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Old 11-13-2007, 07:36 PM   #1
BrewDey
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Default bitterness threshold-when to say when

On a recent Pale, I thought I'd get crazy and add loads of Cascades in the last few minutes of the boil. I think that in all, I dumped in 4 oz. of pellets (don't have my notes on me, but pretty high AAU). This is in addition to the early additions of Simcoes and Centennials.

While I was hoping for an explosion of fruitiness, followed by a dry bitterness....I ended up with decent hop flavor, but an intense bitterness that really drowns out the floral and fruitiness. The late additions I just threw in, and didn't strain out...it was extract and I just dumped it all into the carboy, then topped it off with water. Could this affect it?

I know you live and you learn, it was a vast deviation from the recipe-so it's my bad. I just want to be able to get that flavor and the bitterness at the same time. Any guidlines you guys follow in terms of max IBUs? Any better methods for extracting the flavor?

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Old 11-13-2007, 07:39 PM   #2
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If they were late additions, then they really would have had very little effect on your IBU's. The bitterness you're getting might be from leaving all that crap in the wort. I never do that...it might not be hop bitterness, but tannins, etc.? I'm probably way off base here, but in the future, you'd be good to filter or whirlpool.

The most likely culprit was the simcoe and centennial bittering additions.

I'd say lighten up on the bittering additions and go heavy on the late ones like you did...but filter/strain your wort. Then dry-hop. That'll add plenty of hop aroma.

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Old 11-13-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm doubtful it's the late additions, per se. My MITRB recipe has three ounces (Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo) added at 15 minutes, 2.25 ounces at 5, 0.75 ounces at flameout, and 1.5 ounces dryhop. And, there's still some bittering additions - but I scaled those back from where I would usually be. You need to be a hophead to like the beer, but it's really much, much more about the flavor than about the bitterness.

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Old 11-13-2007, 07:57 PM   #4
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Agreed. The late additions are what gave you the hop flavor. If it's too bitter it's due to your first hop additions.

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Old 11-13-2007, 08:02 PM   #5
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Jamil has a recent article.......wait a minute! I got the link from one of your posts Ohio! Anyways it deals with late additions of hops adding bitterness and flavor. I am going to try it(see my sig).

4 oz at 5 minutes and all during cooling(probably not with an immersion chiller) I bet that would add bitterness!

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Old 11-13-2007, 08:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon
4 oz at 5 minutes and all during cooling(probably not with an immersion chiller) I bet that would add bitterness!
Not really. With large late additions like that you are contributing more to the flavor and aroma. Of course you are adding bitterness, but the amount of time that late additions are in the boil does not allow for sufficient isomerization of alpha acids to contribute anything more than subtle bitterness.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
While I was hoping for an explosion of fruitiness, followed by a dry bitterness....I ended up with decent hop flavor, but an intense bitterness that really drowns out the floral and fruitiness. The late additions I just threw in, and didn't strain out...it was extract and I just dumped it all into the carboy, then topped it off with water. Could this affect it?
I am going to say yes, leaving the hops in the fermenter contributed overall bitterness. I have a one gallon test pilot of a bracket going, some DME and some honey with a tiny bit of early bittering hops, and then about half an ounce of dry hops (7.0% glacier) in the primary fermenter.

I was hoping for an explosion of fruitiness, but the stuff is just not drinkable, too bitter.

I _think_ for flavor and aroma you want to late kettle add and then strain on the way to the fermenter.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poindexter
I _think_ for flavor and aroma you want to late kettle add and then strain on the way to the fermenter.
Thanks for all the feedback-seems that leaving the hops themselves in there was the culprit-not the bittering additions. I had done a similar brew where I followed the same schedule, but had Cascade as an early addition and 1 or 2 oz. of Simcoes as the late addition. On this current one, I swapped the Cascades and the Simcoes and really amped up the volume of the late addition.

The previous one ended up fine-so I'm thinking it was the sheer amount of hop particles in the current one is what has made the difference. It's still not a terrible beer-but it's a tongue-scraper!
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:50 PM   #9
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I don't know what a "few minutes" means here, but adding 4 oz of Cascades, even for just five minutes, most certainly will add significant bitterness to the beer. Depending on the rest of your recipe, you could add 15-20 IBUs that way. If you don't account for that, you could throw your balance far off.

How old is the beer, by the way? I usually find a harsh bitterness when I rack to the secondary or even to the keg, but the beer smooths out quite a bit after a couple more weeks or so of conditioning.

Leaving the hops in the wort shouldn't have any effect.


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Old 11-13-2007, 09:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
IHow old is the beer, by the way? I usually find a harsh bitterness when I rack to the secondary or even to the keg, but the beer smooths out quite a bit after a couple more weeks or so of conditioning.
TL
It has been mellowing out a bit...it's been bottled for 5 weeks
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