Ah, those famous bittering hops.  The high AA ones!   Often overlooked, myself included.

Previously I thought these wouldn’t matter much.  But once I did a high IBU boil with one addition of Mittelfrüh for 80 minutes and the result was underwhelming.  Later, I did that with Saaz.  Very long boil but I wasn’t happy with the result (ohers were, but that’s another story…).

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Not sure whether this is just a temporary fad of mine or a new direction, but I increasingly notice that it is not a great idea to boil hops for too long, especially the “noble” aroma hops like Mittelfrüh or Saaz.   Not in a substantial amount anyways….  It’s not the isomerisation that worries me here (i.e. yield) but the flavour impact…

I do long boils though (at least 90 minutes, often 120 minutes).   So I split the bittering hops into two additions but not longer than 60 minutes boil for the first addition.  Then loads of aroma at the end.  With German hops this works really well in delicate beers!  Too long a boil and the flavour becomes too grassy….

What’s your experience?

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