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Old 10-10-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
Megascottydemon
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Default Does hop bitterness mellow during fermentation?

I know that bitterness will mellow over time, but I brewed a pale ale today, and had to taste a little sample. Like a sledge hammer of bitter to the face! Don't get me wrong I wanted it to be bitter, in fact I have been complaining about my beers not being bitter enough. Got what I wished for I guess. Beer Tools calculated it at about 61 BU's using the Rager formula. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and did it mellow after fermentation

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Old 10-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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I did a split 10 gallon batch of an Imperial IPA. For some reason 1/2 the batch was near perfect and the other half was beyond bitter, mostly undrinkable. Another poster recommended additional dry hopping which balanced it out enough to save it.

In your case you should wait until after fermentation and some aging time before tinkering.

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Old 10-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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Well I do plan to dry hop in the secondary, but I am honestly not that worried about it, any more. I was just surprised, and I do hope it mellows down some.

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Old 10-16-2009, 04:40 PM   #4
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Hop bitterness decreases with fermentation so you will see a reduction in bitterness as the beer goes thru fermentation. In addition, as beer ages, other flavor compounds change (increase and decrease) to affect the overall sensory perception of bitterness. Wait until you beer is finished to determine if the bitterness is too high for your taste.

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:06 PM   #5
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Yea, it has decreased, and is tasting quite good, thanks Dr. and samc for your replies. I was having a noob moment.

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Old 10-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #6
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Please post your recipe, so we can figure out how many IBU's your brew should have, and how bitter certain specific hops can be.

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Old 10-25-2009, 10:51 PM   #7
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Alpha King Clone
10-A American Pale Ale

Size: 6.0 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 203.22 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.061 (1.045 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.015 (1.010 - 1.015)
Color: 14.18 (5.0 - 14.0)
Alcohol: 6.0% (4.5% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 67.0 (30.0 - 45.0)

Ingredients:
13 lb American 2-row
1.0 lb Caramel Malt 60L
.5 lb Belgian Caramunich
1 oz Centennial (9.7%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
.5 oz Warrior (15.8%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
1 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added first wort, boiled 15 min
1 oz Cascade (7.5%) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
1 oz Centennial (9.7%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
.5 oz Warrior (15.8%) - added dry to secondary fermenter


Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.2


I ended up with about 6.5 gal in the kettle post boil, a little more than I wanted. So I loss a couple points of OG adjusted it on beertools, and it said about 61 ibu's with the extra volume. This was one of the first times I fooled with my water. I added about 4 grams of gypsum to the boil to bring out that hop crispness I love about Alpha King. I was just freaked when I tasted it right after I chilled it. Now it smells and tastes great, and I hope to bottle sometime this week. I will let you know how it turns out.

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Old 10-26-2009, 11:43 AM   #8
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I'm not familiar with Alpha King but that recipe looks to me like an IPA not an APA. I know, it doesn't answer your question. Just sayin'.

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Old 10-26-2009, 08:09 PM   #9
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Yea it is an IPA, but Three Floyds calls it a "Pale Ale" so I left it at that. I'm not one to split hairs about style guidelines, but whatever you call it, it's delicious!

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Old 10-26-2009, 11:55 PM   #10
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Unfermented wort, especially IPA or pale ale wort tastes sweet and very bitter. Not really a good bitter either from my experience.

I don't really know the exact science, but at least the perception of the bitterness changes once most of the sugar is fermented out.

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