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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Please help me trouble shoot
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
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Default Please help me trouble shoot

Hi all. I'm a long time lurker here and don't post much because I can usually find any answers I need without having to ask; however, I could really use some help with this one. I brewed the below recipe on 11/25 and transferred to keg on 12/26.

5 Gallon batch size - Full Boil
10.0 lb (88.5%) Standard 2-Row; Rahr - added during mash
0.4 lb (3.5%) Cara-Pils® Malt; Briess - added during mash
.4 lb (3.5%) Crystal 40; Great Western - added during mash
.5 lb (4.4%) Honey Malt - added during mash
1 oz (25.0%) Falconer’s Flight™ Blend Pellets(11.2%) - 75.0 min
1 oz (25.0%) Falconer’s Flight™ Blend Pellets(11.2%) - 20 min
1.0 oz (25.0%) Falconer’s Flight™ Blend Pellets(11.2%) - 5 min
1.0 oz (25.0%) Falconer’s Flight™ Blend Pellets(11.2%) - Dry hopped in primary 10 days
WLP299 (Persica Ale Yeast)

OG = 1.060 FG = 1.008

Mashed/rested @ 152*
Batch sparged @ 168*

Fermented @ 68* but got as high as 72* during peak activity. (Yeast range is supposed to be 68* - 78*) so it was well within range.

Problem - I have little to no hop character at all in this beer. Bitterness, Flavor nor aroma. I mean you would think that I brewed this batch without any hops.

Here are some of my variables.

1. Used a hop spider similar to those in the DIY section here. I've used it in the past with no issues including a recent (delicious) DIPA. I don't think this was the cause.

2. First time using an outdoor burner instead of my stovetop. Not sure how this could contribute.

3. Dry hopping was done in the primary for 10 days after fermentation completed.

4. Purchased the hops 1 week prior to brew day and kept in the freezer. I normally just keep them refrigerated.

5. Used WLP299 harvested/cleaned from a batch done in May 2012 against my better judgement to stick with WLP001 harvested from above DIPA.

6. Yeast starter lagged so I pitched the contents of the starter and another mason jar of washed yeast. Probably over pitched the yeast. The lag time for active fermentation was somewhere between 36-48 hours.

I know I made a mistake with this yeast by over-pitching from dormant/lazy strain that I'm not familiar with, but I can't seem to understand how this or any of the other variables would all but eliminate any trace of hops in my beer. Like I said, you would think this beer was brewed without any hops. Normally I would let a beer just sit longer until any off flavors mellowed out; however, this is not an option as I'm pretty sure hop flavors and bitterness will not reappear.

Except for my yeast pitching mistake, this brew day was business as usual. Could it be that I simply got a bad batch of hops? Has this ever happened to anybody else?

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:02 PM   #2
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1.008, sure did ferment out well.

I honestly have no idea with that mountain of alpha acids, I would think there would be overwhelming hop flavor.

Maybe some of the other guys will get involved here today.

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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You should have some hop presence there. That is weird.

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:33 PM   #4
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Two things I can think of,1.wort ph is too low affecting hop utilization 2.your beer still may be too young and needs time.

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Old 01-01-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alane1 View Post
Two things I can think of,1.wort ph is too low affecting hop utilization 2.your beer still may be too young and needs time.
I don't like my tap water taste, so I used bottled Sparklets drinking water. I don't have the exact chemistry, but I think the ph is in the 7-8 neighborhood. I used buffer 5.2 to bring the ph down a little.

You're right, it is still pretty young. I'll pull another pint or so in a week or two.

I'm not sure why, but I never tasted my sample gravity reading. It does have a diacetyl off flavor too that I'm attributing to the yeast lag time. I certainly wish I would have left the beer on the yeast cake to clean up a little better.

If nothing else, I've learned a lesson in patience.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:37 PM   #6
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keep us posted.

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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I'm betting it was your water chemistry. Using too much distilled/bottled water without any buffering compounds in them won't get you much hop utilization. Generally, the more calcium, magnesium and sulfites in your water, the more bitter your utilization will get.

If you don't like the taste of your tap water, try doing a 50%/50% mix of bottled to tap or add brewers salts (burtonize) to your bottled water.

Only other thing I can think of would be old hops pellets. Were they nice and hoppy fresh on opening, or were they yellowed out, dry and powdery?

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:58 PM   #8
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are you drinking this beer cold and fully carbonated? is it very cold? i have had this happen before, though several years ago. i had a keg of black ipa that was as if i never hopped it. i let it sit in the keg a while longer and i swear to god it ended up fine. i have no explanation for this.

try dry hopping it excessively to perhaps save it if it never comes around.

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