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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Does temp affect bitterness of hops?
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:26 PM   #1
smitty2324
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Default Does temp affect bitterness of hops?

I know that temperature affects sweetness, i.e. the colder something is, the less sweet it will taste. My question is if the opposite is true for bitterness? I just took a taste of my red ale and it actually seems to be more hoppy than it was when I tasted it at bottling. This isn't a bad thing, and this beer is exactly like I wanted it. I'm just surprised as I'd alwys heard that hop bitterness decreases over time.

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Old 09-05-2009, 11:31 PM   #2
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Hop bitterness becomes more apparent over the malt as temp drops. IOW, like sweetness you taste less malt at cold temps while the level of hops remains constant. As the beer warms up in the glass this effect will reverse.

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Old 09-05-2009, 11:33 PM   #3
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I think that the carbonation level will also play a part in the perception of bitterness. Sampling a warm, flat beer will always taste different than a cold, carbonated one.

-Steve

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Old 09-06-2009, 12:31 AM   #4
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Cold somewhat deadens all flavor perception. Try this with 2 IPAs. Chill one as cold as you can possibly get it. Set the other one out so its at proper serving temp (~50 ish). You will definitely notice a difference.

Also, hop bitterness does decrease over time. Not in the time it takes to bottle condition though. It takes months for it to happen. Ever buy Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot right when it comes out? Tastes like an IIPA. Age it for 6 months and it becomes a maltier and IMO better beer.

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Old 09-06-2009, 03:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SavageSteve View Post
I think that the carbonation level will also play a part in the perception of bitterness. Sampling a warm, flat beer will always taste different than a cold, carbonated one.

-Steve
I agree on both points. I've been amazed by the differences in mine.

Hop bitterness will decrease in time though.
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:12 PM   #6
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Hoppiness or bitterness? Not the same thing.

Since you are comparing uncarbonated beer to carbonated beer, it's probably the CO2 bringing the aroma oils out.

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