Recipes : Blending for More Flavor

My session at  Homebrew Con this year was on Beer Blending Tip & Techniques. It covered a wide array of information on beer blending including new information coming out of technical articles and seminars given at World Brewing Congress by members of the Master Brewers Association of America (MBAA) and the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC.)

Flavor and sensory have become the driving forces in beer research. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been that way for a long time, but now we’re understanding much more about beer flavor compounds and how to quantify them. Blending is one of the oldest techniques in brewing used to dial in flavors that go above and beyond in beer. My goal at Homebrew Con was to show homebrewers why it should be a technique to always consider when brewing.

One of the more intriguing findings is the synergistic qualities of ingredients, especially hops.  Can two ounces of hops taste like four ounces of hops?  In other words, can 1+1=4 on the flavor or aroma scale?  Research and sensory analysis say yes. Once biotransformation (mash, boil, fermentation…) is complete, the flavor in a beer is more stable – it is what it is, minus the effects of maturation. Through this process, especially fermentation, hop and malt flavors change, and yeast becomes a driving force of flavor.  One of the biggest flavor changes you can make at this point is blending.

Research has shown that similar hop oils, when combined, can create an intensified flavor. So, if two different hops contain similar flavored oils (say geraniol) and acids (say, geranic acid) the flavors can compound into something much greater.

Here’s a couple recipes you can blend to see the above hop synergies in action. Experiment with ratios, 60% of one, 40% of the other, maybe 90% of one… just do it in small quantities right out of your fermenter.  Experimentation is what will get you familiar with blending and flavor.

The Sum is Greater Chinook IPA

  • Style: American IPA
  • Batch Size: 5 gallons
  • Recipe Type: All Grain

Ingredients

  • 12 lbs—Brewers Malt
  • 1 lb—Caramel 10L Malt
  • 1 oz—Cluster Hops (7% AAU)—60 minutes, full boil
  • 1 oz—Chinook Hops (13% AAU)—last 30 minutes
  • 1 oz—Chinook Hops (13% AAU)—last 10 minutes
  • 2 oz—Chinook Hops (13% AAU)—dry hop, 5 days in secondary fermenter
  • 2 packs—Fermentis Safale S-04 Ale Yeast

Procedures

  • Bring 3.9 gallons of water to 168ºF.
  • Add to mash tun with crushed grains, mix together, and hold at 154ºF for 1 hour.
  • Heat 4.4 gallons of 180ºF sparge water in a kettle.  Add to mash tun and sparge.
  • Collect 6.3 gallons in kettle and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add bittering hops, 1oz of Cluster hops.
  • After 30 minutes, add 1oz Chinook hops.
  • 20 minutes later, add 1oz Chinook hops.
  • After 10 more minutes, turn off heat.
  • Remove from heat and cool to 70ºF.
  • Transfer to primary fermenter.
  • Pitch two packs of S-04 yeast.

Fermentation

  • Primary Fermentation: 10 days at 70ºF-72ºF
  • Secondary Fermentation: Add 2oz Chinook hops, and ferment for 5 days at 62ºF-68ºF.
  • Fermentation Notes: Blend with The Sum is Greater Centennial IPA.  Force carbonate, or bottle condition with ¾ cup priming sugar for 3-4 weeks.

Stats

  • Original Gravity: 1.065
  • Final Gravity: 1.014
  • ABV: 6.7%
  • IBU: 66

___

The Sum is Greater Centennial IPA

  • Style: American IPA
  • Batch Size: 5 gallons
  • Recipe Type: All Grain

Ingredients

  • 12 lbs—Pale Ale Malt
  • 1 lb—Caramel 20L Malt
  • 1 oz—Galena Hops (13% AAU)—60 minutes, full boil
  • 1 oz—Centennial Hops (10% AAU)—last 30 minutes
  • 1 oz—Centennial Hops (10% AAU)—last 10 minutes
  • 2 oz—Centennial Hops (10% AAU)—dry hop, 5 days in secondary fermenter
  • 2 packs—Fermentis Safale US-05 Ale Yeast

Procedures

  • Bring 3.9 gallons of water to 168ºF.
  • Add to the mash tun with crushed grains, mix together, and hold at 154ºF for 1 hour.
  • Heat 4.4 gallons of 180ºF sparge water in a kettle.  Add to the mash tun and sparge.
  • Collect 6.3 gallons in a kettle and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add bittering hops, 1oz of Galena hops.
  • After 30 minutes, add 1oz Centennial hops.
  • 20 minutes later, add 1oz Centennial hops.
  • After 10 more minutes, turn off heat.
  • Remove from heat and cool to 70ºF.
  • Transfer to primary fermenter.
  • Pitch two packs of US-05 yeast.

Fermentation

  • Primary Fermentation: 10 days at 70ºF-72ºF
  • Secondary Fermentation: Add 2oz Centennial hops, and ferment for 5 days at 62ºF-68ºF.
  • Fermentation Notes: Blend with The Sum is Greater Chinook IPA.  Force carbonate, or bottle condition with ¾ cup priming sugar for 3-4 weeks.

Stats

  • Original Gravity: 1.065
  • Final Gravity: 1.014
  • ABV: 6.6%
  • IBU: 76

___

 

Cheers!

Aaron

 

Posted in Homebrewing, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , .
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