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Old 09-21-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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Default Grapefruit flavor in my IPAs!

Hi all. I've been trying to nail down a good house IPA, and the past two batches I've gotten a very pronounced grapefruit flavor. Don't get me wrong, I like some hints of grapefruit but this is overpowering and the bitterness backbone feels like it's all grapefruit. This last batch it was Galaxy and Nugget for bittering (not known for grapefruit as far as I know), Galaxy, Nugget & Citra for flavor. Citra for aroma. Dry hopped with Citra, Simcoe & Cascade. Now, I've been reading a good bit, and it seems like the big grapefruit hops are amarillo, simcoe, centennial, chinook, columbus & cascade. I didn't use any of those for bittering. The prior IPA I brewed was also very grapefruit (almost too much for me to like it) and it was bittered with Nugget & simcoe. Probably got some of it from the simcoe on that one.

However, one of the only other commonalities between many of my prior IPAs that have had this grapefruit flavor & aftertaste has been the use of Cascade for dry hop. I know dry hops are supposed to be all aroma, but has anyone done any sampling to prove that it doesn't add anything to the beer as far as flavor? I'm starting to suspect that the cascade dry hops are adding this bold grapefruit flavor & after taste. Is this possible? Any other thoughts?

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Old 09-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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I didn't use any of those for bittering.

I know dry hops are supposed to be all aroma, but has anyone done any sampling to prove that it doesn't add anything to the beer as far as flavor?
bittering doesn't add any flavor

a large percentage of your taste is based on aroma
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:41 PM   #3
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Cascade is certainly grapefruity and smell is definitely linked to taste. Just think of the last time you had a cold and how little flavor everything had. Aroma is a huge component of how we perceive how things taste.

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Old 09-21-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. All I know is that the aroma is great when I first take in a sip, tons of mango/pear, very fruity. Then after swallowing there's a very bitter/sour aftertaste that's almost EXACTLY what I get when eating a grapefruit for breakfast. I generally sprinkle just a little sugar on a grapefruit because a lot of them are sour. Its that exact flavor, and it stays on the tongue for a long while.

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Old 09-21-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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Could it possibly be a water chemistry issue? I ask because I truly don't know the answer.

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Old 09-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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its the citra

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Old 09-21-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback. All I know is that the aroma is great when I first take in a sip, tons of mango/pear, very fruity. Then after swallowing there's a very bitter/sour aftertaste that's almost EXACTLY what I get when eating a grapefruit for breakfast. I generally sprinkle just a little sugar on a grapefruit because a lot of them are sour. Its that exact flavor, and it stays on the tongue for a long while.
From your hop schedule, I would expect there to be a lot of grapefruit flavor in those beers. Try using less citra, cascade, and amarillo. You may want to stay away from those all together, especially the citra.

Keep in mind that all of the citrusy/grapefruity flavors will come from your later hop additions, especially the dry-hops.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #8
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Hi all. I've been trying to nail down a good house IPA, and the past two batches I've gotten a very pronounced grapefruit flavor. Don't get me wrong, I like some hints of grapefruit but this is overpowering and the bitterness backbone feels like it's all grapefruit. This last batch it was Galaxy and Nugget for bittering (not known for grapefruit as far as I know), Galaxy, Nugget & Citra for flavor. Citra for aroma. Dry hopped with Citra, Simcoe & Cascade. Now, I've been reading a good bit, and it seems like the big grapefruit hops are amarillo, simcoe, centennial, chinook, columbus & cascade. I didn't use any of those for bittering. The prior IPA I brewed was also very grapefruit (almost too much for me to like it) and it was bittered with Nugget & simcoe. Probably got some of it from the simcoe on that one.

However, one of the only other commonalities between many of my prior IPAs that have had this grapefruit flavor & aftertaste has been the use of Cascade for dry hop. I know dry hops are supposed to be all aroma, but has anyone done any sampling to prove that it doesn't add anything to the beer as far as flavor? I'm starting to suspect that the cascade dry hops are adding this bold grapefruit flavor & after taste. Is this possible? Any other thoughts?
Bittering hops will only add bitterness, not aroma, meaning you'll get no grapefruit from them. The bitterness may add the perception of grapefruit, when combined with the citrus aromas from your aroma hops.

I think you're confused about the relationship between flavor, taste, and aroma. Flavor = taste (from taste buds) + aroma (from the olfactory receptors). The taste buds can actually only detect four tastes: bitter, sweet, salty, sour. Everything else is aroma detected by the olfactories. When the two are mixed, the brain interprets flavor. The point is, aroma is not just smell, but it is also flavor. This is why the bittering hops won't have an effect of how grapefruity your beers come out. It all has to do with the late hop additions providing aroma.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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Thanks, great info, mostly from experience from the way it sounds. So, I guess a little citrus is good in an IPA, but to balance that with the more earthy/piney/spicy flavors what would you recommend for a hop bill? I know, kind of a broad question, but any suggestions for hops that will give me a more DFH 60 or 90 min type flavor? I saw most of the clone recipes for those (just using them as an example because they are smooth and don't scream grapefruit) use amarillo and simcoe, which I thought were pretty grapefruity.

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Old 09-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #10
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I think simcoe tends to be more piney than grapefruity. If you have a copy of Brewing Classic Styles, or can get your hands on one, there's a chart in there that's fairly decent. It shows hops in relation to their predominant flavors, piney/herbal/earthy/citrusy, etc. I think that's not a bad place to start.

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