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Old 05-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #1
rlich
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Default Troubleshoot possible low bitterness from hops

So, last night we brewed the "good life IPA" from the book "the Joy of Home Brewing." According to the recipe, we should have ended up with 6 gallons of wort, after boil. Turns out, we only ended up with 3.5 gallons, or so. We were confused, but the recipe said to add cold water in the fermenter until we reached 6 gallons.

After some research, I found variations of the recipe we brewed. Looks like the recipe we followed in the book may have left out an addition of up to 1.5 to 2 gallons of water. May have been my inexperience in that I didn't understand what the guy meant in the recipe, but whatever.

My concern is that my bitterness for the IPA will be way low because I essentially brewed a concentrated wort. Is there anyway that I can remedy this with dry hop additions? Should I even worry about this? Thanks!

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Old 05-11-2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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Yes, there will be a difference in IBU from what the recipe expected and what you will get based on the lower boil volume.

Dry hopping will not add bitterness, only aroma characteristics. So that won't help you.

If you tell me the hop schedule you used (type, alpha acid, and when you added them in the boil) I can help you determine the new IBU you should expect due to the lower boil volume.

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Old 05-11-2014, 10:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHadack View Post
Yes, there will be a difference in IBU from what the recipe expected and what you will get based on the lower boil volume.

Dry hopping will not add bitterness, only aroma characteristics. So that won't help you.

If you tell me the hop schedule you used (type, alpha acid, and when you added them in the boil) I can help you determine the new IBU you should expect due to the lower boil volume.
Thanks for the response......

1.7 oz Fuggle hops - 60 min of boiling
1 oz Kent Goldings hops - 30 min of boiling
1 oz Kent Goldings hops - 3 minutes of boiling
.5 oz American Crystal for dry hopping - obviously, I haven't done this yet because we brewed last night.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:53 PM   #4
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Sorry, forgot some information on the previous post. Here is everything:

1.7 oz Fuggle hops: 8 HBU (224 MBU) - 60 min of boiling
1 oz Kent Goldings hops: 6 HBU (168 MBU) - 30 min of boiling
1 oz Kent Goldings hops: 6 HBU (168 MBU) - 3 minutes of boiling
.5 oz American Crystal for dry hopping - obviously, I haven't done this yet because we brewed last night.

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Old 05-13-2014, 11:06 AM   #5
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Sorry for the late reply.

As a rough calculation, I figure you lost about 22% of the bitterness. But this is just an estimate. I have seen in a few different articles online that you can expect to lose anywhere from 20-30% when doing a concentrated boil instead of a full boil, and this number falls within that range so it might be accurate. Without some other details like the target OG, this is the best I could come up with.

The calculator I used is located here.

That calculator, like most, uses IBU instead of HBU. I calculated your intended IBU to be around 46 with a 6 gallon boil, and the actual IBU to be 36 for a 4 gallon boil (22% difference.)

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Sounds like the beer will still have a pleasant hopiness to it.

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Old 05-13-2014, 03:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for the information. I will cease worrying about it. 20% is better than I hoped.

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