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Thread: What gives beer it's "mouth fullness" and other general beer questions.

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    Default What gives beer it's "mouth fullness" and other general beer questions.

    Found some mead recipes here with hops in it. So figured I would try it. Just need a bit more info. Is there a diff between hop pellets and leaves? Potency? What is the diff between boiling hops vs "dry hoping". How long do you leave hops in the must? What's a average range of amount of hops per gallon?
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJeff View Post
    Found some mead recipes here with hops in it. So figured I would try it. Just need a bit more info. Is there a diff between hop pellets and leaves? Potency? What is the diff between boiling hops vs "dry hoping". How long do you leave hops in the must? What's a average range of amount of hops per gallon?
    Beer uses grains that are mashed (held at a hot water temperature that converts starch to fermentable sugar). The final gravities of beer really help with the body. Final gravities of a "dry beer" would be around 1.010. That's bordering the medium range of a mead. But a normal beer may finish between 1.015 and 1.020 without being sweet like a mead at that gravity.

    Pellets or flowers : They are the same hops, but pellets are ground and crushed into pellet form. It's really an oppinion. Pellets do dissolve in easier and will settle out. Flower (whole) hops are the entire cone and take a bit longer to extract, but they are the same hops.

    Boiling hops: Boiling hops is a whole ball game. Adding them during different times determines what the hops contribute. Longer boils 30 minutes and beyond, all of the aromatics and flavors are driven off for the most part. 10-25 minutes it will contribute hop flavor and some bitterness. Hops added under 10 minutes will contribute mostly aroma. Dry hopping is an aroma booster.

    Now that sweetness of a mead at 1.020 is because in a 1.020 beer there are bitter hops to knock that sweetness down. But when you add bitter hops to something as dry as a mead will be, it can be overpowering. It's not something I've played with yet, but if you use the search I'm sure theres plenty of mead logs using hops and you can see how theirs came out as well as their recipes.
    Hope that answered your questions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Blue View Post
    Beer uses grains that are mashed (held at a hot water temperature that converts starch to fermentable sugar). The final gravities of beer really help with the body. Final gravities of a "dry beer" would be around 1.010. That's bordering the medium range of a mead. But a normal beer may finish between 1.015 and 1.020 without being sweet like a mead at that gravity.

    Pellets or flowers : They are the same hops, but pellets are ground and crushed into pellet form. It's really an oppinion. Pellets do dissolve in easier and will settle out. Flower (whole) hops are the entire cone and take a bit longer to extract, but they are the same hops.

    Boiling hops: Boiling hops is a whole ball game. Adding them during different times determines what the hops contribute. Longer boils 30 minutes and beyond, all of the aromatics and flavors are driven off for the most part. 10-25 minutes it will contribute hop flavor and some bitterness. Hops added under 10 minutes will contribute mostly aroma. Dry hopping is an aroma booster.

    Now that sweetness of a mead at 1.020 is because in a 1.020 beer there are bitter hops to knock that sweetness down. But when you add bitter hops to something as dry as a mead will be, it can be overpowering. It's not something I've played with yet, but if you use the search I'm sure theres plenty of mead logs using hops and you can see how theirs came out as well as their recipes.
    Hope that answered your questions.
    This was a perfect answer tyvm. jsut what i was looking for. Just one additional question. i assume you use the water you boil the hops in as your base liquid?

    EDIT: also if it was a 2 gallon batch would you boil hops in the whole 2 gallons?
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    one more question how long do you leave hops in? Could i add it at the start of the ferm and rack at a month like i normally do or would that be too long?
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJeff View Post
    one more question how long do you leave hops in? Could i add it at the start of the ferm and rack at a month like i normally do or would that be too long?
    Dry hops in beer are best removed after around a week at most. More than this and you risk getting a grassy flavor that has never been described as a positive thing by anyone I know.

    Regarding the boiling question, there's a limit to how much hop bitterness you can get into water/wort/must. I don't remember the actual number, but the limit might be in the 100 IBU range. Since that's way way more than what you are going to want to try with a mead you would in principle have the option of boiling your hops in a smaller quantity of water and then adding that to your must. (I believe an acid environment helps with hop extraction because I think I've heard that before, though I can't vouch for it. If so, you'd probably be well served by putting a little honey in the water too.) I've never seen this mentioned, but I'd imagine that 100 IBUs in 1 liter would equate to 10 IBUs in 10 liters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuri View Post
    Dry hops in beer are best removed after around a week at most. More than this and you risk getting a grassy flavor that has never been described as a positive thing by anyone I know.

    Regarding the boiling question, there's a limit to how much hop bitterness you can get into water/wort/must. I don't remember the actual number, but the limit might be in the 100 IBU range. Since that's way way more than what you are going to want to try with a mead you would in principle have the option of boiling your hops in a smaller quantity of water and then adding that to your must. (I believe an acid environment helps with hop extraction because I think I've heard that before, though I can't vouch for it. If so, you'd probably be well served by putting a little honey in the water too.) I've never seen this mentioned, but I'd imagine that 100 IBUs in 1 liter would equate to 10 IBUs in 10 liters.

    hmm looks like i need to research this a bit more
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJeff View Post
    hmm looks like i need to research this a bit more
    I have just started to use hops (dry and boiled) in meads and hard cider so my knowledge is still far less than skimpy but I think the alpha number gives you an idea of the maximum IBUs that you can extract from any hop. I think beer makers don't boil hops for more than an hour and that extracts the most bitterness (because allows for the most isomerization of the hops). There is a balance between the bitterness and the flavors.
    What I have done is boil the hops in the water I will later use to dilute the honey. I am not sure whether the water needs to be treated in any way to help isomerize the hops. Beer makers certainly don't boil their hops in water, but I don't know if the water needs to have a low pH or whether regular spring water with a pH of about 7 is OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Blue View Post
    Beer uses grains that are mashed (held at a hot water temperature that converts starch to fermentable sugar). The final gravities of beer really help with the body. Final gravities of a "dry beer" would be around 1.010. That's bordering the medium range of a mead. But a normal beer may finish between 1.015 and 1.020 without being sweet like a mead at that gravity.
    I've had a lot of beers attenuate down to 1.003-1.000, sometimes to .998 or so, sometimes lower with amylase added. The real mouth-feel of beer comes from residual sugar, yes, but there's also lots of dextrines from the malt as well as carbonation being a pretty huge factor.

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    McJeff-

    There are quite a few different things that give beer it’s mouth feel. Proteins, Alcohol content, amount of carbonation, etc… but the thing that will most contribute to the beer’s mouth feel, whether it is a crisp, clean pilsner or a thick, viscous stout is the quantity of unfermented sugars left after fermentation is “complete”. You see, often beer yeast will “poop out” and not consume all of the fermentable sugars. Other times, there are sugars that the yeast just can’t consume, like lactose or Maltodextrin. These leftover sugars (some taste sweet, some do not) can make the beer feel “heavier on the tongue” or thicker or more viscous.

    Pellets vs Whole hops-
    Here is what I have found. Pellets typically store better (last longer all things being equal). They add less “vegetable matter’ to your wort (which can be a good or bad thing depending on your beer style). They also settle out faster in the kettle and the fermenter, and are generally less of a PITA when siphoning (don’t clog your tubing).
    Whole hops when fresh I think add a more complex flavor and aroma profile. They are also useful for mash hopping (adding hops to the mash) and help with lautering in the grain bed- although no many people do this. Also, whole hops take up more space to store and in the kettle. They also absorb more water in the boil kettle so you need to adjust the volume accordingly.
    As far potency- the Alpha Acid (AA) content should be printed on the package. All else being equal, if the AA content is the same, then you can use either one ounce for ounce/ gram for gram.

    When you boil hops a lot of things go on, but most importantly, you isomerize the AA in the hops- that is, in lay terms, you make them bitter. The longer that you boil a hop the more bitterness that you extract (to a point). The amount of potential bitterness is affected by the gravity of the wort- all things equal, the higher the SG of the wort, the less bittering that you get per ounce of hops. Dry hopping only adds flavor and aroma.

    Length of time in the wort (or must) is dependent on how much bittering/ flavor/ aroma you desire. There are many calculators available online that can assist you- just google “IBU Calculator”. For dryhopping one week is typical- two weeks max.

    Average hops per gallon will vary greatly. For my Oktoberfest, I only use 0.3 oz/ gal of a low AA hop for a total of about 25 IBU’s. For a double IPA I use over 2 oz/gal for around 100 IBU’s. It all depends what you are going for. Keep in mind that IBU “feel” in beer don’t exactly translate to IBU’s in mead… there is a lot of other “stuff” in beer that can make the bitterness more or less intense.

    IBU Calculator:
    http://www.brewersfriend.com/ibu-calculator/


    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Robusto; 01-06-2014 at 02:17 PM.

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    Also, pH plays a huge role in the quality of the bitterness. If you make 2 beers, same recipe and everything but one has a mash pH ~5.4 and the other ~5.8, the higher pH beer will be far more bitter, and it will be a harsher bitterness. If your going to boil the hops, I'd add some honey to bring the pH down below 5.5 or add lactic, but honey can work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    I have just started to use hops (dry and boiled) in meads and hard cider so my knowledge is still far less than skimpy but I think the alpha number gives you an idea of the maximum IBUs that you can extract from any hop. I think beer makers don't boil hops for more than an hour and that extracts the most bitterness (because allows for the most isomerization of the hops). There is a balance between the bitterness and the flavors.
    What I have done is boil the hops in the water I will later use to dilute the honey. I am not sure whether the water needs to be treated in any way to help isomerize the hops. Beer makers certainly don't boil their hops in water, but I don't know if the water needs to have a low pH or whether regular spring water with a pH of about 7 is OK
    I actually found a thread of yours i found pretty interesting and helpful. how much water do you boil in? 50%, 25% of what you are goin to use?
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    awesome answers guys tyvm! i think im just goin to buy some hops and try it. whats the worst that can happen :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJeff View Post
    I actually found a thread of yours i found pretty interesting and helpful. how much water do you boil in? 50%, 25% of what you are goin to use?
    Thanks for the feedback, McJeff (about your interest and the possible usefulness of the post) - much appreciated. I use 100 percent of the water I intend to use... BUT, if I boil for an hour (albeit with lid on the boiler) I lose some of the water as steam, so I am prepared to add more water to make up for the loss, but I don't boil the hops in less water than I intend to use because I am not certain of the chemistry involved.

    In other words, if the alpha content of hop A is say 7.5 and I use only 1/2 a gallon of water or less to boil them in will the concentration of oils and acids result in the isomerization stopping at 3 due to some kind of saturation- where the water is unable to do any more work? I simply do not know. My ignorance.. (Can you obtain the full level of bitterness in an hour by boiling the hops in a pint of liquid or do you need to use a gallon for every ounce of hops? )

    I assume that the addition of more water DOES dilute the bitterness... and that is OK. I am not trying to make a beer or a British bitter... I just like the idea of hopping mead and hopping hard cider.

    I have made beer about twice in my life and I have never studied hops or hopping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, McJeff (about your interest and the possible usefulness of the post) - much appreciated. I use 100 percent of the water I intend to use... BUT, if I boil for an hour (albeit with lid on the boiler) I lose some of the water as steam, so I am prepared to add more water to make up for the loss, but I don't boil the hops in less water than I intend to use because I am not certain of the chemistry involved.

    In other words, if the alpha content of hop A is say 7.5 and I use only 1/2 a gallon of water or less to boil them in will the concentration of oils and acids result in the isomerization stopping at 3 due to some kind of saturation- where the water is unable to do any more work? I simply do not know. My ignorance.. (Can you obtain the full level of bitterness in an hour by boiling the hops in a pint of liquid or do you need to use a gallon for every ounce of hops? )

    I assume that the addition of more water DOES dilute the bitterness... and that is OK. I am not trying to make a beer or a British bitter... I just like the idea of hopping mead and hopping hard cider.

    I have made beer about twice in my life and I have never studied hops or hopping.
    we are totally on the same page and i just goin to dive in and do it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RachmaelBenApplebaum View Post
    I've had a lot of beers attenuate down to 1.003-1.000, sometimes to .998 or so, sometimes lower with amylase added. The real mouth-feel of beer comes from residual sugar, yes, but there's also lots of dextrines from the malt as well as carbonation being a pretty huge factor.
    Yeah but the mouthfeel from sugar/dextrines and carbonation are two different things.
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    One word of caution about using hops. They are sensitive to UV light. So you will have to ferment, age and bottle out of the light. Otherwise, the hops will skunk.

    EDIT: This only applies to hops that have been boiled and gone through the isomerization process. Dry hops should be fine.

    EDIT #2: Dry hopping is usually low alpha acid hops used mainly for aroma. They will overpower any of the delicate characteristics you will get from the honey or fruits.
    Last edited by BigBossMan; 01-07-2014 at 06:53 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBossMan View Post
    One word of caution about using hops. They are sensitive to UV light. So you will have to ferment, age and bottle out of the light. Otherwise, the hops will skunk.

    EDIT: This only applies to hops that have been boiled and gone through the isomerization process. Dry hops should be fine.

    EDIT #2: Dry hopping is usually low alpha acid hops used mainly for aroma. They will overpower any of the delicate characteristics you will get from the honey or fruits.

    well crap i totally would have not covered it up either
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJeff View Post
    well crap i totally would have not covered it up either
    Don't get discouraged. The skunking concern only applies to boiled hops.

    Are you looking to make a braggot?

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    My dry-hopped pumpkin hydromel didn't go skunky despite being in the front of the aging shelf and getting the most light... and there was also no hint of the vegetal flavours people have complained about. But for that second bit, I might just have been lucky.

    Thanks for the reminder about boiled hops and light though, I will need to remember to put a cover on the pumpkin ale when I rack it to a glass carboy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBossMan View Post
    Don't get discouraged. The skunking concern only applies to boiled hops.

    Are you looking to make a braggot?

    not really sure what im making. was goin to do a normal mead recipe with boiled hops in it and see what comes of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
    If someone else doesn't think it's right, then ***k 'em. They can make their own.

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