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glassbottom 12-28-2012 03:57 PM

hopnog 2012
i received hopnog 2012 as a gift this christmas and am planning to brew it soon. only issue is that i'm not much of an IPA drinker and prefer a less hoppy/bitter beer. the kit came with 4 packets of hops, and i'm wondering if i can just add less than the full amount to reduce the IBUs of the beer? or would having a shorter boil with the full amount be better at reducing it? thanks!

hoppyhoppyhippo 12-28-2012 07:04 PM

Adding less will reduce the amount of IBUs but you want to be careful. Beer is about balance and if the IPA has a high gravity you may wind up with a beer that's way too sweet and not balanced enough. You can reduce the hops if you want, that will lower the IBUs, but shorter boil will just make more aroma/flavor hops and the beer less bitter. But I would be cautious in how much you lower it as you may find the results less enjoyable than a hoppy beer.

glassbottom 12-28-2012 08:08 PM

i was thinking about just reducing the boil time to take some of the bitterness off of the beer while keeping the flavors. would adding anything to the wort like more extract, sugar, etc. help to bring the hoppiness/bitterness down? feel like that might be easier than trying to adjust hops/boil.

hoppyhoppyhippo 12-29-2012 06:02 AM

Increasing the gravity by extract or sugar will balance it a little better.

jethro55 12-29-2012 09:05 AM

I can offer my notes on this one - I started this brew on 1 Dec.

Fermentation started up after 6 hours (68 degrees) and began to get vigorous near bedtime. I checked on it at 2 am and it was looking like a blow-off was in the cards so I plugged in the blow-off tube.

It blew for a couple of days and then I switched back to the airlock bubbler and it bubbled for a couple more days. I swirled it just after a week and it bubbled slowly for 3 more days.

Checked gravity at 2 weeks and it was 1.010. Quite a bit of scum and floaters on top so I reacted and removed it. Also moved to secondary at this point. Have since been advised by the helpful guides here on HBT that had I left it alone for a couple more weeks in primary, the floaters would fall to the bottom and things would clear up just fine. The taste from the hydrometer flask at this point was decent but quite astringent.

I pulled another taste sample from secondary two days ago. I'd call it hoppy and a slight green apple at this point. No astringent taste. I'm gonna guess that the astringency was the suspended hops particles. 4 oz is a lot of hops !

I'll leave it to age in secondary for two more weeks. I think it will be hoppy beer, but not super bitter. My guess is that bitterness is balanced.

Oh, one more note. This one produced a full gallon of trub on the bottom, so I was only able to move about 4 gallons to secondary. The gurus tell me that had I left it in primary, this trub would have compacted substantially. :mug:

glassbottom 01-02-2013 01:50 PM

thanks for the advice, i think that when it comes to brewing it i'm going to add some sugar to bump the gravity up and balance it out a bit, and possibly shorten the boil by a little bit so the bittering hops aren't in quite as long. worst that happens is that i'm not much of a fan of it and have to share, i'm sure my friends wont mind

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