Author Topic: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition  (Read 22164 times)

Offline slash2000

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Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« on: November 26, 2013, 11:24:38 PM »
G'day all,

When I select the new steep/whirlpool option, it calculates the bitterness for the whirlpool addition pretty much spot on to what I've worked it out to be before, so I'm happy with that.

However, if you select the whirlpool option, it should be adding bitterness to every hop addition, not just the ones at flameout. Every addition in the kettle will continue to isomerise at the higher temperatures.

I think that this oversight might lead to a lot of people accidentally creating face-exploding bitterness bombs when experimenting with this technique!

Cheers.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2013, 05:24:09 AM »
While I can see it adding some bittering increase from the late hops, there would be very little gain from the early, bittering additions.  In reality it depends too much upon an individual's brewing process to really calculate out.  If one brewer chills immediately upon flame-out and then changes his process to allow for whirlpooling, I can see where some of the late hop additions would increase the bittering over his previous technique.

Overall, the main issue is that someone needs to do the research first and provide data upon which to build a model for calculating the increased IBU contributions from previous hop additions due to whirlpooling.  Once that has been done, then I think there would be reason to include it into the program.  It sounds like and interesting topic to pursue.  Anyone got the time and money to do some studies?
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2013, 07:39:38 AM »
Compared to actual boiling time, it would be relatively less.  I just changed a 14% AA% boil hop from 60 mins to 90 mins, and that only bumped IBUs from 11.7 to 12.6, or 0.9 IBUs, or 7.6%.   

If 30 mins additional rolling boil time adds only 7.6% more IBU, then simmering longer still at less than boiling, after at least 60 mins of boil time, would probably be less than 7%.   And even at 7%, that would increase IBUs by 2 to 5 in most under-100 IBU beers, so still within the 5-10 IBU threshold detectable by human palates. 

As the difference between 60 and 90 mins reveals, there seems to be a point of diminishing returns on hop AA% utilization.   And whatever might be extracted in whirlpool would not impact total bitterness too much. 

Offline brewfun

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2013, 08:09:01 AM »
However, if you select the whirlpool option, it should be adding bitterness to every hop addition, not just the ones at flameout. Every addition in the kettle will continue to isomerise at the higher temperatures.

slash2000, I can see where you could have a concern about over bittering, but actual lab results would show something different. All in all, every place you can add an IBU, there are half a dozen places to lose it.

Maltlicker has a good point. Recipes are an estimate.

Issues such as wort viscosity, proteins and vigor of the whirlpool have an effect on the actual isomerization moreso than just heat and time.

At 90 minutes, as many isomers are destroyed as are created. Same with hitting 100IBUs. With the latter, other flavors are created in the process.

 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 08:12:02 AM by brewfun »
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Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 11:20:33 AM »
G'day all,

When I select the new steep/whirlpool option, it calculates the bitterness for the whirlpool addition pretty much spot on to what I've worked it out to be before, so I'm happy with that.

However, if you select the whirlpool option, it should be adding bitterness to every hop addition, not just the ones at flameout. Every addition in the kettle will continue to isomerise at the higher temperatures.

I think that this oversight might lead to a lot of people accidentally creating face-exploding bitterness bombs when experimenting with this technique!

Cheers.

Slash2000 is completely right here.  It may even make sense to just add this as an equipment setting to determine how long cooling usually takes place or an expected utilization after the boil as a setting.  It makes no sense to have a 5 minute hop addition extract fewer IBUs than a flame out addition.

I use BeerSmith for professional brewing and I was forced to designate 5 minute additions as 20 minute additions and flame out additions as 15 minute additions to get the IBUs to come out even in the same ball park as I saw for finished fermented beers that I had measured.  I was really looking forward to this update, but this oversight has made it useless.  I will be forced to continue to fudge the numbers, which is really a shame.

-Anthony

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 06:20:56 PM »
Hi,
  I faced several challenges here:
  - There is minimal research available on what whirlpool utilization really is!  The best articles I could find were centered around 90C and indicated about 50% of boil utility for whirlpool/steep additions.  This is what I added to the software.  However the real scientific literature here is very thin.

  - When we talk about leftover boil hops it is not simple to calculate their whirlpool effect since - many of these hops have already been "spent" in the boil, and have limited alpha acid still to give up and also these hops often fall out as trub during whirlpool/steeping limiting their contributions.  I thought about trying to make a really complex equation to handle this but decided instead not to do it, at least for this first round.

  Considering the "old" version considered ALL whirlpool/steep additions to provide zero IBUs, and also did not add any contribution from boil hops during the steep/whirlpool phase, I think this is at least a step in the right direction. 

Obviously it is not perfect, and I'm hoping brewers will begin to develop a better body of knowledge around the exact values here so I can develop it further.

Cheers,
Brad
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Offline slash2000

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 07:13:13 PM »
Thanks for your reply Brad.

If it helps, the new Beersmith feature calculates almost exactly what I manually calculate whirlpool IBU's should be in my recipes, so it must be very close to the mark.

In terms of hops being "spent" before the whirlpool, I imagine this is true, but the main problem comes with late additions (at or after the 20 minute mark, typically the flavour/aroma window).

Typically I find a whirlpool/steep adds bitterness equivalent to ~10-15 minutes boil (I usually add 12 minutes). Some examples of the problem I'm talking about:

50 grams of 10% AA hops in 1.050 wort:

20 minute boil = ~40 IBU + whirlpool = ~53 IBU (33% increase)

10 minute boil = ~24 IBU + whirlpool = ~43 IBU (79% increase)

5 minute boil = ~13 IBU + whirlpool = ~36 IBU (280% increase!)

It's not so much a problem with 60+ minute additions where the difference is virtually zero, but if I was making a "hop burst" beer (all/most hops under 20 minutes) the difference in the end result would be massive.

I appreciate that whirlpool/steep additions have limited known science at this stage, but it's something I felt should be brought to your attention.

Offline grathan

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2013, 07:25:52 AM »
I've always thought people whirlpool at lower temperatures to avoid isomerzation altogether while still getting the flavor from the hops.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2013, 02:49:44 PM »

Slash2000 is completely right here.  It may even make sense to just add this as an equipment setting to determine how long cooling usually takes place or an expected utilization after the boil as a setting.  It makes no sense to have a 5 minute hop addition extract fewer IBUs than a flame out addition.

I use BeerSmith for professional brewing and I was forced to designate 5 minute additions as 20 minute additions and flame out additions as 15 minute additions to get the IBUs to come out even in the same ball park as I saw for finished fermented beers that I had measured.  I was really looking forward to this update, but this oversight has made it useless.  I will be forced to continue to fudge the numbers, which is really a shame.

-Anthony

Anthony, I agree its not really fully baked, but its not quite "completely" useless.  It actually gives you a way to slightly more accurately calculate your bitterness, and represent the actual process you follow.  Here's how:

1.  Place all BOIL additions at their appropriate times (90, 60, 30, 15, 10, 5, 0, etc).  Let BS2.2 calculate the IBU contributions. 

2.  Place all whirlpool additions at their appropriate times.  Let BS2.2 calculate the IBU contributions.

3.  Add additional whirlpool hops for your late boil hops, with a whirlpool duration that equals your total whirlpool time.  You could create separate hop ingredients with a name that indicates that these are "fake" and should not actually be added to the whirlpool.  Eg:

"whirlpool Centenniel (do not add)"  or  "(skip) Centenniel"

This would allow you to accurately represent your Boil additions on your brewsheet.  Second, this would allow you to take advantage of the BS2.2 "whirlpool" formula.  You can fine tune the above by adjusting the "whirlpool time" of your fake additions if your results demonstrate that is necessary. 

Obviously, its still fudging the numbers...but, it does seem like a step in the right direction.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2013, 03:04:10 PM »
Hi,
  I faced several challenges here:
  - There is minimal research available on what whirlpool utilization really is!  The best articles I could find were centered around 90C and indicated about 50% of boil utility for whirlpool/steep additions.  This is what I added to the software.  However the real scientific literature here is very thin.

  - When we talk about leftover boil hops it is not simple to calculate their whirlpool effect since - many of these hops have already been "spent" in the boil, and have limited alpha acid still to give up and also these hops often fall out as trub during whirlpool/steeping limiting their contributions.  I thought about trying to make a really complex equation to handle this but decided instead not to do it, at least for this first round.

  Considering the "old" version considered ALL whirlpool/steep additions to provide zero IBUs, and also did not add any contribution from boil hops during the steep/whirlpool phase, I think this is at least a step in the right direction. 

Obviously it is not perfect, and I'm hoping brewers will begin to develop a better body of knowledge around the exact values here so I can develop it further.

Cheers,
Brad


Brad-

Based on your formula, its seems that a first order approximation would be to calculate IBU contribution from the boil hops by extending the total duration of those hops by the length of the whirlpool and only adding 50% of that delta from the contribution at flameout. 

Anthony seems to be on the right track, a whirlpool is definatly an equipment profile thing.  The equipment profile is where we define our "hot side process".  So, it seems to make the most sense to include the whirlpool length as an option in the equipment profile.  This would then make it easier to calculate the additional IBUs for each hop addition (boil and whirlpool). 

An additional consideration might be whether the whirlpool is stirred or circulated during the steeping time.  Homebrewers have options that professional brewers may not have. 

EG, I don't whirlpool hot wort, its simply a steeping step to simulate a professional process.  I have an electric stirrer.  At the end of the steep, I use my immersion chiller and stirrer to chill the wort.  Then I whirlpool the chilled wort.  However, I could use my stirrer during the steeping process.  This might increase the isomerization process and more closely replicate a "boil" profile at a lower temperature (eg, like boiling at altitude). 



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Offline grathan

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2013, 04:41:40 PM »
Sounds pretty straightforward...


It should also be pretty easy to implement a "temperature option" for the whirlpool as well, since the dropoff of isomerzation is relatively linear with temperature. I propose %50 reduction in isomerzation for each 10 degree drop in degrees Celsius.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2013, 06:32:38 PM »
This topic was presented at the ASBC, last year. None of that information matches the conjecture, here.

Most of what you guys are talking about is ONLY relevant to beers with less than 70 IBU before whirlpool. I seem to be seeing a belief in unlimited upward accumulation of IBUs.... It just ain't so...

A German Brewing Chemist showed how a brewery can add up to 35% more utilization with time, temperature and process; then showed how those same variables can be applied to fermentation, filtration and packaging to reduce IBU persistence by 85%.

Another chemist showed extraordinary variation in IBU outcomes from identical worts based on changes in pH, Malt composition, protein content, kettle geometry, heat source and oxygen.

There is a MAJOR difference between calculations and what ends up in the finished beer. In other words, it's a lot easier to lose IBUs than to gain them.

Here's the thing: The bigger breweries figure 100% utilization on all hop additions. They then factor for process and fermentation loss and often have a net IBU packaging range that can be up to 15 IBUs wide.

Why? Because there just isn't that much difference in perceived bitterness of 65 to 80 IBU. Hop perception is a ratio of sweetness to bitterness that is amplified by our perception of hop flavor and aroma.

The magic of massive late hop additions isn't bitterness, it's the sheer saturation and enhancements to hop flavor that's really going on. Yeast absorb isomers, but also have enzymes to change hop acids into flavor compounds. ...And we don't know how to calculate that, either....
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2013, 10:42:59 PM »
Brewfun-

I can't speak for anyone else here, but I'm under no delusions of the unlimited upward accumulation of bitterness. 

The standard PtE recipe on the net has a calculated bitterness of 200+ IBU.  Even RR using pellets and extracts on a commercial system only manages somewhere shy of 100 IBU measured.  Given the generally lower utilizations of homebrew setups getting more than 65 IBU is unlikely regardless of process. 

So, any calculation by BS2.2 for a homebrewer that is greater than 65 is highly suspect and more than likely unattainable.  Anything north of 100 IBU is probably unattainable by anyone except using some very unusual (and probably laboratory based) process. 

That's not the point, though.  To take your position to the extreme, there is no point in calculating it at all, because so many factors can affect the final result.  The point is that you control those parts of the process that remove IBU and hop flavors from the wort/beer so that they are approximately constant. 

The calculation still has value.  It is still a numerical representation of the RELATIVE amount of bitterness that is likely to end up in my finished beer...provided that I control those process variables that will cause VARIATION in the amount of bitterness removed.   There are beers below 65 IBU.  Some people even brew beers with less than 30 IBU, GASP!   ;)

Take an extreme example:  a hop-burst'ed 30 IBU pale ale. 

Hop-Burst'ed (did I just make a word?  probably not, someone on HBD probably already did).

Now, what does my hop profile for this beer look like?  Lets say it is a single 5 minute addition of Centennial for a total of 20 IBU.  Following Brad's model above (I can't speak to its accuracy, but its a start), if I take half of the gain for a 35 minute boil (85 - 20 = 65 / 2 = 33 IBU), then I'm at 53 IBU, simply by steeping the wort for 30 minutes before cooling.  Do I really gain that much?  Probably not.  As you approach saturation, you will expect the rate to decrease.  Do I expect to gain NONE?  Uh...no, I don't think anyone would argue that.  So, its somewhere between 20 and 53 IBU.  I'd argue its closer to 53 than it is to 20.  But, that's just an opinion.  The actual results probably vary considerably based on kettle geometry alone, and flow mechanics alone. 

However, if I have a formula that gives me a consistent calculation, then I can adjust my recipe from batch to batch to compensate for my hop perceptions.  I can adjust the time or the amount, and get a scaled number that gives me a ballpark to shoot for.  Say, the above beer comes out "twice" as bitter as I wanted.  So, I adjust my time to give me 26 IBU.  Using, Brad's whirlpool formula, I should steep that same amount of hops (3.6 oz) for the last 15 minutes of the whirlpool.   That would give me 25.4 IBU according to the math. 

So, I try that...and again make an adjustment based on my perception of the result and the math.  Maybe now, I think that its not quite bitter enough.  So, I adjust the steeping time up to give me 5 more IBUs (calculated). 

Again, if I control everything else the same (pitching rate, yeast selection, fermentation temperature, fining method and duration, etc) then I should end up with a predictable change in bitterness.  If I change any of these other process parameters...then I may have to adjust up or down.  But, I have a good numerical parameter with some reasonable scientific basis to use as a foundation for my adjustment.   




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Offline brewfun

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 04:29:47 AM »
I can't speak for anyone else here, but I'm under no delusions of the unlimited upward accumulation of bitterness.

Hi Tom! And welcome back!

I knew I took a chance in drawing you out with that post. I agree, you're not one to whom I was speaking. Neither was Brad, nor the idea of calculating whirlpool bitterness. I have no doubts about your abilities. You're one of the most advanced brewers I've come across in forums without actually meeting in person. Plus, you race cars and I'm a NASCAR fan.

That's not the point, though.  To take your position to the extreme, there is no point in calculating it at all, because so many factors can affect the final result.  The point is that you control those parts of the process that remove IBU and hop flavors from the wort/beer so that they are approximately constant.

Indeed, taken to the extreme, that could be one of my points. My actual point was NOT to take it to an extreme in either direction because of the variations between setups. My point is that IBU calculations are useful as a relative metric. 

In other words, once the beer is brewed and tasted the brewer can review the recipe and say "oh, that's what XX IBU tastes like." and with time, modify that perception to include various hop types, cohumulone levels and all the rest of the variables. Thus, as process and equipment improves, so will hop utilization and the brewer can calculate the adjustment.

Take that further, a brewer can read someone else's recipe and come up with something very similar, through a combination the recipe specs and understanding their setup.

These are the things that make a formula and recipe software valuable. Which is exactly the point I think you're making. Correct?

I work as a pro brewer. I brew in a pub and consult for startups. Before I posted, I did a reality check of both literature available to me and polled a few other brewers, ranging from 5000 to 140,000 bbl in size.

Whirlpool hop accuracy has only become a concern because it's now fashionable to add hops there. Plus the burst hop method to enhance aroma from a hop charge. None of this really existed as a concern or technique before the hop shortages began. When PtE was developed, there were no hops that cost more than $5/lb. Now, it's closer to $15 on the wholesale end. So, there is much more concern about maximizing return from a much more expensive ingredient.

My other point is that since this technique and its results are relatively new, there's scant data out there to show correlation between techniques and results.

The calculation still has value. 

100% Agreed! The current calculation that Brad is using has allowed me to dial my hop utilization back from 120% to 100% based on my most bitter beers.

There are beers below 65 IBU.  Some people even brew beers with less than 30 IBU, GASP!   ;)

Indeed! And these were the norm long before the burst/whirlpool hopped palate busters of today. The previous IBU calculation model served those beers very well. Hence, why I'm pointing out that once saturated, the IBU number isn't all that important.

I have core products that range from 14 to 88 lab measured IBUs. My top seller is a 26 IBU Export Pilsner and my third is a 34 IBU Red Ale. Second place is, of course, IPA at about 70 IBU.

My process is:
75 minutes kettle fill
15 minute rise to boil/hot break
90 minute full boil
20 to 45 minute whirlpool
(longer WP times for IPA/DIPA because it enhances hop flavor)
30 minute stand/settle (gravity, it only works so fast)
40 minute chill (valves wide open, this is the flow rate of the Hx)

A FWH then is in there for up to 5 hrs. Yet, what I get is flavor, not increased bitterness.

The Pilsner has an aroma charge at flameout which, according to the OP, should contribute more than 20 IBUs to the beer. It doesn't. It contributes the expected 2 IBUs even though it had 90 minutes of contact time at or above 195F.

The red follows a classic, all kettle addition hop schedule of an American Pale Ale. Even with the extended time post boil, it nails 34 to 35 IBU.

I was taught that only fully isomerized alpha acids persist in a beer. I was taught that it takes at least 45 minutes of boil to get strong persistence and that it is the boil agitation that does the trick, along with heat. Given that sweet wort is often surprisingly bitter but the bitterness fades with fermentation, that lesson has served me well.

My American Wheat's bitterness comes from a burst hop addition at 10 minutes of 14% aa Sorachi Ace. Twelve days into fermentation and it's pretty bitter at 20 IBUs. But, by packaging it mellows to 14, which correlates to the expected isomerization. In return, I get a pleasant light lemon aroma and a beer that tastes like a Japanese lager, rather than a flabby American wheat.

So, I try that...and again make an adjustment based on my perception of the result and the math.  Maybe now, I think that its not quite bitter enough.  So, I adjust the steeping time up to give me 5 more IBUs (calculated).

Exactly! If you think it needs a change, you do it. That's what being a brewer is all about! Quantifying it with a formula is a relative metric, not an absolute.

I'm certain that if you had the added data of ACTUAL IBUs, you'd hone that even more. Ironically, you could likely find that the IBU number doesn't change much, but the perception of aroma and flavor does. There's taste panel data from breweries that show bitterness perception is lower when hop flavor/aroma is lower. I think this taste panel data has shown up in AHA conference presentations.

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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Steep/whirlpool should add bitterness to every addition
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2013, 08:13:51 AM »
Part of this discussion reveals the inherent differences b/t homebrewers and commercial brewers.  Brewers-for-profit required repeatability and "known outcomes" far more than homebrewers.   The worst thing that could happen to a homebrewer pushing the envelope is a wasted batch and around $50. 

And homebrewers need to accept that the tools and formulas that are being "baked into" software packages are very much "beta versions" themselves.   Rager's hop model was it for many years, and then Tinseth came along.   And how many people have duplicated Tinseth's results in a lab with any degree of precision? 

All these tools do is provide "best guesses" and then you have to actually taste the beer(s) and develop your own reference point for what a Tinseth 60 IBU beer with 1.060 OG tastes like.    That's a BU:GU ratio of 1.00, and your first data point from your brew system, which may or may not taste like the same beer off my system. 

Unless we send every beer to the lab and get the actual IBU calculated, I think we're playing with art more than science.