HOMEBREW Digest #5759 Wed 03 November 2010

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  Hop Aroma Predictor ("A. J. deLange")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2010 12:37:32 -0400 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Hop Aroma Predictor The comparison with hops bitterness is instructive. Over the years it has been determined that perceived bitterness correlates well with a relatively easily measured quantity namely the UV absorption (at 275 nm) of bittering principal extracted in a particular way and that this, in turn, is proportional to the amount of alpha acids in the beer. Given this metric, the IBU, we can compare the amounts of hop alpha acid put into a beer (determined by measuring, also by extraction and UV absorption, the amount of alpha acid in the hops themselves) and the measured IBU as it depends on boil time (when the hop additions are made), wort strength etc. and come up with a model such as the Tinseth model. The model can be compared to measured data and its parameters tweaked to make it fit the data better. The model isn't perfect by any means. One can predict hopping levels to perhaps 5 IBU provided the information printed on the hops package is accurate and that one has the proper values for the parameters in the model. These can only be obtained by experiment and of course it is necessary to measure IBU on actual beers to get them. We are in general forced to use the parameters determined by someone else (Tinseth, for example) and this reduces the accuracy of the model somewhat because his equipment and methods are not the same as our equipment and methods. Now extend this to aroma. There is no IBU equivalent WRT aroma i.e. no single, simply measured quantity in the beer that can be simply related to a simply determined property of the hops (i.e. the spectrum of aroma producing oils). Thus we have no basis for a model and nothing to feed a model with if we did i.e. no manufacturer lists the spectrum of essential oils on his packages intended for sale to home brewers though I'm sure that data would be available if you are buying in quantity directly from a grower or a growers cooperative. Bitter is more or less bitter though there is coarse bitterness and fine bitterness which is not distinguished in the IBU metric. Aroma is, OTOH, multi dimensional. There are earthy, fruity, floral, spicey, citrusy, piney.... components to hop aroma and flavor. Each of these can, doubtless, be associated with particular compounds in the essential oils but the model itself would have to be very complex to relate the multiple sources to the multiple aroma note including the effects of processing (boil length, storage conditions...). Return to table of contents
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