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Old 01-13-2010, 07:41 PM   #1
damdaman
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Default Drinking first batch, not bitter/hoppy enough for me...

So my first batch, an amber, has been in the bottles for about a month now and I've been drinking it. Generally speaking it's pretty good, but it's overly malty and there's not really any detectable hoppiness to balance it out, at least to my tongue, and I do tend to be a hop-head.

In hindsight I realize that I did not do enough to properly utilize the hops in the boil, and given how much I like hops I probably would have used 3-4 oz instead of only 1oz bittering and 1oz aroma.

I already have two more batches bottled and conditioning and a really hoppy ipa which is scheduled to be bottled this weekend, but I want to be able to drink and enjoy this amber, and it's just not doing it for me.

My question is I've seen talk of hop oil, hop extract, and hop teas being used to add bitterness to brews. Can I still use these even after the brew is done? For instance, could I add a couple drops of hop oil to my glass and then pour the beer over it? Or do I just need to develop a taste for maltiness to drink these?

TIA!

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:44 PM   #2
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Open 2 bottles at a time (Amber & IPA) & mix??

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:20 PM   #3
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As far as I know, you can only add bitterness from hops via boiling. You can dry hop and such to add hop aroma and flavor, but the malty character would still be present as you haven't truly bittered your beer.

Again, that's just my limited experience. Perhaps someone more experienced can teach us both something :P

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #4
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To get more hop utilization for bitterness increase your boil volume. A typical 5 gal batch, even for an IPA I've never used over 2 oz. At the 60 min mark I'm closer to 6 gal at that time though.

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojotele View Post
As far as I know, you can only add bitterness from hops via boiling. You can dry hop and such to add hop aroma and flavor, but the malty character would still be present as you haven't truly bittered your beer.

Again, that's just my limited experience. Perhaps someone more experienced can teach us both something :P
You can buy pure hop extract. I've never used it but I think it would be very hard to measure and add to single bottles.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
To get more hop utilization for bitterness increase your boil volume. A typical 5 gal batch, even for an IPA I've never used over 2 oz. At the 60 min mark I'm closer to 6 gal at that time though.
+1, you need to add more hops if you want to get better utilization if you are topping off with water/not doing full-boils. Invest in a 30qt. turkey fryer for the cheapest brew-pot or get stainless steel if you want to spend the extra cash. Aluminum works fine.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips guys, I'm aware of what I did wrong to not utilize the hops well, but I can't do anything about that now. Now I just want to "fix" this batch so I can drink it while my improved batches are fermenting and conditioning.

I like the idea of mixing it with a super-hoppy IPA, might try to find a brutal bitter at the beer store to mix it with.

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
Thanks for the tips guys, I'm aware of what I did wrong to not utilize the hops well, but I can't do anything about that now. Now I just want to "fix" this batch so I can drink it while my improved batches are fermenting and conditioning.

I like the idea of mixing it with a super-hoppy IPA, might try to find a brutal bitter at the beer store to mix it with.
Better yet, buy an oz of a good leaf hop that you like and pop one in your beer before you go to drink it and let it sit for a little while. Then you can have the left-overs to use for whatever you like (or if you end up not liking it). lol
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:49 PM   #9
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You can buy pure hop extract. I've never used it but I think it would be very hard to measure and add to single bottles.
But does it contain iso-alpha acids or alpha acids that haven't been isomerized? The latter aren't very water soluble so they wouldn't bitter your beer, just add flavor and aroma. Or so I've been told.

EDIT: Perhaps I'm just being too technical. What he really wants is some flavor to distract him from the maltiness, not necessarily true bitterness.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:52 PM   #10
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Also, this is an *amber.* Those hop amounts, depending on hop variety, are in the wheelhouse for the style if you're doing a partial boil. I would guess that your hop utilization is fine; it just wasn't a very good recipe for you considering your tastes.

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