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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Brew tastes like very bitter grapefruit juice
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
littleScrapper
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Default Brew tastes like very bitter grapefruit juice

Hey there,

this is my first time posting on HBT, i've found it very helpful to me over the last month.

this is my brother and i's first batch of brew, so we're kind of learning and making it up as we go along here.

we purchased an Oktoberfest Brew House kit from the beer store. it came with a large bag of wort, you don't have to add sugar, but the guy at the store said we can still do a boil if we want to add extra hops.

the two of us are huge hop heads and wanted to add some extra hop flavor. we only have a 4 L (~1 Gal) pot for doing our boiling in, but it's all we've got...

we boiled a portion of our wort for a total of one hour. we added 1/2 oz of mt. hood hops at the beginning of the boil, and added the other 1/2 ounce to the hop sock for the last 8 min.

everything was clean, except it took quite a while to cool down our wort to 78 decrees where we pitched.

we used a the Belgian Wyeast (i think), not sure what number... everything finally took off after about a 3 day stall (maybe a little more than 72 hours)

i wasn't home for it, but apparently the apartment reeked of eggs (sulfur) so bad that my little brother had to move the primary to a different room. pretty sure that's normal for a lager though.

after one week when fermentation had stopped, we racked it into a secondary fermenter (brightening tank) so it can clear a bit for a few weeks. by this time there was no egg smell, so i assume it was only yeast farts.

hydrometer reading was fine, 1.012 i think..

but when we gave it a taste, holy crap!!! that was by far the most bitter beer ive ever tasted in my life!!
very very bitter, and once you got past the bitterness, i thought it tasted like pink grapefruit juice and beer.

i know this is a long post, but i'm kinda worried that this bitterness won't mellow down over time, and we just made something undrinkable.

i totally love bitter IPAs and IIPAs, but this was way too much. like, 500 IBUs if i had to guess

did i just turn my poor oktoberfest into a IIIIPA? or worse?

thanks for reading!

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:21 PM   #2
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The highest a wort can go is about 100 IBUs and since you diluted the boiled wort by 4:1 or so, the most you would have boosted the IBUs is about 20. 500 IBUs can be done using concentrates, but I can guarantee you wouldn't be able to swallow it.

An extra 20 IBUs in an Oktoberfest is a bunch, but it should mellow by the time it is conditioned.

In the future, if you want more hop flavor/aroma only do adds in the last 10 minutes. 60 minute adds do very little for hop flaver/aroma.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
The highest a wort can go is about 100 IBUs and since you diluted the boiled wort by 4:1 or so, the most you would have boosted the IBUs is about 20. 500 IBUs can be done using concentrates, but I can guarantee you wouldn't be able to swallow it.

An extra 20 IBUs in an Oktoberfest is a bunch, but it should mellow by the time it is conditioned.

In the future, if you want more hop flavor/aroma only do adds in the last 10 minutes. 60 minute adds do very little for hop flaver/aroma.
thanks for the quick reply.

the 20 IBU increase is pretty much exactly what we were going for, but our wort was much more bitter than that.

maybe it was because some of the yeast got stirred up of the bottom into our sample?

also, is it common for an infection to cause intense bitterness and pink grapefruit flavor?
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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I'm confused: you say that you bought a kit that came with a "bag of wort"? And you only boiled "a portion" of the wort?

I've never seen a kit that came with wort; wort is a liquid, so packaging and selling a five gallon batch of wort would be tough. Maybe you got something I've never seen though. . .

Regardless, the boil is useful for more than just "adding hops." It also kills any bacteria in the wort; even if you somehow were using a kit that came with sterile, pre-boiled wort, the process of storing and transferring the wort would introduce microorganisms. My bet is that, if you really tried to ferment unboiled wort, you ended up with an infection.

Has anyone else heard of this?

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pericles View Post
I'm confused: you say that you bought a kit that came with a "bag of wort"? And you only boiled "a portion" of the wort?

I've never seen a kit that came with wort; wort is a liquid, so packaging and selling a five gallon batch of wort would be tough. Maybe you got something I've never seen though. . .

Regardless, the boil is useful for more than just "adding hops." It also kills any bacteria in the wort; even if you somehow were using a kit that came with sterile, pre-boiled wort, the process of storing and transferring the wort would introduce microorganisms. My bet is that, if you really tried to ferment unboiled wort, you ended up with an infection.

Has anyone else heard of this?
more than likley it was just a vaccume sealed bag of LME
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:32 PM   #6
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But you haven't bottled it yet... you have nothing to lose by giving it time to condition.

You "tinkered on the fly." You don't even know how many IBUs you added. Why change the recipe? If you knew that the kit was going to make a beer that you didn't want, why did you buy it? My advice (for next time) is to buy a kit that you want to try, and follow the directions exactly. Once you start screwing around with a recipe, you're on your own and you fate is in the hands of the beer gods.

After you've done a few recipes, and understand the process, you can design your own recipes. But have it all planned out - no changing horses in mid-stream!

I say this as a veteran mid-stream horse changer, so I know what I'm talking about.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pericles View Post
I'm confused: you say that you bought a kit that came with a "bag of wort"? And you only boiled "a portion" of the wort?

I've never seen a kit that came with wort; wort is a liquid, so packaging and selling a five gallon batch of wort would be tough. Maybe you got something I've never seen though. . .
yeah it's from Canada. here's the link

http://www.thebrewhouse.com/what_is/index.htm

we probably shouldn't have changed the recipe on our first batch of beer, but we just couldn't resist.

hopefully when i give it time to condition the bitterness will mellow down.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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Lagering already??? Ambitious. How are you cooling it?

Hoppy beers are typically ales.

I think Sierra Nevada tastes like grapefruit juice.

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pericles View Post
I'm confused: you say that you bought a kit that came with a "bag of wort"? And you only boiled "a portion" of the wort?

I've never seen a kit that came with wort; wort is a liquid, so packaging and selling a five gallon batch of wort would be tough. Maybe you got something I've never seen though. . .

Regardless, the boil is useful for more than just "adding hops." It also kills any bacteria in the wort; even if you somehow were using a kit that came with sterile, pre-boiled wort, the process of storing and transferring the wort would introduce microorganisms. My bet is that, if you really tried to ferment unboiled wort, you ended up with an infection.

Has anyone else heard of this?
Maybe he's talking about Festabrew? They make a 5 gallons wort you can buy. No need for sugar/water. You just put in fermenter and pitch the yeast and wait!
http://www.thebrewerswort.com/festa.htm
This is a Canadian product made by Magnotta, in BC.

... This doesn't seem any fun at all, but hey...
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Ever heard of FestaBrew? They make a 5 gallons wort you can buy. You just have to pitch the yeast and wait!
http://www.thebrewerswort.com/festa.htm
My question is:

What is the point? It's beer Kool-Aid at that point.
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