Batch #3: Preparations

I went to the homebrew shop the other day with my recipe for the Dark Wheat beer. The owner actually really liked it, but we made a couple changes. We went with all DME instead of dark LME and I switched the light DME to wheat DME. We also changed the dark wheat malt to a chocolate wheat malt and went with 3 oz instead of 4.

Now the cascade hops I got were higher in alpha acids than the what I calculated when I created the recipe (7.3% as opposed to 5.5%). When I re-calculated the recipe I ended up with a more bitter beer. I was originally going to add an ounce at the start of the boil and an ounce at 30 min. I did some playing around and decided I’m going to add half an ounce at the start of the boil and half an ounce every 15 min from then. It drops the IBU’s about 5 points when I do that (the wife doesn’t like hoppy beers).

I’m wondering if it’s ok to do the hops like this or if I should do a full ounce at the start and then half ounce at 30 min and 45 min.

I’m actually going to be quite proud of myself if this comes out as good as I hope. It’s the first recipe I made pretty much entirely on my own.

3 thoughts on “Batch #3: Preparations”

  1. Cascades must be running high this year…all mine have been 7.4% as well.

    The longer you boil, the more bitterness (and less flavor/aroma) you’re going to extract from the hop. Late additions (30/15 min) contribute more flavor/aroma since the hop oils don’t have as much time to boil off.

    So, if your main goal is to cut the bitterness, trim amounts from the longer boiling hops. Cutting the hops in your late additions will reduce some bitterness, but the hop character (flavor and aroma) can also take a big hit.

    Another way of looking at it is 5.5/7.3 = 0.753, so if you just cut all your cascade additions by 25%, you’ll get (theoretically) the same results as you would by using 5.5% aa cascade.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Yeah, the problem is, I can’t buy hops in half ounce increments. I’ll use the whole 2 ounces, I’ll just add them as I planned at 60, 45, 30, and 15 minutes in half ounce increments.

  3. Ah, you don’t have a freezer full of partial bags of hops yet? Don’t worry, you will eventually. 🙂

    And then you can have the joy of making a “kitchen sink” beer. Fun stuff.

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