Forums Ingredients Hops Suitable hop for the Irish Red Ale

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    Hi guys,
    I like the Irish Red from the can but I think it could use some bitterness as after a couple it seems too sweet for me. Any suggestions as to which hop would be suitable, UK or NZ, quantities and boil time?


    on its own, bitterness is just that, and from what I know (which isn’t a great deal sorry) the average human pallete can only distinguish or taste up to about 80 IBUs.

    so if you want to make a beer more bitter, it doesn’t really matter what hop you use, although the higher the alpha-acid rating (AA%) the less amount you may need and the less time it is needed to boil (hops must be boiled to extract any bitterness).

    I use this online calculator:

    boil and batch size = 23L (I usually boil in at least 2 Litres of water, which I then strain using muslin or coffee press)
    target OG = 1.000 (when boling in water and not in or with the wort itself)

    However, if you want some additional hop aroma to go with the bitterness then that is where it gets more interesting and I have found that trial and error plus a bit of reading is required to come up with a mix that you may like (which doesn’t mean that anyone else will).

    Dual purpose hops like Nelson Sauvin can be used for both bitterness and aroma, and so if you were to purchase a single 100g bag of pellets you might want to boil some of it (maybe 25g) for a while for a few more IBUs and steep the rest in order to extract the aromas and flavours of the particular hop being used.

    The NZ hops website has data sheets of each hop produced, but if you are after “tasting notes” or decriptions of each hop, I often have a quick skim over the hop section of the BrewShop website.

    If you are making all-grain or BITB beers and not hopped cans of extract (like the ones WW sell), then you have a lot more options in regards to your hop additions, but that’s another story… (with many chapters)


    for what it’s worth, I like the sound of the NZ Pacific Jade hop if it was to be used a dual purpose with the WW Irish Red Ale, however in saying that I have not yet tried this combo:

    Suited for use as a bittering hop with some excellent results also being seen in dual purpose applications, with a soft bitterness attributable to the low cohumulone. The citrus aroma and flavour notes work well to temper malt sweetness in “fullish” Ales especially when used moderately as a finishing hop. Pacific Jade is also well suited to balance dryer Lager styles when employed as an “up-front” kettle addition to showcase its bittering qualities.

    Grown: New Zealand
    Alpha Rating: 12.8-14.4

    steve fox

    I just brewed a WW red ale.
    I used 10gms Pacific Gem for bittering to about 65 IBU and 100gms Fuggles for aroma.
    It tastes fantastic but still a bit sweet for me too. This could be due to the the fact that I used a can of Black Rock Amber malt instead of dry malt. I also used 500gms of dextrose. Next time I’m going to up the bitterness to 100 IBU’s and maybe use half the can of amber malt and 1kg dextrose and 300gms aroma hops.


    Thanks Guys that gives me something to go on.
    Out of interest I used the Riwaka hop on the Canned Boho Pilsener 20g boiled/80 steeped and it worked out well bringing it up to 55 bitterness units as calculated by the XL spreadsheet.


    In the end I used Nelson Sauvin hops, 20g boiled for 20mins, 80 steeped and this worked out well.

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