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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through December 21, 2004 * Styrians and the "wet wool" smell? < Previous Next >

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Thoughts on WY1275?Steve Ruch12-18-04  09:06 pm
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Paul Hayslett
Advanced Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 564
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, I've posted about this before and so I know where I stand. I seem to be extremely sensitive to a particular aroma which I can only describe as "wet wool blanket" or, in its stronger form, as "wet dog". I'm not talking about the funky horse blanket smell you get from B. lambicus. This is more like a clean wool sweater when you've been out in the rain.

I know that I'm much more sensitive to this than most people. I've sat next to BJCP National judges at my brewclub saying, "Ugh! Can't you smell it?" and they say, "Smell what? All I smell is malt and hops." But I find the aroma can easily destroy my enjoyment of a beer, so I'm trying to eliminate it from my brews.

Going over my notes from the past 2 years, one possible common thread seems to be the use of Styrian Goldings hops. Not all the "woolly" brews contain them, but all the batches with Styrians seem a little "woolly". Then again, all the Styrian batches used Belgian yeasts and had other common characteristics, so I may be off base.

Has anyone else noticed this type of aroma with Styrians? Or with Fuggles in general (same strain, different location)? Am I barking up the wrong tree (or just barking mad)?
The dreadful foul drink called mead is made from honey, then fermented. It is the sourest, blackest, vilest stuff ever invented by any man, and yet it is potent beyond all knowing; a few drinks and the world spins. -- Ibn Fadlan A.D.922
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 303
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes with Fuggles, yes, yes, yes.

A couple of years ago, I made an all-fuggled English Barleywine that had "Belgian" flavor and aroma qualities. I thought it was infected. I didn't toss it, though, because the behavior was not like an infection, and fermentation stopped appropriately, and the beer cleared.

It was not until I used all-fuggles again for an English bitter, brewed on the same day with the same equipment as another batch without fuggles that I realized that Horseblanket flavor an aroma was from the fuggles. I will never use fuggles in large quantities again.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 1493
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 02:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's possible, Paul, although I admit I don't notice it unless the "wool blanket" character is really pronounced. Styrian Goldings are closely related to Fuggles, as are American Willamettes. I wonder if you would notice this common characteristic among all of them.

(Message edited by BillPierce on December 17, 2004)
 

Paul Hayslett
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Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 565
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 03:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, it's so nice to know I'm not having olfactory hallucinations! I was beginning to wonder. Thanks to you both.

Bill, what you said tickled a neuron so I went back further in my notes. The first time they mention the aroma was in a brown ale dry-hopped with a lot of Willamette. I'll bet that is the common thread.

I've used a Fuggles/EKG or Willamette/EKG mix in a number of ales and not noticed a problem, but they were not heavily hopped. They also usually had a higher-alpha variety for bittering. Maybe there has to be a higher concentration before I notice it. It's a real problem in the Belgians I made this summer and, no surprise, I've only got 1oz left of the pound of Styrians I bought in June.

I think I'm going to follow J's lead and lay off the Fuggles and Fuggle variants for a while. I'll see if that helps.

Thanks again.
The dreadful foul drink called mead is made from honey, then fermented. It is the sourest, blackest, vilest stuff ever invented by any man, and yet it is potent beyond all knowing; a few drinks and the world spins. -- Ibn Fadlan A.D.922
 

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1356
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 04:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Or with Fuggles in general (same strain,
> different location)?

I'll chime in too. (I seem to remember this same conversation from a while ago). I rarely use fuggles anymore (bittering only) because I too found their aroma to make the beer smell 'off'.
 

Jeffery Swearengin
Advanced Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 603
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 05:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


quote:

...describe as "wet wool blanket" or, in its stronger form, as "wet dog."




Paul,
I don't know where you've been buying your Styrians from, but those descriptors seem way off to me. I guess everyone has their favorite hop. Mine happens to be Styrian Goldings, so I must defend! To me Styrian Goldings has a fresh, spicy, "woodsy" appeal about them that I really enjoy in my Belgian-style beers. Call me an "old-fashioned" wet dog!

(Message edited by beertracker on December 17, 2004)
CHEERS! Beertracker

"From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." ~ Saint Arnold of Metz (580-640) - Patron Saint of Brewers

 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3956
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 05:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm on the bandwagon...I seldom use Styrian/Fuggles/ Willamette for the same reason.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 1037
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Willamette...mmmmm.....I likey...

I love Willamette in an amber/red ale loaded with crystal. Bittering/flavor/aroma/dry hop

Early on I use to dry hop my stouts with a small ammount of Fuggles. I think that is what has been missing from my stouts the last couple of years.

-Doug
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2586
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Seems like we have two distinct camps...I'm with Beertracker and Doug. Styrians are one of the hops I buy by the pound. Besides Belgians, they are excellent in bittering CAPs/CACAs - right up there with Clusters.

To test your theory, go buy a bottle of Old Peculier. I think that is brewed with 100% Fuggles.
 

Guy C
Member
Username: Ipaguy

Post Number: 144
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 06:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Or try Shipyard's IPA. 100% Fuggle. I've seen people use the term "woody" quite often when describing Fuggles, but not "wooly."
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3961
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 06:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Once again, we have proven that not all people have the same tastes...what a news flash! ;)
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Jeff Preston
Junior Member
Username: Jeffpreston

Post Number: 40
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll agree with Doug on the willamette's. I use them in 75% of my ales.
 

JT
Intermediate Member
Username: Jt100

Post Number: 296
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 12:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I stated this before and I'll stick with it. I think Fuggles taste like dirt. I once brewed a Bitter using Fuggles exclusively and it took me a looong time to finish that batch. In fact, I thought it was infected at first. It did mellow with age though and become "almost" drinkable. Well, okay, I finished it. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices.. I've also tried Shipyard's IPA and it just isn't my cup of tea (so to speak). Of course this is coming from someone who loves the "ashtray/hammy" taste of Smoked Beers. JMHO.
 

Colby Enck
Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 134
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 11:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've also been wondering lately if I just don't like Fuggles. Can't really ID a wool or wood smell, but something seems to put me off.

I do like saying it though. Fuggle Fuggle Fuggle. :-)
 

Paul Hayslett
Advanced Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 569
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you. It's nice to know I'm not crazy. I do like Fuggles in small amounts, but I'm beginning to see that I'll need to set limits.
The dreadful foul drink called mead is made from honey, then fermented. It is the sourest, blackest, vilest stuff ever invented by any man, and yet it is potent beyond all knowing; a few drinks and the world spins. -- Ibn Fadlan A.D.922
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 1504
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 02:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Every hop family and variety has its particular characteristics. I can think of things I both like and dislike about such staples as Saaz, Fuggles, Cascades and Tettnangers.