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Old 08-17-2009, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Calming down the Hops

Here is the predicament: My friend who used to say that he would eat the hops off a branch decided to brew an ultra-hoppy beer (basically English bitter with 2x the hops). We brewed it about a month ago, racked it to secondary 2 weeks later, and did a sampling this Thursday to check specific gravity. Needless to say, we drank the samples (why not??) and he realized that it was way too much hops for him (the actual quote was that it tasted like a mouth-full of awfulness).

Is there anything he can do now or during bottling to reduce the hops taste?

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Old 08-17-2009, 12:44 AM   #2
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Some cold conditioning should help round out the bitterness so it's a bit more palatable. Also, you might try adding Polyclar, a fining which can reduce bitterness a little, though I think this just does the same thing that cold conditioning would do.

-Steve

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:25 AM   #3
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you could brew a lower hop beer and blend.

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:40 AM   #4
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The hops will be a lot stronger tasting at room temperature which I assume you're racking at. When it's cold should be a bit more mellow. Age or blending is the only way to mellow flavor.

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:57 AM   #5
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I really like the idea of brewing a lower hopped beer and blending them. Brew something with half the hops you normally would. It would be a shame to throw out all that beer.

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Old 08-17-2009, 03:01 AM   #6
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Could you add some lactose to bring some sweetness to the table or does it not work that way?

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Old 08-17-2009, 03:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PassThePint View Post
Could you add some lactose to bring some sweetness to the table or does it not work that way?
It might, to a small degree, but now you're talking about introducing sweetness to a beer for which the style doesn't really call for it-- I don't think it would work well.

Try it on a sample and see what happens, but I still think aging or blending are your best options. Blending would probably be a faster solution.

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Old 08-17-2009, 04:48 AM   #8
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Don't waste your time trying to add anything. Just let it sit for 6 months. Most of the bitterness, especially the sharpness, will be gone.

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:28 PM   #9
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I have an ESB I brew about every two months. One of my favorites. In my notes the first and second time I brewed go something like "...bitter! Pucker your a** bitter! Man I sure hope this mellows out!" This was when I tasted my hydro sample.

Last time I served it was when we had a little gathering. Finished off the entire 5 gals. Everyone said it was one of the best beers they'd ever had. Malty, just a little sweet, with just enough hop presence to balance everything out. Definitely NOT overpoweringly bitter.

Don't worry about it, the hops will mellow. The CO2 will tone it down, and time in the bottle will tone it down even more. It might take 6 weeks in the bottle instead of 3, but I'll bet it'll be great.

And, if it's not, feel free to send it to me for proper disposal!

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