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Old 12-08-2013, 12:22 AM   #1
worthogg
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Default Did a hopstand make my IPA too bitter?

Let me start by saying that I like a bitter beer. I am a big fan of hoppy IPAs and IIPAs. I have been learning a lot this year about late addition hops and whirlpooling/hopstanding to get that big hop flavor and aroma in my pales and IPAs. I have taken to doing hopstands by chilling to 180 right after flameout and then adding my flameout additions and letting them sit for about 30 mins. I've had great success with this technique on previous brews and that's why I'm a little stumped. I figured some outside input would help me dial in my process and investigate my techniques for flaws.
I know that I will get some IBUs from hops steeping at 180. I also just realized that I can adjust this parameter in the new version of Beersmith. I plan on starting to dial this in with my next recipes. But I've used this technique before with good results and I don't see why this one came out so damn bitter. I was going for a 6% IPA with a big dank, piney flavor and aroma. Instead what I got was this acridly bitter peach bomb. The aroma is overwhelmingly peachy and not the piney, resinous dank I was hoping for. I'll post my recipe in hopes that someone has some advice. The OG was 1.056 and finished at 1.011. In the primary fermenter for a week. Started at 64 and ramped up to 70 over the course of a week. Calculated IBUs were 78.5. Mashed at 148 for an hour. Hit all my numbers and the brew went well. Did my hopstand at 175 for 30 mins like normal and into the carboys and away we go. It was a 10 gallon batch split between two carboys. One is still in primary with no dry hop yet. The other I dryhopped twice, once after primary fermentation finished, and when I kegged it I dropped in the second addition. Each dry hop addition was 1oz Simcoe, 1/2 oz Amarillo, 1/2oz Nugget, 1/2oz Columbus. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I guess I'm just trying to see if anything stands out as a reason this would turn out way too bitter. At 78 IBUs(Tinseth) this beer seems like it would be great. I know 6oz flameout is quite a bit but it doesn't seem like it was overkill. Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post and thanks again...

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Old 12-08-2013, 12:25 AM   #2
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13 lbs 13.1 oz
Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
Grain
1
58.6 %
6 lbs 7.2 oz
Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)
Grain
2
27.3 %
1 lbs 6.1 oz
Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)
Grain
3
5.9 %
1 lbs 0.5 oz
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
Grain
4
4.4 %
14.7 oz
White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)
Grain
5
3.9 %
2.00 oz
Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - First Wort 90.0 min
Hop
6
53.1 IBUs
1.00 oz
Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min
Hop
7
12.7 IBUs
1.00 oz
Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min
Hop
8
12.7 IBUs
2.00 oz
Centennial [10.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min
Hop
9
0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz
Nugget [13.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min
Hop
10
0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz
Simcoe [13.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min
Hop
11
0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz
Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days
Hop
12
0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz
Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days
Hop
13
0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz
Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days
Hop
14
0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz
Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days
Hop
15
0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz
Nugget [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days

sorry about the formatting. can't figure out how to export it correctly from Beersmith

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Old 12-08-2013, 04:28 AM   #3
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Your 60 min and 20 min addition would be the likely culprit for too much bitterness. Is that recipe for a 5 gallon batch?

Also, a lot of the time a hopstand makes your late additions more of an earlier addition due to the fact that the hops are sitting in hot liquid for longer than they normally would be, so that's always a factor.

You would think FWH would kinda smooth things out and wouldn't give it that bitterness bite your speaking of but that 2 oz could very well have done the deed.

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:49 AM   #4
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The recipe was for a 10 gal batch. For comparison, the Pliny clone I did had 3.5 oz Columbus FWH and another .75 oz Columbus addition at 45 mins. It turned out delicious. The Pliny clone was only a 6 gal batch...

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Old 12-08-2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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If you are dropping it to 180 to start a hop stand you should be getting very little IBU contribution from this. Isomerization drops quickly with temperature and if I remember correctly 175 is right on the edge of where it stops. As far as the peach goes, that is usually attributed to esters I believe, but here it may have come from the large hop stand addition. In an IPA I did I used Simcoe, Centennial and Cascade and had a strawberry aroma and flavor.

I've never done a FWH for 90 minutes before, have you? If so were the results more satisfactory? 90 minute boil + time to drop temp and 30 min steep is a long time for a hop IMO. You may have also had a more vigorous boil and increased the utilization that way, resulting in a higher IBU. Personally I would take note of your results. If you like the aroma and flavor, reduce the FWH amount to adjust IBU. If you don't like the aroma or flavor it's a bit harder.

One thing to remember when you start playing with BeerSmith and hop stands, they have a set parameter for the temperature of the stand. I believe it was 190, but don't remember off hand.

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Old 12-08-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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IMHO it seems that the beer is just very bitter without much of a malt backbone to accompany it. I never made a brew with that many hops/ibus and such a low og but hey if it has worked for you in the past, keep on trucking and take the bads with a grain of salt.

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Old 12-08-2013, 02:59 PM   #7
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I did something like this, I think it was caused by the low ABV of 5%, when my normal IPA is 8%. I dono?

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Old 12-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #8
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PH level problem?

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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I find nugget very harsh, more so than columbus (which is also pretty harsh). Could it be that the IBUs are just much harsher with the nugget added?

You've got a boatload of bittering with the 90 minute FHW already, and adding the nugget to it may take it over the top.

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Old 12-08-2013, 07:00 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I think Yooper's suggestion is good about the Nugget. I am starting to think it's something with the combination of hops I used. I think that the sensation of bitterness is increased with the combination of high alpha, really pungent hops like Nugget and Columbus added in a large flameout addition. I'm still a little confused about the puckering astringency in a brew calculated at 78.5 IBUs though. I thought that beyond a certain level, like around 100 IBUs or so, the perception of bitterness is pretty maxed out. I know I've tried beers way beyond in IBUs than what I made with this recipe and found them excellent. Maybe that just speaks to the balance of hop choices and that I hit on a bad(to me) combination. All hops were fresh and not oxidized so I can rule that out. I wonder if dry hopping at 69 degrees would cause this? I put my first dry hop addition in the primary and just left my ferm chamber at the temp fermentation finished out. The hops were in there for about 4 days before I kegged. I've read that this could cause a grassy or vegetative character but I wouldn't call what I'm tasting grassy necessarily.
I haven't yet delved into monitoring my pH or water chemistry yet. Maybe that could be a factor but I've made about 15 different beers this year ranging in style from RIS to IIPA and all have come out great. I'm thinking I could fix this one by brewing another 5 gal batch bittered to 10 or 20 IBUs and then blend half of that batch with each of the 5 gal batches from the original recipe. But I don't want to have to do that again in the future and was just looking to see what other's thoughts were.
I've got 4 oz of hops in this recipe pre-flameout for an 11 gal batch size. That doesn't seem extreme with today's West Coast IPAs. I would think that even if I had a hop combination I didn't particularly like, that I still wouldn't find it too bitter. Maybe I just wouldn't like the flavor. This one came out decidedly astringent and bitter so that's why I was asking about the hopstand in the original question. brewmeister made some good points so I'm starting to rule out the hopstand being the cause. But it doesn't mean that the combination I used in a big flameout addition wouldn't have caused the harsh flavor I am experiencing. Thanks for the feedback and I'm excited to brew again and get this figured out. After all, the whole point for me is to drink beer I really like and I know it can be done. Cheers!

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