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cattiness in hops


read 2392 times • 19 replies • posted 6/9/2007 8:34:20 PM

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aracauna 3138:73
Silly skunkless Europeans. The aroma is usually referred to as skunkiness in the US because the aromatics presented by stale hops or hop oils in the beer are very similar to the active ingredient in skunk spray.

There are no skunks in England. At least not in the wild, zoos probably have some. The next closest descriptor is catty, which is stale cat urine.
6/12/2007 1:19:16 PM

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DonMagi 5596:50
If anyoneís ever had a 3 year old orval, it has w huge rush of cat pish at the end,its quickly taken away by hoppy dryness, but its a bit upsetting all the same.
6/12/2007 1:28:55 PM

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erway 1004:41
Originally posted by aracauna
Silly skunkless Europeans. The aroma is usually referred to as skunkiness in the US because the aromatics presented by stale hops or hop oils in the beer are very similar to the active ingredient in skunk spray.

There are no skunks in England. At least not in the wild, zoos probably have some. The next closest descriptor is catty, which is stale cat urine.


This is incorrect. Skunk aroma comes from a reaction happening between UV light and hop oils in the beer. If you would like the chemistry behind this Iíll post it.
6/12/2007 1:32:34 PM

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GilaMinumBeer
Originally posted by erway
Originally posted by aracauna
Silly skunkless Europeans. The aroma is usually referred to as skunkiness in the US because the aromatics presented by stale hops or hop oils in the beer are very similar to the active ingredient in skunk spray.

There are no skunks in England. At least not in the wild, zoos probably have some. The next closest descriptor is catty, which is stale cat urine.


This is incorrect. Skunk aroma comes from a reaction happening between UV light and hop oils in the beer. If you would like the chemistry behind this Iíll post it.


That AND once said chemical reaction doth occured, the chemicals responsible for said nostralificus offenderund are one and the same. Which is why I stay away from Corona. They SAY they intentionally skunk their beer but I suspect they just squirt skunk funk in the bottles labelled for "Resale to Gringos".

6/12/2007 4:56:20 PM

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aracauna 3138:73
Originally posted by erway
This is incorrect. Skunk aroma comes from a reaction happening between UV light and hop oils in the beer. If you would like the chemistry behind this Iíll post it.


Since I was referring to exactly what you said, I guess my wording was unclear. Either that or youíre saying that skunkiness is different from the cattiness being referred to. Thatís a possibility, but I have heard that cattiness is a term used in the UK to describe the aroma we call skunkiness here.
6/12/2007 11:30:52 PM

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erway 1004:41
Originally posted by aracauna
Originally posted by erway
This is incorrect. Skunk aroma comes from a reaction happening between UV light and hop oils in the beer. If you would like the chemistry behind this Iíll post it.


Since I was referring to exactly what you said, I guess my wording was unclear. Either that or youíre saying that skunkiness is different from the cattiness being referred to. Thatís a possibility, but I have heard that cattiness is a term used in the UK to describe the aroma we call skunkiness here.


I havenít heard that and Steve, who runs the ABG where I am getting edumacated, grew up in the UK, went to brewing school at Heriot Watt, and ran a number of breweries in the UK. Skunkiness is very definitive and it is very different from the aroma of cat piss that you will find in the hops mentioned.

Can anyone think of a beer that really defined the aroma for them? The only thing that comes to mind commercially in bottles is the Double Simcoe from Weyerbacher. I liked the beer quite a bit, but there was no getting around that aroma.
6/12/2007 11:53:02 PM

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grant 842:4
Canít believe Iím writing about this.

But...cat piss doesnít just smell like ammonia, by any means (if it were just ammonia/light amines it would evaporate away quickly). There are a lot of musky/funky and pungent "herbal" components to it that do seem similar to some types of hops. I havenít used Cluster but I definitely get it with Amarillo.

I know this because I recently tried to switch my catís litter rather abruptly...
6/13/2007 2:08:37 AM

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Doppelganger 1388:20
When I think catty, I think about that heavy animal musky tropical fruit aroma--I get a bit of it in very ripe mango and passionfruit. Very different than skunk. In moderate amounts, I really like it. Several of Averyís IPA/IIPAs seem have that musky/catty aromas, and I sort of blamed/attributed that to Columbus, but I donít really know if that is justified. I know they use lots of Columbus, but now looking on their site, one of the beers I think of as particularly catty--no Columbus. (It did have Simcoe.) The weird thing is that my own all-Simcoe ale from a couple of years ago didnít strike me as very catty at all.

Could it be that certain varieties of hops can have that as part of their aroma profile, but year-to-year variation of the crop means that they may or may not? That would at least explain why this seems so hard to discuss empirically.

I brought a bottle of Weyerbacher Double Simcoe back from the US. This seems like as good an excuse as any to break it out and do some sniffing.
6/13/2007 7:13:53 AM

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kenb 1102:4
Originally posted by erway
Originally posted by aracauna
Originally posted by erway
This is incorrect. Skunk aroma comes from a reaction happening between UV light and hop oils in the beer. If you would like the chemistry behind this Iíll post it.


Since I was referring to exactly what you said, I guess my wording was unclear. Either that or youíre saying that skunkiness is different from the cattiness being referred to. Thatís a possibility, but I have heard that cattiness is a term used in the UK to describe the aroma we call skunkiness here.


I havenít heard that and Steve, who runs the ABG where I am getting edumacated, grew up in the UK, went to brewing school at Heriot Watt, and ran a number of breweries in the UK. Skunkiness is very definitive and it is very different from the aroma of cat piss that you will find in the hops mentioned.

Can anyone think of a beer that really defined the aroma for them? The only thing that comes to mind commercially in bottles is the Double Simcoe from Weyerbacher. I liked the beer quite a bit, but there was no getting around that aroma.


Man i love love Double Simcoe and the aroma...to me it is nothing like the smell of cat piss/ammonia....maybe my nostrils are just different from most, i donít know. To me, Double Simcoe is an incredible aroma of resinous piney bliss
6/13/2007 7:10:03 PM

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