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> Hop of the Week -- Bravo, New High-Alpha Aromatic Hop
just-cj
post Jan 21 2008, 03:26 AM
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Bravo
Super-High Alpha, Good Aroma


I ran into Bravo hops when I was in the San Francisco area in summer 2007. Many of the craft brewers in the Bay Area had brewed a Bravo IPA, using the same recipe but their own house yeast. The beers I tasted were amazingly good -- 21st Amendment, EJ Phair, Russian River were all uniquely different and all good (but then again, they were IPAs, so of course they were good! (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/tongue.gif) ). So when Bravo became available late last year, I picked some up and brewed the Hop Recesssion Community Brew as a Bravo-only single-hop beer -- but haven't tasted the it yet. I can say that they are VERY sticky hops (mine came in at 13.5%), very aromatic in the bag, and gave the brewhouse a wonderful smell throughout the boil.

Finding info on this hop is not all that easy, but here's an interesting report on them from Brookston Beer Bulletin (check out the link for a complete article):

(IMG:http://www.brookstonbeerbulletin.com/wp-content/beerpix/bravo-hopleaf.jpg)

QUOTE
Bravo Hop Characteristics:

Alplha Acids: 14.-17.%
Cohumulone: 29-34% of alpha acids
Beta-Acids: 3-5% w/w
Total Hop Oils: 1.6-2.4% v/w

So, has anyone had a chance to brew and taste a Bravo beer yet? Experiences? Comments? Questions? Recipes? Post them here and let's learn about this new hop.
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dirt_mcgirt
post Jan 21 2008, 09:56 AM
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Just got my order of these last week and vacuum packed them. The aroma to me was fruity - apples and pears, and a bit minty. I didn't think the aroma was that strong, it didn't fill up the room like Amarillos do, but it was nice. I'm using them this weekend in a Bravo/Amarillo IPA. Will post results.

Also, I noticed that the cohumulone levels on these are the same as Chinooks. I'm not expecting a real smooth bitterness with this one, so I'm going to go easy on the bittering addition.
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BuckeyeBrewer
post Jan 21 2008, 09:58 AM
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I ordered 1lb of these from hops direct. We used them to bitter our Pale Ale, which we put on tap yesterday. I will have to say that I am very happy. This is a wonderful high alpha hop. I think it will be a most worthy substitute for some of the harder to find high alpha hops.
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blatzy
post Jan 21 2008, 11:28 AM
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I just tapped my IPA that I used them to bitter, and at least as of the first sample, this will definitely be my new go to bittering hop (good thing because I have about 50oz of them...).

Nice medium lingering bitterness -- not as harsh as Chinook, but not soft like a low alpha either - sort of like Simcoe in terms of bitterring. IMparts a bit of earthiness to it too, much like Warrior, IMO.

I agree with sirbrewzalot's assessment of the aroma, but disagree in the strength - I left the empty HD foil bag open on my workbench after I vacuum sealed them. The next morning when I went into the garage, it was like heaven -- pungent, fruity -- I just wanted to sit in there and listen to some tunes all morning -- excellent!

Since that, I've already used them again in two brews to bitter, and one dryhopped, but none are ready to consume yet. I will be making an all Bravo Am Brown at the end of Feb -- I'll report back on that.
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al_bob
post Jan 21 2008, 07:30 PM
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This sounds excellent. I love high alpha hops. I will have to try these if they're still available. I don't mind being a guinea pig to get through this hop transition we're dealing with these days. It's actually a great learning opportunity, regardless. It forces you to learn even more. It makes you pay attention to AA, and co-humulone, possibly, in developing your recipes.

I've been stuck on the same hops for two years... not that there's anything wrong with that...

Keep us informed, guys. I'll try and get some, too.
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Beerrific
post Jan 21 2008, 09:47 PM
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I brewed an American Amber last week using 100% Bravo, all added late in the boil. Smelled great while boiling. Tasted a sample yesterday and it is very nice. A very smooth bitterness (at about 67 IBUs) and a nice mix of earthy, spicy, and citrus flavors. I am probably going to dry hop with about an ounce in the keg. I am looking forward to this, I think Bravo is going to turn out to be a very versatile hop.

(Oh yeah, this is my first post...I have been lurking for a while but thought I could chime in on this one.)

This post has been edited by Beerrific: Jan 21 2008, 09:48 PM
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al_bob
post Jan 22 2008, 02:20 PM
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QUOTE(Beerrific @ Jan 21 2008, 08:47 PM) *
I brewed an American Amber last week using 100% Bravo, all added late in the boil. Smelled great while boiling. Tasted a sample yesterday and it is very nice. A very smooth bitterness (at about 67 IBUs) and a nice mix of earthy, spicy, and citrus flavors. I am probably going to dry hop with about an ounce in the keg. I am looking forward to this, I think Bravo is going to turn out to be a very versatile hop.

(Oh yeah, this is my first post...I have been lurking for a while but thought I could chime in on this one.)

That sounds good, and welcome to the greenboard. Hopheads are definitely welcome!

I wonder if there are any more Bravo on the Market? The only place I thought I saw them was at Hops Direct, and they're done for the season.
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just-cj
post Jan 22 2008, 06:38 PM
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Bump -- anyone else with experience with this hop?
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al_bob
post Jan 22 2008, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE(just-cj @ Jan 22 2008, 05:38 PM) *
Bump -- anyone else with experience with this hop?

I'm wondering if anyone knows where to get any. Is it too late?
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just-cj
post Jan 22 2008, 11:43 PM
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The only place I saw them -- ever -- was at Hops Direct back in December. Maybe posting a "Bravo wanted" in the Hop Trading thread will bring out a generous BrewBoard member!
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al_bob
post Jan 23 2008, 11:15 AM
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QUOTE(just-cj @ Jan 22 2008, 10:43 PM) *
The only place I saw them -- ever -- was at Hops Direct back in December. Maybe posting a "Bravo wanted" in the Hop Trading thread will bring out a generous BrewBoard member!

I got caught not keeping up with these new varieties. My loss. I'll keep my eyes open in the future.

The beer bulletin you posted above was a good read. Makes me want some.

The Drakes Brewing Beer Festival that hosted 21 breweries, all doing a Bravo IPA, sounded good. The fact that there was that much attention tho this one hop is encouraging. The other promising thing in that paragraph, is that they used Summit for the hop last year. That's the other variety I have coming, that I've never used before! (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif)

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just-cj
post Jan 27 2008, 04:11 AM
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I just transferred the Hop Recession Community Brew to the conditioning tank, and here are my notes about Bravo:
Mild bitterness up front, slight lingering bitterness, builds up on second and third sips. Aroma is interesting, hard to describe -- spicy? resiny? onion? Not overpowering at all, subtle in background."

I'm going to be dry hopping half of the batch with a small amount of Bravo to see what I can figure out about this hop. I have a feeling this is going to be another one of those high-alpha hops with interesting aroma that doesn't really shine all by itself but comes into its own when combined with other hops.
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troy
post Mar 2 2008, 10:56 AM
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Just noticed that HopsDirect has these hops available again. I have never used them, but I am curious about everyone's results. Anybody had some finished beer with these hops in it?
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dirt_mcgirt
post Mar 2 2008, 12:39 PM
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I made an APA, OG 1.056 and about 53 IBUs. The hop schedule (10 gal) was:
60 - 1.2 oz bravo (22.0 IBUs)
20 - 2 oz amarillo (12.6 IBUs)
5 - 2 oz bravo (7.3 IBUs)
0 - 2.5 oz amarillo

My initial impressions are the bitterness is very smooth and clean. Not rough at all to me. Nice flavor, not as citrusy as I would expect. Hard to say much else right now as I haven't really been able to tear into it yet. I used thames valley yeast for the first time and the dang this will *not* flocculate so I'm still waiting for the keg to clear. Overall I'd definitely recommend it as bittering hop, not sure how much of a flavor contribution it made but it definitely didn't hurt the beer with any funky flavors.
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CarlosM
post Mar 2 2008, 02:48 PM
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Just placed my order for them, hope they are as good as they sound.


I will be making a pale ale with them.

Any other beers this well be good for?


Carlos

This post has been edited by CarlosM: Mar 2 2008, 02:48 PM
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