PistolPatch and Mad_Scientist (along with anyone else interested in hopping...),
I've done a bunch of testing over the past couple months and learned some interesting things. Wanted to pass this along... The help from you both on this has been great. I've achieved "a higher level of enlightenment..." Although not exactly "there" yet, I am definitely more educated on hopping than I was 3 months ago.
Pat - I have not done the triangle tests yet. Realize this is the best way but at least as far as the pilsner is concerned, the conclusion is obvious and pretty dramatic on the Pilsner test...
I didn't mean to do so, but I produced a double IPA. Trying to mimick a Deschutes Fresh Squeeze, and trying for a double batch to split with my brother... Did a dunk sparge / sparge process after pulling the bag. Put the bag over my old 5 gal brew kettle and used hose to spray a couple gallons of water in. Added to brew kettle. Knew I would need additional boil time because of the probable low gravity extras I just added so gave a good 2 hours...delaying Hop additions by the same extra 30 minutes. Not sure what happened for certain but OG wound up at 1.088. Was aiming around 1.066. Actually double checked some of my grain weights, but feel I had to have made a mistake... This big a difference doesn't just happen - sparge or no sparge.
I experimented with the process Mad_Scientist forwarded where you quickly Chill to about 180 deg Fahrenheit. And like Pliny the Middle Aged mentioned it quickly dropped further - to about 173 deg F or so, so be careful. Added a bunch of "whirlpool" hops then. And a big batch added for dry Hop in last 4 days.
This process actually added lots of a Hop flavor I've never had in any of my beers before; have had in some of the pros IPAs, but not mine. Big flavor...
Brewed an American Pale Ale after this. Was supposed to be all Cascade hops, from my back yard...last years' crop. Noticed towards the end that it seemed to lack that huge Citrus shot we always get from Cascade. Oops - PistolPatch has cautioned to "let your nose be your guide" or words to that effect, and I had not done so.
I had done the Chill to 180 deg F, followed by Hop addition and Hop stand to 160 deg F or so. Then last few days in fermenter I gave a huge dose of Centennial hops that had a nice Citrus flavor. Saved the brew, to be sure. Finished about 5.5% ABV.
APA is a tad light on bitterness but works well to dilute the DIPA Down to around 7%, normal IPA range. Or to mix with an overly bitter Pilsner to make a well balanced, easy drinking pale ale.
Brewed double batch. At Flame-Out Hop addition, or just after I started transferring wort through a hose attached to my brew kettle to my old 5-gallon kettle with my immersion chiller in it (activated). At 10 minutes had transferred just 2.5 gallons. All were cool...like 65 deg Fahrenheit. So at 10 min moved the immersion chiller with around 6.5 gallons remaining and finished chilling after another 15-20 minutes or so. Put 2.5 gallons in small fermenter and 6 gallons in large fermenter. Both into fermentation chamber at 50 deg F for a couple weeks. Then bottled some of the larger batch. Wished I had transferred a full 3.5 gal into the smaller one, but didn't.
Conclusions On Pilsner:
1) Hallertau Tradition Hops: Initially I thought I could detect some fruitiness or something but that seemed to dissipate fairly quick. Nothing fruity noticed now in either batch. Could be a good substitute to Hallertau.
2) 6.5 gallons chilled 10 min after Flame Out - wound up too bitter, in my estimation. Less flavor than I wanted... Definitely too bitter with the 10 minute after FO sitting there at temperature. Unfortunately all the bottled beer, for competitions, etc. came from this batch.
3) 2.5 gallons chilled quickly. Tastes more enjoyable. Less bitter. More like something I would like to have by itself. Could stand a tad more bitterness, but not much more so.
I've recently experimented by blending, something Pat has talked about recently and I totally agree with. Mixing the two Pilsners makes the more bitter one seem more palatible. Better yet - discovered today - mixing the bitter Pilsner with the APA that had nice late hop flavor but slightly low bitterness ends up with a very nice, well balanced beer!
Think I might try a more traditional Pilsner approach, but add a smaller 180 deg F flavor addition...
Think I should only enter more mature beers in competitions, where you know more what you have.