for homebrewing.

The utilization is influenced by the vigor of the boil, the total gravity of the boil, the time of the boil, and several other minor factors. The vigor of the boil can be considered a constant for each individual brewer, but between brewers there probably is some variation. The gravity of the boil is significant, because the higher the malt sugar content of the wort, the less room there is for isomerized alpha acids. The strongest bittering factors are the total amount alpha acids you added to the wort, and the amount of time in the boil for isomerization. Therefore, most equations for IBUs work with these three variables (gravity, amount, and time) against a nominal utilization.

Rocket science, I tell you - Rocket Science! :)

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This is a question which has so many variables and x-factors built into it that it is somewhat difficult to answer without knowing exactly what HME's you are using, the alpha acid content of your hops, your boil volumes and on and on.

I don't like telling anyone what they "should" do, but you really should download a program like qbrew to help you out with questions like this. It's free, easy and takes almost no space on your hard drive.

That said, Sam Adams Noble Pils uses these hop varieties:

Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Tettnang Tettnanger, Spalt Spalter, Saaz, and Hersbrucker Noble hops

They provide no information regarding IBU's, boil times, or what hops are added at what times in the boil. These are all "soft" bittering hops, more known for their flavor and aroma, so it takes more of them to get a bittering effect.

Based upon the ABV of Noble Pils, I would guess it's IBU's as around 25. Here is where it helps to familiarize yourself with terms like Homebrew Bittering Units, HBU's (aka alpha acid units or AAU's), which are a simple reflection of alpha acid content per one ounce of hops, boiled for one hour. So as an example, an ounce of Tettnanger with an alpha acid of 4.5% boiled for an hour gives you 4.5 HBU's. This is a usefull metric because different hops have different AA content. If you adjust your quantities to an HBU scale, it would tell you to use twice as many hops with a 2.25% AA rating to get the same bittering as the one ounce of 4.5% AA hops.

With that in mind, I've used 4.5 HBU's of a combination of Saaz and Hallertauer to get that level of bittering in a five gallon batch of pilsener styled ale. For a MB sized batch, slightly less than half the size of five gallons, I would just cut the amount in half. You will likely get poorer hop utilization with the smaller denser boil, so it shouldn't be too hoppy. I should add that the recipe I came up with for this particular case also had a 1/2 ounce hop addition of 4.7% AA Tettnanger hops with 25 minutes remaining in the boil. That probably kicked the IBU's up by 3 or four points to give me the 25 IBU total. Flavor and aroma additions for shorter periods of time won't appreciably alter your bitterness, so those quantities can be at your discretion.

Remember that you will need to look up the IBU's of your HME's to get an accurate idea of how much you want to add of any other hops. Once again, QBrew will help you out a lot here.

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Keep in mind, too, that different strains of hops have different percentages of Alpha Acids, and different characteristics. So it's not just a matter of how much time you boil the hops; a lot depends on the strain you're using, and what you want to get out of it. Or, rather, what that strain is meant to bring to the dance.

Amarillo hops, for instance, have a pretty high AA%, and an earthy, piney aspect to them. Good for bittering and aroma, maybe not so much for flavor.

Citra hops have flowery and citrus overtones, so flavor and aroma are the strong points, rather than bitterness.

Fuggles and East Kent Goldings are pretty mild, but an important ingredient in English brown ales.

How much is too much? As has been said, only you can answer that question for yourself and your brews. But it's also a matter of choosing the right hops in the first place.

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I was just looking through "Homebrewing for Dummies" and thought of this thread. There's a recipe (5 gal) that calls for over 14oz of hops, and won 1st place at the AHA nationals. So, cut in half for 2.5 gals, and that's still over 7oz of hops.

How much is too much? Depends on beer style, hops variety and personal taste. Trial and error will let you know when it's too much, I'm guessing...

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Oly is correct on the hops in Noble Pils, and there is a bunch of other good thoughts and advice here, so I'm only going to focus on one aspect of the topic. I found an article where their brewmaster proposed the hop schedule to use if you do a homebrew version. Of course, I can't find that article to link, but I did base my Noble Ale on that schedule, so here it is for guidance (note that I didn't know/use their grain/yeast selections, and that mine is an ale, but the flavor was reminiscent):


Swen's Noble Ale
----------------
Brewer: Swenocha
Style: Classic American Pilsner
Batch: 2.40 galExtract

Characteristics
---------------
Recipe Gravity: 1.053 OG
Recipe Bitterness: 35 IBU
Recipe Color: 7° SRM
Estimated FG: 1.013
Alcohol by Volume: 5.2%
Alcohol by Weight: 4.1%

Ingredients
-----------
Briess DME - Golden Light 2.65 lb, Extract, Extract
Crystal 10L 0.50 lb, Grain, Steeped

Hallertauer (Germany) 0.18 oz, Pellet, 60 minutes
Hersbrucker (Germany) 0.18 oz, Pellet, 60 minutes
Saaz (Czech) 0.18 oz, Pellet, 60 minutes
Spalt (Germany) 0.18 oz, Pellet, 60 minutes
Tettnanger (Germany) 0.18 oz, Pellet, 60 minutes
Hallertauer (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 15 minutes
Hersbrucker (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 15 minutes
Saaz (Czech) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 15 minutes
Spalt (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 15 minutes
Tettnanger (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 15 minutes

flameout:
Hallertauer (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Hersbrucker (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Saaz (Czech) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Spalt (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Tettnanger (Germany) 0.20 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes

dryhop:
Hallertauer (Germany) 0.21 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Hersbrucker (Germany) 0.21 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Saaz (Czech) 0.21 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Spalt (Germany) 0.21 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes
Tettnanger (Germany) 0.21 oz, Pellet, 0 minutes

US-05 Ale yeast 1.00 unit, Yeast,

So... it appears that you would want to use those hops if that is your goal.

As for too many hops, I agree that you need to figure that out for yourself. But, I will say, that looking at what others have done (especially craft beers that you enjoy) is a good guide. The guidelines for beer styles is also a good guide, as a bunch of hops is great for an IPA, but it's not appropriate for, say, a wee heavy or a bitter.

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Guest System Admin

Good info in this thread. I have a related quesion. I'm guessing that QBrew/BeerSmith/etc assume you're boiling your entire wort volume when they come up with their bitterness calculations. How does that change if you're boiling less?

Put another way, do the calc'd IBU's reflect a boil of 2.125 gallons, and if so, how drastically do they change if you're boiling only a half-gallon or less (with some UME, of course)?

I'm assuming the IBU goes down with less water, since the alpha acids are isomerized into a subset of your total wort, and thus "diluted" when you top off, but I want to confirm that I'm not off-base with that assumption.

And it'd be helpful to know HOW MUCH things change. Is it proportional? (1/4 the water yields 1/4 the IBU) Is it marginal? (IBU stays close to the same either way) Something in between?

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I don't know if I can answer an exact proportion, but here's a quick test I just did in BeerSmith (which does account for boil volume):

Example #1: Full boil volume beersmith1.JPG

Note that on this simple brew, I put the IBU at 50 with a full boil volume.

Example #2: One gallon boil volume beersmith2.JPG

Note that in this case, the IBU drops to 22. Also, if I drop the water to 1/2 gallon, the IBU drops to 6.

EDIT: Here's how it seemed to drop in .25 gallon increments... beersmith3.jpg

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Thanks for all the good advice...I started a new work location( a long haul) and wasnt able to read the forum for a few days...I will be making two batches next weekend...here is my plan

here are two recipes I had really good success with already...originally w/ 1/2 oz packs...I will increase the hop quantity and will boil in the hops w/ the UME...


do I use the entire can of UME for the boiling or partial??also will boiling the UME affect the process any?? I know that you arent supposed to boil HME or it will have an adverse affect...but I understand the explanation of the hops attaching to the UME oils etc...does it require the entire amount??

sorry for any redundancy here...but this is new territory for me...

thanks again for the input :chug:


(2) cans whispering wheat HME
(1) can mellow amber UME
(1) 1 oz pack Saaz hops
(1) 1 oz pack Halterbrau hops
(1) heaping tsp ground coriander
(1) cup wild honey
(1) 11 Gram pouch Nottingham yeast


(2) Cans Witty Monk HME
(1) Can Pale Export UME
(1) 1 oz pack Saaz hops
(1) 1 oz pack Halterbrau hops
(1) heaping tsp ground coriander
(1) cup wild honey
(1) 11 Gram pouch Nottingham yeast

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What is your hop schedule?

Personally, I'd use the entire UME in the boil. The only bad result you may have is it may come out a bit darker than you intended.

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the saaz for 15 that the halterbrau for another 15 miunutes...I think that is what you are asking??? this is just what I thought I would start at...does this seem appropriate?...thanks...

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That's what I was asking. So, for clarification, you are putting saaz at t-30 and hallertau at T-15? In other words, the saaz will get a 30 minute boil in total? Or are you putting both in at 15? Just want to make sure I understand fully.

If it were me using these hops, I'd probably go with Hallertau for longer and Saaz for shorter (as Saaz is more of an aroma hop, while Hallertau is a multi-purpose hop), but I think you're plan is fine as well. Either way you'll get a nice noble hop character.

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yes that is what I planned...OK...but after reading your remark, that will be the order I use( the one you suggested)...thanks for the input & advice...

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Wow - great info in those screen shots, swenocha. Thanks very much. I guess the answer to my question about how much impact the boil volume has on IBU is: "a lot."

Definitely food for thought for my upcoming batches! Glad a I asked.

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Does this mean that Qbrew is inaccurate in the IBU calculation since it doesn't account for boil volume(unless I'm missing it)?

I'm planning on doing my first hop boil this weekend and I'm concerned that I haven't factored in the boil volume.

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stclaridp:

It does seem, to this newb, that QBrew might yield misleading numbers based on boil volume. I was planning to do my first hop boil next week, which is why I asked the question.

I'm wondering if it makes sense to temporarily increase the batch size in QBrew in proportion to the size of your boil, to get a guesstimate of projected IBU.

For example: if boiling a half-gallon, that's about 23% of a Mr. Beer-sized batch.
So, increase the batch size in QBrew by the reciprocal. (1 / .23) * 2.125 gallons = about 9 gallons.
Make a note of what IBU QBrew shows you for a 9 gallon batch, using the real hop amounts/times that you plan to use.
Then set the batch size back to the real number (2.125) to get the rest of the information (ABV, OG, SRM, etc.).

It wouldn't be completely accurate, since swen's graph isn't linear, but it might put us in the ballpark.

Or upgrading to BeerSmith would work, too, I guess!

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Crazy Climber wrote:

stclaridp:

It does seem, to this newb, that QBrew might yield misleading numbers based on boil volume. I was planning to do my first hop boil next week, which is why I asked the question.

I'm wondering if it makes sense to temporarily increase the batch size in QBrew in proportion to the size of your boil, to get a guesstimate of projected IBU.

For example: if boiling a half-gallon, that's about 23% of a Mr. Beer-sized batch.
So, increase the batch size in QBrew by the reciprocal. (1 / .23) * 2.125 gallons = about 9 gallons.
Make a note of what IBU QBrew shows you for a 9 gallon batch, using the real hop amounts/times that you plan to use.
Then set the batch size back to the real number (2.125) to get the rest of the information (ABV, OG, SRM, etc.).

It wouldn't be completely accurate, since swen's graph isn't linear, but it might put us in the ballpark.

Or upgrading to BeerSmith would work, too, I guess!

Thanks for the info. That seems like sound reasoning to me. I guess this means I'll want to use more water in the boil to save on hops.

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stclairdp wrote:

Thanks for the info. That seems like sound reasoning to me. I guess this means I'll want to use more water in the boil to save on hops.


Yep, $water

Just remember that the larger your boil volume, the longer it'll take to bring your wort down to a yeast-friendly temperature for pitching. You might need to employ an ice bath or other means to get the wort cooled in a reasonable amount of time.

(Glad I found this thread before my first attempted hop boil next week!)

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stclairdp wrote:

Does this mean that Qbrew is inaccurate in the IBU calculation since it doesn't account for boil volume(unless I'm missing it)?

I'm planning on doing my first hop boil this weekend and I'm concerned that I haven't factored in the boil volume.

Qbrew has a couple of problems when it comes to calculating IBUs. It doesn't really work with HMEs correctly and it always assumes a full wort boil.

If you boil all your malt with the hops, you're going to have lower utilization unless you do a full wort boil. But if you use a small amount of the malt for the boil and use a reduced volume of water, you'd need to enter those values (by themselves) to get the true IBU value. You could then just keep that number in mind and not worry about what qbrew says.

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bpgreen wrote:

But if you use a small amount of the malt for the boil and use a reduced volume of water, you'd need to enter those values (by themselves) to get the true IBU value. You could then just keep that number in mind and not worry about what qbrew says.

bpgreen -
I'm confused.

If you're saying to input a smaller volume AND a reduced UME weight at the same time, that sends the IBU up, not down.

Example that I just plugged into QBrew:
1 oz of 4.7% hops, boiled for 30 minutes in 1/2 gallon of water with .3 lb of UME (a quarter of a can) yields an IBU of 106, far above what one would expect with a full wort boil, not less.

I think the "inverse method" that I described earlier gives a good guesstimate. A quick version of it is to just plug in the hops with a 2.13 gallon batch as most folks normally would (IBU=25 in this example), and then divide the IBU by the following ratio: (boil size / batch size). In this case, that would be 25 / ( 0.5 / 2.125) = about 6 IBU. Certainly not exact, but close enough for beer making.

Or, just use BeerSmith. Or do a full wort boil. Or....do a late extract addition to compensate for the smaller boil volume.

My head now officially hurts. As you can probably tell, I love the mad scientist aspects of brewing, but this is getting "out there," even for me. I will officially stop beating this dead horse now! :cheers:

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Crazy Climber wrote:

bpgreen wrote:

But if you use a small amount of the malt for the boil and use a reduced volume of water, you'd need to enter those values (by themselves) to get the true IBU value. You could then just keep that number in mind and not worry about what qbrew says.

bpgreen -
I'm confused.

If you're saying to input a smaller volume AND a reduced UME weight at the same time, that sends the IBU up, not down.

That is correct. The reason for doing that is to calculate the IBUs using the boil volume and malt that you used for the actual boil. That gives you your IBUs, then you add the rest of the malt and water at the end.

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Lots of good info here. If you are doing hop boils, you really need an established recipe amount/time for the hops, or Qbrew/Beersmith. I run all my recipes through Qbrew prior to brewing. Your own palate will determine what "hoppy" is, and don't be surprised if that definition changes as your brewing evolves.

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This is horrible! I've got an IPA fermenting that I had qbrewed to 100+ IBUs... based on my ridiculously low boil volume ill be lucky if I hit 10 IBUs! :ohmy:
Guess its near full volume boils for me here on out.

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gman585 wrote:

This is horrible! I've got an IPA fermenting that I had qbrewed to 100+ IBUs... based on my ridiculously low boil volume ill be lucky if I hit 10 IBUs! :ohmy:
Guess its near full volume boils for me here on out.

Not necessarily. It's possible to get good utilization from a smaller boil. How much water did you use and how much malt was in it?

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bpgreen wrote:

gman585 wrote:

This is horrible! I've got an IPA fermenting that I had qbrewed to 100+ IBUs... based on my ridiculously low boil volume ill be lucky if I hit 10 IBUs! :ohmy:
Guess its near full volume boils for me here on out.

Not necessarily. It's possible to get good utilization from a smaller boil.

Exactly. It's all about balance. Here's a further extension on my previous example. Let's assume that I only boil 1lb of the amber LME instead of all 4lb. You'll note that I separated the LME into two entries, 1lb and 3lb.

beersmith4.jpg

You can see in the detail of the 3lb LME line that I have set it to 'Add after boil.' The 1lb is still set for the entire boil.

beersmith5.jpg

IBU is estimated at 51.2, which is more or less what we were shooting for.

It took me a while to figure this out, but there is a balance to how much DME/LME you want to use in your boil if you are not doing a full wort boil. Not until I started using Beersmith did I fully understand it.

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swenocha wrote:

bpgreen wrote:

gman585 wrote:

This is horrible! I've got an IPA fermenting that I had qbrewed to 100+ IBUs... based on my ridiculously low boil volume ill be lucky if I hit 10 IBUs! :ohmy:
Guess its near full volume boils for me here on out.

Not necessarily. It's possible to get good utilization from a smaller boil. How much water did you use and how much malt was in it?


Exactly. It's all about balance. Here's a further extension on my previous example. Let's assume that I only boil 1lb of the amber DME instead of all 4lb. (It's not obvious from the screenshot, the the 3lb of DME is set to be added at flameout in this example)... beersmith4.jpg

IBU is estimated at 51.2, which is more or less what we were shooting for.

It took me a while to figure this out, but there is a balance to how much DME/LME you want to use in your boil if you are not doing a full wort boil. Not until I started using Beersmith did I fully understand it.

That's one of the biggest problems with Qbrew, in my opinion. It really doesn't have the flexibility to calculate the IBUs correctly. I use it to get in the ballpark of where I want to be but I know the reality is not what Qbrew is telling me.

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What would be the best way to use qbrew to calculate a recipe using a Mr. Beer refill and a seaparate hop boil in dme?

I am working out a recipe based on Abbey Dubbel, and I plan to boil about .25 oz of Saaz hops in 1 gallon water with 1 lb DME. Using the method above, Qbrew says that would give me an IBU of 6. I will add the MB Oktoberfest HME at flameout, and that is supposed to have an IBU of 20. Do I add the two values together for the final IBU, which would give me 26, or is there some modifier I need to apply?

(if I put the whole recipe and let qbrew assume a full volume boil, it gives me a final IBU of 20)

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Like a few have said. Its personal preference. me, the more, the better :). I love IPA's IIPA;s and one im working one IIIPA...

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Chezjuan wrote:

What would be the best way to use qbrew to calculate a recipe using a Mr. Beer refill and a seaparate hop boil in dme?

I am working out a recipe based on Abbey Dubbel, and I plan to boil about .25 oz of Saaz hops in 1 gallon water with 1 lb DME. Using the method above, Qbrew says that would give me an IBU of 6. I will add the MB Oktoberfest HME at flameout, and that is supposed to have an IBU of 20. Do I add the two values together for the final IBU, which would give me 26, or is there some modifier I need to apply?

(if I put the whole recipe and let qbrew assume a full volume boil, it gives me a final IBU of 20)

I think you'd have 26 IBUs. That's kind of what I do when I'm trying to be completely accurate (often I just use the value Qbrew comes up with and treat it as a rough estimate).

It definitely has to be more than 20, since the OVL has 20 to start and that doesn't change (although Qbrew thinks it does). It would be interesting for somebody with Beersmith to plug something like that in and see how it calculates it.

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How long is the boil?

EDIT: In Beersmith, I added .25 Saaz and adjusted the boil time until I hit 6 IBU (15 min). I then added the Oktoberfest (which is 23 IBU), and I end up with 29 IBU (as we would guess). But I'm not totally sure I set it up right...

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bpgreen wrote:

gman585 wrote:

This is horrible! I've got an IPA fermenting that I had qbrewed to 100+ IBUs... based on my ridiculously low boil volume ill be lucky if I hit 10 IBUs! :ohmy:
Guess its near full volume boils for me here on out.

Not necessarily. It's possible to get good utilization from a smaller boil. How much water did you use and how much malt was in it?

I used 6 cups water and around a pound of lme. My first boil and didn't go too well. About half way into a 60 minute boil most of the water evaporated and I was left with a thick blob of burning wort. Kept going with it and added 3# lme and water at flameout. I tasted it around 7 days into fermentation and it was pretty good. Dry hopped at that point with 1oz citra.

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skydvr wrote:

I was just looking through "Homebrewing for Dummies" and thought of this thread. There's a recipe (5 gal) that calls for over 14oz of hops, and won 1st place at the AHA nationals. So, cut in half for 2.5 gals, and that's still over 7oz of hops.

How much is too much? Depends on beer style, hops variety and personal taste. Trial and error will let you know when it's too much, I'm guessing...

7 oz of hops in a 2.5 gallon recipe could mean little to nothing based on what you do with the hops. Certain hops are used for aroma, others for bittering, and others just for flavor. Now, with that said, if I just dry hopped 7 oz of any sort of hop, I would have a vary aromatic and hoppy smelling beer. In return, this doesn't mean that the beer flavor itself would be hoppy. Like mentioned above, the acids need to bind within the wort for effectiveness in flavoring and in bittering. Basically what I'm saying is it isn't so much about the amount of hops used, but what type of hops and how they are being utilized is the importance to it.

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So after looking at Swen's screenshots I decided to download the trial version of Beersmith to see what it was like........ummmmm.....buh bye Qbrew. Holy Cow!! Much more detail and flexibility with Beersmith. Could be the best thing since sliced,...er, canned,...er, well y'all know what I mean.

:woohoo:

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Brewing your own beer is one hell of an education. I was already a beer snob before I started home brewing and thought I knew a fair amount, but making it yourself has a strong learning curve. The bitterness aspect of hopping seems to be the easiest part to figure out. Aroma and flavor/spice are much harder to answer. What I am trying to do is drink a lot of micro brew. Grab a mix and match six pack from the grocery store with beers that you haven't tried, and when you find a flavor your like look up a clone recipe. Using that as a template and play until you have what you want. I am starting to believe that dry hopping in a secondary is the way to go for aroma. The beta acids which lead to aroma are very volatile and boil off/blow off during primary way too much. Waiting for secondary remedies this, and remember you can always add more or hop for longer. With flavor, unfortunately, it is one shot with the boil and not as straight forward as bittering.

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swenocha wrote:

How long is the boil?

EDIT: In Beersmith, I added .25 Saaz and adjusted the boil time until I hit 6 IBU (15 min). I then added the Oktoberfest (which is 23 IBU), and I end up with 29 IBU (as we would guess). But I'm not totally sure I set it up right...

Oops... that's what I get when I post while sampling my wares B).

the boil time in your estimate is close to what I was looking at in qbrew. I had it set for a 20 minute boil (it has the saaz at 3.1 AA). Not sure why qbrew showed me 20 for the unaltered Ocktoberfest, but it seems like adding the values should give me a good estimate of the final IBU.

Thanks.

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