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Old 03-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
carrotmalt
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Default Should this be hoppy?

My biggest complaint about my homebrew is its inability to retain hop flavor/aroma. Almost all of my beers are APAs, IPAs, or ambers, and they all focus primarily on the hops. I know these are supposed to be enjoyed young, but the flavor in mine fades in a matter of days. I keg and force carbonate, and the first few pints are almost always wonderful after the initial pint or two of yeast/sediment. Every time, I think I finally nailed the hops on a batch, only to sample it again a few days later to find a totally different beer. Still good, but just not very hoppy It's like all of the hop oils are sitting at the bottom of the keg and they run out after 6 or 8 beers. I'm guessing those first few have a little more yeast and maybe hop residue or something that settles to the bottom, but they taste great.

I've tried moving to mostly late additions, steeping some for a bit after flameout before chilling, and dry hopping, but I don't know what else to do other than just using more hops. One thing to note is that I've been using the water chemistry primer for the last few batches and adding 1 tsp gypsum as well as 1 tsp calcium chloride per each 5 gallons of RO water. I'm wondering if maybe it needs more of those or some other minerals in order for the hops to shine. (should I try the Burton ale mix for these beers?) Anyway, I thought I'd post my latest recipe and see what you folks think.

This recipe turned out very smooth and I do like it. It's just not as hoppy as I was hoping. It's my first time using Simcoe so I was really anxious to taste the hops. Three days ago, I thought it might be one my best brews yet. After yesterday's sampler, it's just another plain Jane session beer.

Yeast: WLP001 w/ Starter
Mash: 154F
Actual OG: 1.050
Actual FG: 1.010
Primary for 3 weeks, cold crash 2 days, then racked to CO2 purged kegs.

12 Gallon batch:

15# Marris Otter
2# Crystal 60L
2# Light Munich 10L
.35# Acidulated Malt

(all hops were pellets thrown directly in the boil/ no hop bags or spider)
1 oz Simcoe @ 60
1 oz Simcoe @ 10
2 oz Amarillo @ 5
1 oz Simcoe @ flameout
1 oz Amarillo @ flameout

1 oz Simcoe dryhop 6 days
1 oz Amarillo dryhop 6 days


Does this recipe sound like it should be hoppy in your opinion?

Anybody else using the primer as a guide that's putting out hoppy beers?

Any suggestions on hop or mineral additions?



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Old 03-02-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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Recipe looks like it should be a pretty hoppy beer. You may just be becoming a hop head. Do side by side comparisons to commercial beers of known hoppyness. If you do in fact find that your beer is some how losing the flavor and aroma, there are a few suggestions. Do you use a carb stone? If you carbonate from the bottom of the keg, it can purge out hop aroma. Is the beer becoming more carbonated as is it sits in the keg? If the beer has 15+ psi of pressure to get that perfect pour out of the tap, it will have a higher volume of dissolved CO2 than when initially kegged. This can lead to a carbonic bite that will mask delicate hop flavors and aromas. Let the beer warm up and the excess Co2 sublimate (not the right word) out of a glass of your beer. Compare the flavor and aroma of this beer that has been sitting out for five minutes, to a fresh pour. Also: pitchable yeast does not need a starter, if you cold crash, you shouldnt be getting yeast in your keg, and mineral additions are over rated (save your time and money)



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Old 03-02-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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Are you boiling hard?

Have you been using the same hops for each recipe? Could be you got a bad batch of hops?

The gypsum would help a little for hop bitterness. Are you getting good bitterness or does that fade too?

I would increase the dryhop a little.

As a quick fix for your current batch, maybe you could sanitize a hop bag and dry hop in the keg!

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Old 03-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #4
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My guess is that the balance of the beer is off. Decrease your crystal quantity a touch to make the beer less sweet and drier, and you'll end up with a much more hop-forward beer. If you wanted to keep your crystal malt, Up the hop quantities substantially.

I'd love to give more direct advice, but is that recipe really a 12 gallon batch? By my math, the OG is barely over 1.030.

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Old 03-02-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virant518 View Post
My guess is that the balance of the beer is off. Decrease your crystal quantity a touch to make the beer less sweet and drier, and you'll end up with a much more hop-forward beer. If you wanted to keep your crystal malt, Up the hop quantities substantially.

I'd love to give more direct advice, but is that recipe really a 12 gallon batch? By my math, the OG is barely over 1.020.
2# of crystal in 12 gallons is not a lot and I doubt that is the issue. I use more than that in my APAs and IPAs on a regular basis.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foltster View Post
2# of crystal in 12 gallons is not a lot and I doubt that is the issue. I use more than that in my APAs and IPAs on a regular basis.
The thing is that his OG, Recipe, and Batch size aren't lining up. 2 lbs of crystal malt in 5 gallons is excessive, but 6 oz of hops in a 12 gallon batch isn't enough.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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You need to dry hop with at least twice the amount of hops you're using. I normally use 4 oz in a five gallon batch.

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Old 03-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanobru View Post
Do you use a carb stone? If you carbonate from the bottom of the keg, it can purge out hop aroma. Is the beer becoming more carbonated as is it sits in the keg? If the beer has 15+ psi of pressure to get that perfect pour out of the tap, it will have a higher volume of dissolved CO2 than when initially kegged. This can lead to a carbonic bite that will mask delicate hop flavors and aromas. Let the beer warm up and the excess Co2 sublimate (not the right word) out of a glass of your beer. Compare the flavor and aroma of this beer that has been sitting out for five minutes, to a fresh pour. Also: pitchable yeast does not need a starter, if you cold crash, you shouldnt be getting yeast in your keg, and mineral additions are over rated (save your time and money)
I don't use a carb stone and I carbonate @ around 9-10 psi. I don't know exactly what temp the fridge is, but as it warms up it does get a little more flavorful, so I'm probably serving it a tad too cold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virant518 View Post
My guess is that the balance of the beer is off. Decrease your crystal quantity a touch to make the beer less sweet and drier, and you'll end up with a much more hop-forward beer. If you wanted to keep your crystal malt, Up the hop quantities substantially.

I'd love to give more direct advice, but is that recipe really a 12 gallon batch? By my math, the OG is barely over 1.030.
Below is what I was trying to achieve. I'm not sure exactly where I ended up on volume because I saved off a bit out of the mash and canned it for starters later, but the OG was 1.05 going into the fermenter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Virant518 View Post
The thing is that his OG, Recipe, and Batch size aren't lining up. 2 lbs of crystal malt in 5 gallons is excessive, but 6 oz of hops in a 12 gallon batch isn't enough.
What would you increase and where? Double all the late additions? Not enough bittering? What's a ballpark number for oz per batch for you?

I think I am guilty of becoming a hop head, but commercial pale ales and certainly IPAs are much hoppier than mine! Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for instance is quite a bit hoppier than this turned out.


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Old 03-03-2012, 01:41 PM   #9
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It seems like for a 12Gal batch that you could use more hops. One of my favorite IPA's that I have brewed uses 10.5 oz per 5 Gal, so we are talking about 25 oz of hops for a 12 Gal Batch... Do you have the equipment to make a small batch with more hops to see if that fixes things?

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Old 03-05-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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Over the weekend, I had a few friends sample it and they felt like it was somewhat hoppy after all. I'm wondering if maybe it's just the lower IBUs that makes it seem less hoppy than what I'm used to. Next time I think I'll increase the bittering additions a bit, and maybe dry hop a little heavier.

Yesterday I brewed a Pliny the Elder clone. I'm pretty sure I won't have the same complaint with that recipe.



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