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Old 01-12-2010, 02:41 AM   #1
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Default Adding a bittering hop tea to finished beer?

I worked out a real nice recip for a brown ale, it was right around 40 IBU and it brewed up fine and it's fermenting now slow and steady. I went into Beersmith to finish my calculations when I realized my recipe was built as an Extract instead of Partial Mash, I changed that one thing and it shot my IBU down to 30. 30 is still not bad, just not what I was planning. Could you actually make a hop tea boiled down with some sugar or something and add it to the finished product? Worse case scenario, I just have a more malty brown ale or maybe dry hop or something. Sucks when you don't pay attention to details!

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Old 01-12-2010, 04:06 AM   #2
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I just did this last saturday. I somehow screwed up my IBU calculations and rechecked, I was about 10-15 IBU too low. I just started with two quarts of water and boiled .25 oz of high AA hops for 50 minutes and ended up with 1 quart of water. beersmith said it should give me about 15 IBU. I can let you know how it is when i taste it.

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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very cool, thanks. Good to hear I'm not the only one with miscalculations.

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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Bittering teas are also useful if your attenuation is low and you need to balance the residual sweetness.

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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Yeah you can make a tea or add hop extract (available from homebrew sites like morebeer). I wouldn't add sugar to the tea though unless you are trying to jump start fermentation again.

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:25 PM   #6
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so there is no need to use some form of sugar or malt extract to utilize the hops? Think a 1/4 oz of Sorachi 14% would be ok in a brown ale? I've got it on hand.

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:39 PM   #7
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No sugar necessary, just boiling temperatures in the water for isomerization. The ratio of hops to water is important too for good utilization. I've read 2 grams hops per 600 mL water, but that might vary with the strength of the hops. I'm not really familiar with the Sorachi hop, but at 14% AA I think 4 oz might add more than your desired 10 IBUs. Maybe just boil them for 20 minutes or so, then you'll get more aroma and flavor than harsh bitterness, or mess around in your software to get it right.

First things first though, you should taste the beer you've made. IBU calculations can be quite misleading, and you might not have to do any adjustment at all. Conversely you could dry hop the crap out of it with those extra hops and cover up that malty sweetness with hop aroma and perceived bitterness.

Edit: I forgot to ask, are you bottle conditioning? Then you would have a reason to have sugar. You can hop your priming sugar dose. Others have had success boiling the water, then steeping the hops using a french press.

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info, sorry I meant .25oz not 4 oz, but I get the idea. Like you said I'll wait and see, at 30 IBU it might turn out to be perfect via serendipity. I checked and by the numbers it might be a stronger Goose Island Nut Brown Ale, so the IBU might totally be in line. Good to know about the tea for future reference, well hopefully I won't have to use it, but if I do, now I know.

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