#7: Cat Pee and Old Lady Perfume

Hops bring flavor and aroma to our favorite beverage; this week we focus on Aroma.  Are you interested in how foam and mouthfeel influence what you smell?  Do you want to be able to identify the 5 classes of hop aroma?  Do you think that “linalool” and “thiols” are just words that James made up to sound smart or could they really be a part of beer formulation?  Answers to these questions and more await you on this week’s show!

2 thoughts on “#7: Cat Pee and Old Lady Perfume

  1. Hi James and Greg.
    great podcasts here. James you have already helped my hop growing venture heaps in aus. Can you explain in more detail the science of hopping rates and scheduling with regard to whole flowers being used in commercial brews. my brewer hates grassy notes and dry hops too much.
    I love the punchy fruity notes with fresh hops wet or dried.

  2. John,
    If I understand correctly you’re asking about whole hop cone usage and if there are any special considerations when using them. Additionally what are the aroma impacts of whole hops wet or dry?

    That’s probably more than I can answer in this format but Gregg and I can dedicate an episode to cover in more detail. In general there is little to no difference between pellet and whole cone hops…IF…the hops are processed correctly. Assuming proper drying and storage we see more oxidation on whole cone hops mainly due to the fact that there is more air contact around the lupulin glands and you will never get all the O2 out of a barrier bag of whole cones. That means potentially more off-flavors from whole dry cones than pellets Alpha/beta oxidation is also increased in whole cone for the same reasons.

    Grassy notes come from a group of chemicals responsible for the aroma of “cut grass” and oftentimes is called grassy or “green”. This is not chlorophyll as that accounts for a flavor of cooked greens. The grassy aroma is easily removed by placing the hops closer to the hot side to flash off the volatiles responsible.

    If the brewer is dry hopping at rates higher than 0.8kg/hectaliter (1.8lbs/bbl for the NA gang) then he is over-hopping since the maximum rate in most beer is the 0.8 number. the beer simply can’t take any more hop aroma compounds that we LIKE. He is likely pulling in other less desirable compounds especially if he is allowing the hop material to sit in the beer longer than 3 days at room temperature.

    More is definitely not better. In fact if you want more impactful, fruity floral hop notes cutting back to something more like 0.65kg actually will allow for more of the hop character to dissolve into the beer.

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