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Old 10-07-2012, 05:15 AM   #1
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Default What ingredient makes for soapy IPAs (even in commercial brews)

Not sure if the 'ingredients\recipes' forum is the right one to post to but since I don't think this is from a flaw in brewing but rather a specific hop variety I thought it might be the correct venue.

Anyway, every now and then I'll be drinking an IPA and get a slight soapy flavor out of it. I get this occasionally from my own IPAs too. I've seen this descriptor on beeradvocate in reviews of certain brews, so I know its not just me.

I don't think we're talking about the break down of fatty acids (sitting on trub too long at high temps.) I think its more a certain hop or something.

I get it occasionally from SN Torpedo (both clone and commercial) but only very, very vaguely and not always. It's a subtle thing and hard to describe but it really is a slight soap taste. I never get this from non-IPA brews so that's why I think its a hop. Maybe one of the modern american hops (citra, simcoe or amarillo)? Those seem to be in all the brews I pick this up in.

Any thoughts?

Cheers,

Dan

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Old 10-07-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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Don't know if this applies, but Gordon Strong mentioned in a podcast that mashing on the higher end of the acceptable pH range (5.8 - 6.0) can cause soapy flavors when using large amounts of hops. I doubt SN is screwing up their mash pH, but you may also have a sensitive palate to these flavors and are picking up related compounds.

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Old 10-07-2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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I have that issue occasionally also, most notably when drinking Dale's Pale Ale. I've read in numerous sources that some people perceive a soapy taste when drinking hoppy beers brewed with certain varieties. From what I've read, the issue is more specific to the person than the hops, meaning we can both have that issue, but each experience it from different varietals.

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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My palate get this with Citra hops....I also pick up a mush aroma from Citra...The times I've used Citra it seems age causes this...because I don't get when the beer is young but it develops over time....be curious what others say about my experience

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #5
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This is interesting...I usually mash on the lower end of things (pH wise) but not always. And I don't get this from all my beers for sure, just some that are very hoppy and usually they have those american hops I mentioned above. I'm surprised this hasn't been discussed more. I did some searching last night but only found a very few threads and usually it ended up to be sitting on the trub too long at high temps.

In searching I found people mention Galena and Chinook. Maybe Airborneguy is right in that its person specific. Could also be older bottles from these breweries? But my hops and brews are usually young or else they (hops) have been frozen in a sealed package if they've been stored very long.

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Old 10-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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I was at Oktoberfest in Little Rock last night and experianced that in a couple of brews...one, a heavily hopped IPA was almost undrinkable to me. Other folks loved it, but the taste was almost an oily film that stayed with me. Like others here, I think it may be person specific rather than a particular brew. I do believe it is the hopps rather than grain or yeast.

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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I've experienced this with IPAs heavily hopped with Chinook or Columbus.

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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I have an unopened 1lb bag of chinook. Maybe I should make a DIPA SMASH with some of it and see if I get the soap like crazy. It would be sad if I did though.

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Old 10-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #9
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All or nearly all chinook recipes have been done before and seemly with good results:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/chinook-ipa-79042/

Maybe it was my water.

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Old 10-08-2012, 01:35 AM   #10
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Speaking of water I just found this:
http://www.byo.com/stories/article/i...-from-the-pros

'All brewing minerals add a mineral or salty flavor to beer, but each has a different flavor effect. The general rule in brewing to add gypsum (calcium sulfate) to British-style beers is a good one, especially if the beer is heavily hopped. Hoppy beers sometimes have an unpleasant soapy flavor. Calcium sulfate eliminates soapy flavors and accentuates a clean, piquant hop bitterness.'

I wonder if that's accurate or not. I don't see any proof in the article.

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