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joejkd82

Piney hops-some observations

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Hey all. I've been experimenting with various iterations of IPA and IIPA since March, playing around with various combinations of Chinook, Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, and Columbus (not all in one brew, though one of the ones I made does have it all in one brew).

I know when someone says "which hops are the piniest" Chinook and Simcoe jump to the top of everyone's mind. However, that hasn't been my experience.

I find that Chinook gives a peppery, spicy and sometimes even garlicy (when the beer is very young) quality. The more a beer ages with it, the more a spicy grapefruit character reveals itself.

Simcoe tastes tropical as hell to me, like Orange and Passionfruit. I don't get pine off of it at all.

Columbus, on the other hand, when aged about 2 weeks cold, gives off a lot of pine notes, way more than any of the other hops on the spectrum. I find when I combine Columbus with Centennial late boil, a big pine/grapefruit bite is established.

To summarize, I get big clean pine finishes mixing Columbus, centennial, and Chinook.

It could just be me, we all taste differently, or perhaps it's my brew water interacting with the hops. It could be because I brew my porter with actual pine needles and what I think pine tastes like is different than what other people think. I don't know, just wanted to throw it out there and see what the :borg: 's experience has been.

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I love every hop mentioned but my favorite combo is Simcoe and Cascade but with Chinook at 60 by itself. All the 'C' hops are in my freezer but I have more Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe than anything else.

However, I don't get the spicey of Chinook you mentioned. I just did a Chinook IPA (really a pale ale) and it's good but definitely to the citrus side and not pepper or garlic. I've never heard anyone mention garlic before in discussing any of the C hops and I've had lots of them.
Simcoe is definitely the citrus side and very much grapefruit in both aroma and flavor. I love playing around with hop combos and matching it with a good malt balance is the type of IPA I like most.

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Interesting, since as I'm typing this, I'm drinking a pint of FedoraDave's American Ale, which uses Simcoe hops exclusively.

There is a fruitiness to it, yes. I perceive it as leaning toward grapefruit, but it's very slight. I do get a touch of pine in the finish, though. Just a suggestion, and it's more like pine resin rather than a Christmas tree type of pine.

I haven't used the other hops enough to really have much of an opinion on their pine influence

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Using a clean fermenting yeast & adding simcoe late in the boil is best. Try dry hopping 2 times, say 8 days & 5 days. That works well too. Cheers. :cheers:

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I don't get a lot of pine out of Simcoe either, more of a resiny character overall, and generally more so when used as a bittering hop.

When I use it for flavor and or aroma, it gets more tropical to me...

I have not used Chinook, but have seen ot described as having the potential to throw some garlic flavors and aromas...

I also find Columbus to be resiny, and a bit more to the pine than Simcoe.

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If you want piney, go with Simpco or Chinook as heavily added late additions or dry hopped. But keep in mind that these additions are best drank young.

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Funny enough, I popped open a fresh bottle of Stone IPA last night, which I've never had before.

I've always had Arrogant Bastard Ale from them, which is heavy on the chinook to my understanding and does not taste piney to me.

This thing was a freaking pine bomb. Bright, piney, and minty. Almost....German to a degree?

So I go adventuring on Google expecting full well to find that Stone IPA is made with loads of chinook and/or simcoe. Their website says "Columbus, Centennial, Chinook". Ok, no surprises there.

So I go looking for clone recipes to see how people have been emulating this beer (another great way of figuring out hop character I find is discovering beers you like, and seeing how people have copied them).

BYO did an article on a slew of Stone clones, and I find the feature flavor hop is.....Centennial. Loads and loads of Centennial late and whirlpooled. The dry hop does have some chinook, but other than that it's more centennial.

I see it's bittered with Magnum and Perle. Now I know bittering hops aren't supposed to convey flavor, just perceptions of bitterness (esepcially since these are boiled for 90min.), but I researched it anyway.

I found that Perle adds a minty, evergreen bitterness to beer. I perceive pine (to a much lesser extent) in Sierra Nevada pale ale also, and find they bitter that with Magnum/Perle combination also.

I'm starting to believe that the interplay between the bittering addition and the flavor addition is what brings out the character of the hop you're using.

ALL my pale ales, I bitter with chinook, using it as sort of a constant as I play around with the flavor, aroma, and dry hop additions. I'm starting to think I can acheive a more favorable piney profile if I bittered with something else, say Columbus or Perle.

What is the :borg: 's experience? Have you noticed changes in flavor with different bittering/flavor pairings?

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I've definitely noticed differences with different pairings. While I've often used the same hop schedule, many times I adjust the malts so that has some bearing.
Nose does play a part in taste so that if you smell grapefruit, you think you taste it. Let a beer, especially an IPA, warm up, you can better taste what the malts and hops do. Cold, you get mostly aroma up front but warmer, I feel you get a truer sense of what ingredients you are using.

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