Hop Steeping - a debate

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Skittlebrau

Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by Skittlebrau » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:31 am

Hi all. After a discussion sparked off here, I thought it might be an idea to give it its own thread. So what does everyone think about hop steeping at the end of the boil (and I suppose dry hopping also relates to this)?

I've done 7 AG brews now (the mash for the eighth is on as we speak - brewday post later) and have always followed the "Chill to 80 C, steep at that temperature for 40-60 mins, then chill" approach, as that is what I had read about on here/been advised. I've always been happy with the results. However, it's clear that not everyone thinks this is the best way.

Capn Ahab reckons you should chuck the hops in and chill down as fast as possible, and I've seen others saying that you should steep at 50 C (which seems like a massive infection risk to me).

Got an opinion? Set your stall out here!

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oz11
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Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by oz11 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:07 am

Protzie here states: "The hops in Landlord are used in a most unusual way. In most breweries, a mash of malt and water creates fermentable sugar. The sweet extract is boiled vigorously with hops, which add both bitterness and aroma. The hopped extract is cooled and heads for the fermenting vessels where yeast turns the sugars into alcohol.

It’s a bit different where Landlord is concerned. English Fuggles and Goldings hops are packed in the copper boil for bitterness but, prior to fermentation, the extract or hopped wort lies for several days on a deep bed of Styrian Goldings, where it picks up an exquisite floral and citrus aroma."

I know he's always reliably accurate ( ;) ). Unfortunately he doesn't mention whether the wort is cooled before the steep, or left to cool naturally.

Capn Ahab

Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by Capn Ahab » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:22 am

oz11 wrote:Protzie here states: "The hops in Landlord are used in a most unusual way. In most breweries, a mash of malt and water creates fermentable sugar. The sweet extract is boiled vigorously with hops, which add both bitterness and aroma. The hopped extract is cooled and heads for the fermenting vessels where yeast turns the sugars into alcohol.

It’s a bit different where Landlord is concerned. English Fuggles and Goldings hops are packed in the copper boil for bitterness but, prior to fermentation, the extract or hopped wort lies for several days on a deep bed of Styrian Goldings, where it picks up an exquisite floral and citrus aroma."

I know he's always reliably accurate ( ;) ). Unfortunately he doesn't mention whether the wort is cooled before the steep, or left to cool naturally.
Interesting! Given that it steeps for a few days, I'd guess the wort is cool. Sounds like pre-fermentation dry-hopping! It would require the most scrupulous sanitation regime though, cos as soon as the wort is cool it's at risk of any old wild bug getting in. My guess is that Tim Taylors do it in a closed system.

Uh oh... Going off topic again...

critch

Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by critch » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:09 pm

trouble with roger protz is he doesn't actually know how to brew....

ok landlords's "laid on a bed of hops"....,wouldnt the extra volatile aromatics blow off with a vigourous ferment? Apart from the already stated wild bugs reason(and yes i realise hops possess antiseptic qualities), isnt that why you dry hop after ferment has subsided?.....

i steep hops in a lot of my brews, ive had damn good results from the process, not to mention quite a few1st places at beer festivals....,bear in mind that youll pick up some bitterness in an hours steep, one of my brews has about 3 ibu's in at 90(to keep the foam down) then a gert big load in at just before flameout, its steeped for an hour including circing & sterilising my exchanger, its got a good bitterness (these are fairly high alpha hops though)
and damn fine floral/tropical fruit aroma and taste

graham wheeler put up a post boil utilisation chart here a while ago, cant find it now unfortunately,though lucky for me ive got a hard copy on the wall :D

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oz11
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Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by oz11 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:24 pm

critch wrote:trouble with roger protz is he doesn't actually know how to brew....

ok landlords's "laid on a bed of hops"....,wouldnt the extra volatile aromatics blow off with a vigourous ferment? Apart from the already stated wild bugs reason(and yes i realise hops possess antiseptic qualities), isnt that why you dry hop after ferment has subsided?.....
Feck me...he's surely been to enough breweries to have picked up the general idea #-o
critch wrote:i steep hops in a lot of my brews, ive had damn good results from the process, not to mention quite a few1st places at beer festivals....,bear in mind that youll pick up some bitterness in an hours steep, one of my brews has about 3 ibu's in at 90(to keep the foam down) then a gert big load in at just before flameout, its steeped for an hour including circing & sterilising my exchanger, its got a good bitterness (these are fairly high alpha hops though)
and damn fine floral/tropical fruit aroma and taste
Thanks for the info :beer:

Skittlebrau

Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by Skittlebrau » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:41 pm

I'm going to try Capn Ahab's way with today's brew...

Scooby

Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by Scooby » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:58 pm

oz11 wrote:
critch wrote:trouble with roger protz is he doesn't actually know how to brew....
Well said...... I don't know why he's held in such high esteem.

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Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by subfaction » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:08 pm

I'm keen to know the best way for steeping, i tend to bring wort down to 80c with my ic, steep for 20mins then turn the ic back on to cool ready for transfer to fv. Not sure where I picked that up from though or if it makes sense or not, keen to learn though :)

Andy Dean

Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by Andy Dean » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:37 pm

Interesting discussion! I have to admit I've always added post boil hops and started chilling straight away, I've never heard of the 80 degree steep method.

critch

Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by critch » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:50 pm

oz11 wrote: Feck me...he's surely been to enough breweries to have picked up the general idea #-o
i hang around with world class engineers and custom spraypainters, doesn't mean my machining or sprayings much cop.... :lol:

Capn Ahab

Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by Capn Ahab » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:55 pm

As long as your wort is hot, your volatiles are disappearing into the air. Meaning you're losing all the subtle aromas and flavours.
Andy Dean wrote:I've never heard of the 80 degree steep method.
It's a common mistake among British homebrewers (don't think it's common anywhere else) perpetuated in no small part by forums such as this one. I'm not saying that it gives no aroma or flavour whatsoever, but that it gives far inferior aroma and flavour than chilling down as fast as possible. Logic and experience bear this out, so why on earth would anyone use this technique?

Also worth thinking about whether any of the best commercials out there do it. I'd say, no.

Scooby

Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by Scooby » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:35 pm

Capn Ahab wrote: It's a common mistake among British homebrewers (don't think it's common anywhere else) perpetuated in no small part by forums such as this one.
It's common 'mistake' in the US as well then Click and it seems he picked it up from commercial brewers so he can't have been lurking on Jim's.

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Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by far9410 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:45 pm

I normally steep hops just after knocking off the boil, then stand for about 10 mins before starting cooler, they probably get about an hour, I would have thought that dry hopping would give all the properties required from adding to cold wort only. (if that makes sense)
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Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by trucker5774 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:55 pm

I tend to use little or no early bittering hops. Most of mine go in about 20 mins ans 5 mins with a big hit steeped. My steep hops go in either 10 mins or so after the boiler is turned off or I run the chiller for a few seconds to drop it to 70c to 80C (or thereabouts) they steep for about an hour then the chiller goes on for the last 20 to 30 mins. That means the hops have been in for about 90 mins. I do a lot of that style of beer with big citrus notes. It has worked well for my in my current format.
John

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Re: Hop Steeping - a debate

Post by gregorach » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:05 pm

Capn Ahab wrote:As long as your wort is hot, your volatiles are disappearing into the air. Meaning you're losing all the subtle aromas and flavours.
Andy Dean wrote:I've never heard of the 80 degree steep method.
It's a common mistake among British homebrewers (don't think it's common anywhere else) perpetuated in no small part by forums such as this one. I'm not saying that it gives no aroma or flavour whatsoever, but that it gives far inferior aroma and flavour than chilling down as fast as possible. Logic and experience bear this out, so why on earth would anyone use this technique?
Funny, because I've been struggling to recreate the levels of aroma I used to get from an 80 degree steep after moving to using an in-line hopback before the plate chiller... If what you say is true, then the hopback should be giving me better aroma (and indeed, that's exactly what I had hoped for) but so far that doesn't seem to have been the result. My latest attempt (still in the FV) involved allowing the wort to cool to 80 degrees before starting the run-off through the hopback... I'm awaiting the results with bated breath.
Cheers

Dunc

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