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Old 02-21-2013, 11:05 PM   #1
nufad
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Default Hop flavor fading fast

I have recently begun using large whirlpool hop additions (5-6oz in 5.5 gallons, 45min steep once the wort cools below 180) in order to achieve the intense hoppy flavour that commercially available IPAs have. While the young bottles (2-3 weeks) were delicious, the flavour has mellowed considerably after 5 weeks of storage at 65. The beer really has lost its muster. Am I storing it too warm? Is it oxygen? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:21 PM   #2
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IPAs generally are better young. The hop aroma in particular is one of the first things to fade with ageing.

Move the bottles to cold conditioning after 3 weeks in the bottle and drink em young.

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:24 PM   #3
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Yep, that's why I like to do 2 gallon batches of IPA. Gotta drink 'em fast!

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nufad View Post
I have recently begun using large whirlpool hop additions (5-6oz in 5.5 gallons, 45min steep once the wort cools below 180) in order to achieve the intense hoppy flavour that commercially available IPAs have. While the young bottles (2-3 weeks) were delicious, the flavour has mellowed considerably after 5 weeks of storage at 65. The beer really has lost its muster. Am I storing it too warm? Is it oxygen? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Are you also dryhopping at the same rate or higher? Using pellet hops? Staged dryhop? Fresh hops? What varieties are you using? Using a secondary? Careful when racking? Flooding with C02? Using a yeast and malt bill that doesn't hinder the hop focus?

Don't store the bottles at 65 F for 5 weeks. Let them carb at 72 F for 2.5 weeks and then immediately refrigerate.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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Drink them quickly. the fresher the better.

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Old 02-23-2013, 12:28 AM   #6
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I've noticed the same thing. But when I buy a commercial IPA, they always have that intense flavor and I am pretty certain they are not always fresh. How do they maintain that flavor and aroma in the bottle? Is anything done differently?

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Old 02-23-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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I've noticed the same thing. But when I buy a commercial IPA, they always have that intense flavor and I am pretty certain they are not always fresh. How do they maintain that flavor and aroma in the bottle? Is anything done differently?
Most are filtered, so there is no yeast in the bottle and therefore very little conditioning, so the hop flavor and aroma lingers.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:56 AM   #8
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There's a reason the hop oils are called volatile oils. Store 'em cold.

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Old 02-23-2013, 07:27 AM   #9
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Fermentation and yeast itself does take away some of the bitterness and perceived "hoppiness" from beer, so I wouldn't be surprised if keeping unfiltered beer at a level in which yeast stay in suspension and/or active would cause the beer to lose some of that character, although I'm completely speculating on this point.

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Old 02-23-2013, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Nyholm View Post
I've noticed the same thing. But when I buy a commercial IPA, they always have that intense flavor and I am pretty certain they are not always fresh. How do they maintain that flavor and aroma in the bottle? Is anything done differently?
Hmm, I've only bought IPA with flavor on par with homebrewed IPA twice in my life. That's why I love making IPA!
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