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Old 07-02-2013, 05:50 PM   #11
motorneuron
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I do agree that you could probably use more late additions, including especially around the 0-minute mark.

Beyond that, it's hard to say for sure without having been there and without tasting the beer. One thing is that after only a week in the bottle, you may still need another week (or two) before the beer really comes together. The earthiness could have been due in part to suspended yeast that will precipitate (not likely, though, unless you can see yeast) or flavors that will work themselves out in the next week. Or it could be due to another problem, like sanitation or too high a fermentation temperature. Again, no way to really know without tasting the beer.

It's also possible that you just picked a combination of hops that isn't that great. Using a lot of different varieties could lead to incoherence. And it's possible that the hops you used just weren't that great--hops are an agricultural product, after all, just like fruits and vegetables, and some are better than others.

So, that's probably not the explanation you were looking for, but some of those things could be true!



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Old 07-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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Also to follow up - I made another couple IPA's before posting this thread - and one was ready to crack open yesterday. Hop flavor is on target with grapefruit/citrusy goodness. One problem - TX heat = diacetyl...

On to the next troubleshoot!

Thanks again everyone for posting. I am going to ramp up the numbers and explore some hopstands/teas.



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Old 07-02-2013, 08:44 PM   #13
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Thanks for the post - I was initially concerned about the combination of those being... less than optimal? as in backwards synergy. 1 + 1 = - 4.

Those hops individually are all pretty popular but the combo/qty's might have been off and preventing any one of them from, 'struttin their stuff'. I do also have to deal w/ abysmal ferm temps in central TX w/ no cellar or cold storage.

But a point I was curious about is: If aging/fermentation dissipates hop flavor - how can aging improve flavor? I understand how it helps give the yeast time to clean up compounds that contribute to off flavor but I don't understand how it improves hop flavor. This question is of constant consternation to me. I often wonder why anyone would even add late boil hops at all if the CO2 leaving the fermenter in primary drives off hop flavor and aroma? I know that is sort of an extreme example/solution but why sacrifice any hop flavor if you don't have to? One answer I could contemplate would be the presence of heat required to extract the volatile oils - but most seems to have very low heat thresholds before dissipating so that would be counter-intuitive.

Thanks again for all your answers fellow brewers.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #14
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Haha, I mean it's a good question, but I don't think I can help you on the theoretical side. To me, it's an empirical result: very hoppy beers tend to reach a flavor peak after 2-3 weeks in the bottle. Before that, and they may taste "green," and after that, and they start to lose their aroma. My axiom is: once it is ready, drink it as soon as possible. A beer that's just a week in the bottle might not be ready yet. Put another way, it seems to me you're seeking a balance between driving off the "off" flavors of young fermentation, which improve with time, and hop aroma/flavor, which gets worse with time.

That said, there are some styles that are hoppy but age for a long time--e.g. American barleywine, some traditional imperial IPAs. But the result you get from those is not the same hop aroma you'd have in a really fresh IPA. You do get some hop flavor and aroma, but it's quite different, and not the same as those beers would be young.

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Old 07-03-2013, 12:13 AM   #15
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I should listen to my own advice. I just tried a pale ale I bottled a week ago, and it had a really muddy flavor. Wait a week!

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Old 07-03-2013, 02:26 AM   #16
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Yes that balance is the quest that continues to plague me. I have gleaned another question from one of your repeated messages though concerning bottling - is there any evidence out there to suggest hop flavor/aroma dissipates more quickly in ____________ vs. _____________ ? (carboys/bottles/etc.?)

thanks for your continued correspondence motorneuron.

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Old 07-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #17
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I've read that 02 absorbing caps rob the flavor more quickly.

A rigorous fermentation can rob flavor. Basically if you can smell the hops in the room then that is flavor that is not coming back.

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Old 07-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grathan View Post
I've read that 02 absorbing caps rob the flavor more quickly.
I don't know, I swear by those things. I had an IPA take third in a state-wide invitational and it had been in the bottle a month with 02 absorbing caps. If anything, they help IMO, hoppy, light colored beers are probably more susceptible to oxidation.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #19
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I just brewed an IPA and added an ounce each of Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra at flameout. When I racked to secondary 14 days later there was a ton of aroma in the beer. I may not have even needed to dry hop because the aroma was so strong but I did anyways since I had already purchased the leaf hops.

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Old 07-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #20
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Well if a good vigorous fermentation robs flavor - then why not make every hoppy beer 'hop tea'd'? Granted I have found little to no reliable info on how to successfully impart great hop flavor with the tea, and even when I find someone who gives detailed instructions and reports results, half the posters on the thread vehemently disagree.

I know adding no hops pre-primary seems extreme but if it drives off flavor why not add them all after primary? Am I going crazy?



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