Beeriments – Hop Schedules

This Beeriment has been knocking around in my head for a while. The idea is fairly simple, it has to do with hop schedules and all the different ideas on hopping. The traditional hop schedule with 60 minutes bitter, 20 minutes flavor, and 5 minutes aroma has been challenged with first wort hopping, hop bursting, and whirlpool hopping. We’ve all read about the differences in these hopping techniques and tasted beer either commercial or homebrew that use these techniques. But what about first hand knowledge of exactly the impact your hop schedule has on a beer? That is my goal with this experiment.

Goal: Taste different hop additions in the same beer.

Planned Procedure: Mash for 12 gallons of beer (final volume), and split into six 2 gallon batches. Hop each batch differently with the following schedules.
First Wort Hop
60 minute hop
20 minute hop
5 minute hope
whirlpool hop
Then brew one batch with the traditional 60/20/5 hop schedule.

Ferment all in the same chamber with the same yeast for the same amount of time. Then bottle and age the same. Then sample together, starting with the traditional schedule as the base then working from the bottom of the list, whirlpool hop up, to the first wort hop.

First I started with a SMaSH beer recipe for 12 gallons and fiddled around with the hops to get even quantities for 6, 2 gallon batches for ease of ingredient ordering. A SMaSH beer is Single Malt and Single Hop. I figured this style would work great for this experiment. I chose Vienna malt and German Tradition Hops. The Vienna has a little complexity to it to make the base beer tasty but not dominant. The Tradition Hops are dual purpose and aren’t overpowering either. I didn’t want something like a Citra that would take over. I chose a fairly clean, very reliable yeast in the Nottingham dry yeast. I will ferment on the low side, say 62F to keep it clean.

The Base Beer Idea:
Type: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 12.00 gal
Boil Size: 14.00 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: 15 Gallon Brewing System
End of Boil Volume 2.00 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 82.00 %

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
18 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 88.9 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.2 %
1 lbs Caraamber (30.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.9 %
2.00 oz Tradition [6.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 20.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Tradition [6.00 %] – Boil 20.0 min Hop 5 12.1 IBUs
2.00 oz Tradition [6.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 6 4.0 IBUs
2.0 pkg Nottingham Yeast (Lallemand #-) [23.66 ml]

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.051 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.2 %
Bitterness: 36.1 IBUs
Est Color: 5.8 SRM

Brew Day

1. Mash for 24 gallons of wort.
2. Remove 4 gallons of wort and add 1 oz hops immediately, then normal boil process, cool immediately.
3. Remove 4 gallons of wort, bring to boil, and add 1 oz hops for 60 minutes, then normal boil process, cool immediately, transfer to carboy.
4. Remove 4 gallons of wort, bring to boil, and add 1 oz hops with 20 minutes left, then normal boil process, cool immediately, transfer to carboy.
5. Remove 4 gallons of wort, bring to boil, and add 1 oz hops with 5 minutes left, then normal boil process, cool immediately, transfer to carboy.
6. Remove 4 gallons of wort, bring to boil, boil for 60 minutes, and add 1 oz hops at flameout, let site for 20 minutes then chill, transfer to carboy.
7. Bring remaining 4 gallons of wort to boil, add 1/3 oz hops for 60 minutes, add 1/3 oz hops for 20 minutes, add 1/3 oz hops for 5 minutes, cool immediately, transfer to carboy.
8. Ferment at 62F.
9. Bottle.
10. Age.
12. Sample

Potential Snares
I do full volume, BIAB mashing. 4 gallons x 6 batches = 24 gallons of water. Way over my kettle volume for full water volume mash. I may take half my water volume then dilute down. So shoot for 12 gallons out of mash, split into 2 gallon batches and add 2 gallons to each batch.

Boil-off on small volumes. I haven’t done small volumes like this so will I get 2 gallons an hour boil-off? More? less?

I chose to keep the hop amounts constant because I am looking at what the hops at each time point in the process do. I could do weighted additions in an attempt to keep IBUs the same for them, but the quantities would be unrealistic.

Time. This is an ambitious brew day. It would be really good to do this with another brewer side by side and split the 2 gallon batches into single gallon batches each. Use wine jugs for fermenters. They would fit in the chamber better. I chose 2 gallons because I felt 1 gallon batches may be a little low on the boil volume for my comfort. I could scale everything in half and move indoors to the stove if I wanted to do the 1 gallon batches. I may do this.

Have I chosen a decent hop/malt combination for this? Would there be a better combination?

It was difficult to balance all the different schedules. To get a 60 minute hop amount that doesn’t blow you out of the water while still getting enough from the same amount in a 0 minute addition was difficult. There may be too much of an extreme between these all. But I guess that is part of what I could learn with this.

Anyone want to weigh in with ideas?

The batches, by the numbers.

5 Minutes
Bitterness: 14.1 IBUs

20 Minutes
Bitterness: 42.8 IBUs

60 Minutes
Bitterness: 70.7 IBUs

First Wort Hop
Bitterness: 77.7 IBUs

Whirlpool Hop
Bitterness: 35.1 IBUs
(Note, I estimated bitterness by moving to 15 minutes of boil in the calculations)

Bitterness: 42.1 IBUs

Feel free to weigh in with ideas.

4 responses to this post.

  1. I do 2.5 and three gallon batches all of the time. I like doing them for a couple of reasons:1-I was stuck in an apartment for a while, and I learned that a five gallon carboy fits perfectly in my dorm style beer fridge (it means I can’t have cold beer on tap, though). I’ve also learned that I can fit a three gallon carboy next to a corney in said fridge. 2-You can ferment in corneys (smaller footprint than a carboy)3- It’s a great way to try out a new hop, grain, yeast, etc.To be honest, I’ve always questioned advice given to new brewers with smaller kettles about performing a condensed boil and topping it up with water to get your five gallons (extract or all grain). My advice has always to the biggest full boil you can and brew the best beer you can.I don’t completely disagree with the advice given above. You are doing the same amount of work for half of the beer (hell, that’s why I brew 10-12 gallon batches whenever I get a chance), but I think that the quality of your beers would be greater, and you would start getting all grain brewing experience earlier if you stick to the smaller brews.No matter what you decide to do…brew strong!Just my two cents.


  2. My dilution above is preboil. BIAB typically uses full preboil water volume (plus absorption) in the mash. It’s the mash I can’t fit in my kettle with all the water.

    I agree, it would be better for new brewers to move to smaller batch all grain batches and focus their efforts and money in other directions such as fermentation temperature control.


  3. Posted by ewut on July 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    How did this turn out?


  4. Sadly, time and money have been against me and I haven’t done this. I’d really like to try this one with 1 or more other people to spread the work out a bit and have a couple burners to shrink the big brew day a bit.


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