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RE: [Grow-Hops] alpha acid

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  • robert krieger
    I ve always used the mid-point for a given alpha window when computing IBU s of the varieties I don t have alpha tested. With the batch sizes we are
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 1, 2007
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      I've always used the mid-point for a given alpha "window" when computing IBU's of the varieties I don't have alpha tested.  With the batch sizes we are homebrewing an IBU either way is undetectable unless you have a tongue like a dog!
      The article about home computing IBU's from Zymurgy mentioned a few posts back, was 10 years old and consequently the cost has gone up. Shopping around, about $35 dollars is a good price now.  Siebel in Chicago wants $150 for an alpha and beta test.  A lab locally, (Grand Rapids, MI) wanted $50 for alpha test only.  HopUnion in Yakima does my testing for alpha, beta and HSI. 
      As far as bitterness seeming low for home grown hops, an over abundance of nitrogen will lower alpha levels.  As home growers, we all have at least some gardening/growing experience or knowledge and know that nitrogen makes plants grow and look good!  Our tendency then is to pour on the nitrogen since we want big hop plants. Yes, you can see the nitrogen working. Lots of fertilizer makes those plants grow!  Nitrogen will make a good looking, vigerous growing hop plant, but if you want a higher alpha hop, go easy on the nitrogen. 

      Dave Witt <hammr5000@...> wrote:
      John,

      I don't test for alpha, but use the general alpha acid range for the variety
      I'm using when planning a recipe. I mostly just use them for flavor and
      aroma, but have used them for bittering also. You could have the aa tested
      by a lab, but that may cost as much as several lbs of hops. The only way to
      really get an idea is to brew a batch with the alpha figured for a certain
      ibu level and then taste it. In my experience, the bitterness always seems
      to come out a little on the low side.

      Dave W.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Grow-Hops@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Grow-Hops@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of john saller
      Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:38 AM
      To: Grow-Hops@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Grow-Hops] alpha acid

      Several minutes of internet research didn't help me figure out how to test
      the alpha acid of my hops. Last year (my first year) my hops sat in the
      freezer for a few months, helped infuse a little bit of vodka and make a
      little bit of tea, and then got thrown away because I didn't want to use
      them in my beer because I had no idea how bitter they were. Do you guys test

      your alpha acid levels? If so, how?

      Thanks a lot.

      John

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