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Incognitum

I boiled my hops in water only, no DME

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Hi all,

I brewed a second batch of the Northwest Pale Ale a few weeks ago. Since I wanted to be a daredevil and a badass, when doing this this batch, I added .5 oz of Cascade and .5 oz of Centennial Hops to the boil.

Being my first time boiling hops, I naturally did it wrong.

I boiled the hops in a hopsack in pure water for about 16 minutes before adding the Mr. Beer LME and HME to the pot.

Aside from not knowing how bitter a 16 minute boil would make the beer, (it's probably an IPA now) I recently learned here you are not supposed to boil hops only in water.

No real harm was done. I bottled the beer this week, and while it taste a lot more bitter than the first batch I did (with no hop additions).

So my question is... did my hop additions do anything for the beer since it was boiled straight up in water? It appears to added bitterness, but nothing crazy. Perhaps it would have been far too bitter if I had done it correctly.

And for future reference, when adding hops to Mr. Beer recipes that use their LME or DME, should I all the hops and DME/LME both at the boil? I've read you don't need to boil the Mr. Beer LME for sanitation purposes, but should it still be boiled with the hops? As it stands, I've brewed 6 batches with LME and never boil it. I always add both the HME and LME at flameout.

Mark

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If you boil the Mr. Beer HME then you are going to change the bitterness of the recipe. I would add some DME or LME (1#ish) to the water while you are bringing it up to a boil. Do your hop boil and then add the Mr. Beer HME at flame out. That way the Mr. Beer natural recipe is unchanged by the boil and all you did was add some more bitterness (or flavor/aroma) in your boil.

As for whether your hop tea will affect the bitterness of your brew I'm not sure. I'm sure one of the experts will chime in though. :)

EDIT: Are you using QBrew or Beersmith (any other Brewing Software really)? I have found that QBrew has been one of my best friends as a new brewer (as well as the folks here). Learning exactly how to use it has been a real help.

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Wow, so much to address.

I've read you don't need to boil the Mr. Beer LME for sanitation purposes, but should it still be boiled with the hops?

The reason is not for sanitation, it's because boiling pre-hopped HME will change the flavor profile of the base brew and it won't be what it was intended to be. Intuitively, if you boil something, flavor is lost via the steam release. I have also confirmed with Mr. Beer that boiling HME's makes the hops profile weaker, not more bitter as has been incorrectly noted this forum. Time to stop that misinformation.....you boil HME and you boil off the hops oils without there being any more hops to maintain those levels of oils making the brew less hopped.

I boiled the hops in a hop sack in pure water for about 16 minutes before adding the Mr. Beer LME and HME to the pot. Aside from not knowing how bitter a 16 minute boil would make the beer (it's probably an IPA now)

LOL - no way it's an IPA. You more than likely got some very minimal hops utilization by boiling in water.

So my question is... did my hop additions do anything for the beer since it was boiled straight up in water? It appears to added bitterness

I doubt it added much, if any, bitterness at all. You basically gave the hops a bath and cleaned them up. That may give the beer some added hops aroma.

And for future reference, when adding hops to Mr. Beer recipes that use their LME or DME, should I add the hops and DME/LME both at the boil?

If you are using a recipe that calls for hops boils, you need to add malt to the water to create the proper gravity for hops utilization. Normally 1.03 to 1.04. That's equal, roughly, to one pound of dry malt extract per gallon of water - 1.25 lb of liquid malt extract. If you use MrB UME which is .55 lb then you need to use a half gallon of water. Boil that up and then add the hops and set your countdown timer. After timer expires, flameout and add the HME.

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You don't get the same hop utilization in just water but you made 'hop tea' and when I first started brewing in the 80's, lots of people did exactly what you did. In fact, I went to a local homebrew club back then and that's how they taught beginners to make beer.
I'm thinking you'll get some aroma out of it but very little bitterness.

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"Incognitum" post=350740 said:

Hi all,

I boiled the hops in a hopsack in pure water for about 16 minutes before adding the Mr. Beer LME and HME to the pot.


And for future reference, when adding hops to Mr. Beer recipes that use their LME or DME, should I all the hops and DME/LME both at the boil? I've read you don't need to boil the Mr. Beer LME for sanitation purposes, but should it still be boiled with the hops? As it stands, I've brewed 6 batches with LME and never boil it. I always add both the HME and LME at flameout.

Mark

first, the way this reads i hope you did not boil the HME. an LME or DME is ok to boil, but never the HME. that will change the hops profile. boil hops in DME or LME ,if using both I would boil both .

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Guys, let me stress that I did not boil the HME. The only thing I boiled was 1 oz of hops by themselves in water for 16 minutes. Everything else was done correctly.

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"Incognitum" post=350776 said:

Guys, let me stress that I did not boil the HME. The only thing I boiled was 1 oz of hops by themselves in water for 16 minutes. Everything else was done correctly.

U won't get much hops taste or aroma from boiling hops in plain water. Some, but not much. If u left the hops in the wort, u will get a little more aroma.

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Thanks for the advice, everyone.

The beer did taste more bitter than the previous batch when I bottled it, but it could all be in my head. Or that could be how it tastes pre-conditioning and I just don't remember.

Either way, my error probably worked out for the best because in hindsight, I don't think I would have wanted the added bitterness of a 16 minute hop boil in my Pale Ale.

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"Incognitum" post=350796 said:


I don't think I would have wanted the added bitterness of a 16 minute hop boil in my Pale Ale.


With a 16 min hop boil in straight water I doubt you picked up any bitterness (IBU's). You may have gained some aroma but also very little of that too, and hop aroma can give you a perceived bitternes. I was looking for the boil chart to post for you that has been posted on here alot and I can't find it, so I'm hoping someone will post it for you to see and I want to save it again.

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"berryman" post=350852 said:

"Incognitum" post=350796 said:


I don't think I would have wanted the added bitterness of a 16 minute hop boil in my Pale Ale.


With a 16 min hop boil in straight water I doubt you picked up any bitterness (IBU's). You may have gained some aroma but also very little of that too, and hop aroma can give you a perceived bitternes. I was looking for the boil chart to post for you that has been posted on here alot and I can't find it, so I'm hoping someone will post it for you to see and I want to save it again.


[attachment=12126]hoputilizationchart.jpg[/attachment]

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You actually do extract stuff boiling hops in water. But it is not necessarily the same stuff in the correct ratio you want to extract to make beer that tastes like it's supposed to. What gets extracted depends on the PH of your wort, and plain water has a totally different PH then wort.

In other words, boiled hops can give you out of whack levels of bitterness and flavors and aromas that you would not have gotten if you boiled them in 1.03ish wort. IE you may get more of the grassy herbal flavors out of a hop and less of the spicy or citrusy flavors. Any bitterness extracted may be different, may be more of a harsh kind of bitterness, again depends on the hop composition.

You certainly won't emulate the intended results of a recipe by doing it.

That doesn't mean it will be bad necessarily... For example hop teas can be really nice to add to a beer as a flavor/aroma addition at bottling time for example. But you don't boil them, you steep them in that scenario. With some hops it might turn out good, with others it might turn out nasty.

EDIT Here is a little chart that shows what I am talking about.

[attachment=12143]Alpha_acid_solubility.gif[/attachment]

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