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Old 09-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Hop Bitterness Troubles

I don't get why when I follow the recipes and do the required hop additions that my beers taste more bitter than desired. Am I not supposed to do 60 minute additions? Maybe instead of 60 I should do the at 45 or 30 for bittering. I use pellet hops and muslin hop bags. Any thoughts?

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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Without knowing anything about what you're brewing, or what you like, it's difficult (at best) to say. It could be the hops your using AA% is higher than the hops used in the recipe. It could also be other factors coming into play.

Personally, I formulate my own recipes, purchase hops in bulk, and add the hop amount to get the effect I desire.

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Old 09-19-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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Agree with GoldDiggie. Check your AA% against what the recipe says. I made the mistake of assuming what I ordered was what the recipe specified and discovered later that my hops were 11.2% versus the 13% called out in the recipe. Needless to say, my beer didn't match up to the anticipated hop profile. I now use Beersmith to help me adjust my additions to match the required bitterness if I can't get the exact hops. It's the little things that make the difference between good and great beer.

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfbugsbunny View Post
I don't get why when I follow the recipes and do the required hop additions that my beers taste more bitter than desired.
I suspect you like a lower IBU to malt ratio than most people. Try repeating a recipe and shift the 60 minute add to 45 or cut the bittering add by 1/3.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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There is also "efficiency" to consider....efficiency differs based on system, yours could be better than average.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:40 PM   #6
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If you're making IPA's, try either a regular pale ale or an English IPA recipe. Both have lower IBUs. I really enjoy the English brews, far more than the American version (which have higher IBU levels). I typically formulate my IPA recipes to not go above ~50 IBUs. I also prefer a more moderate IBU/GU ratio in my brews. Or have them more malt forward, depending on the recipe.

It would really help if you would post up what you've brewed, that was more bitter than you desired.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:53 PM   #7
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If you end up with a significantly lower OG than targeted it can also throw things out of whack. First, a 1.060 OG will have the malt backbone to balance a lot of hops that a 1.050 might not. And lower gravity wort utilizes more of the hops during the boil than a higher gravity. I have also looked at low cohumulone bittering hops, supposed to be a smoother bitterness.

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Old 09-20-2012, 02:32 AM   #8
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fwiw, unexpected bitterness could be a function of water chemistry...

Cheers!

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:08 AM   #9
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Yeah, I'm going to go with the AA%. I used some citra that was 15.6%; beersmith has it listed as 12.0%. Make sure you make those adjustments. An extra 25% bittering could make a big difference in your beer.

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Old 09-20-2012, 05:37 AM   #10
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Are you doing all grain or extract batches? I started adding my extract late to avoid an overly dark beer and a few batches were very bitter, until I realized that the Alpha Acids are being pulled out at a much higher rate when the gravity is lower.

Easy fix for me was to add some extract early and some later, and to cut down my hopping levels slightly.

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