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Old 10-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
robthefrog
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Default IPAs and Me Soap Suds

I've tried to make a decent IPA twice now, and I always end up getting a beer that tastes like soap. Not bitter at all, just soapy tasting.

Here's my last recipe I tried: It was supposed to be a Cali Red IPA:
I believe this was for a 10 gallon batch.

"Grain:
8oz American Two-row Pale
.75lbs Crystal 40L

Extract:
9.8lbs light LME

Hops:
1.3oz Amarillo(AA9.8) (60 Minute)
2.0oz Chinook(AA11.8) (60 Minute)
1oz Cascade (15 Minute)
1oz Cascade (DH 7 Days)

Misc:
1x Whirlflock Tablet (15 Minutes) "

When I think IPA, I think of the deep back of throat bitter you get from a Stone IPA or a Maharaja, or even the bitterness of a DFH 90 minute(even though they balance there's with quite a bit more sweetness imo).

Whenever I add lots of hops I just end up with soap taste. Up front wet dog, soapy plastic instead of mouth coating bitterness. I've had great success with dark ales and stouts in the past. It's just IPAs I'm a little puzzled on.

I'm going all-grain, doing my first batch tomorrow but it's a Moose Drool clone, so obviously not an IPA. But do you think going all grain may help?

I brew my batches in a 15 gallon mega brew pot. I use hop socks.

Any hints?

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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First, use a bittering hop that's good for bittering, not a flavor/aroma hop. Try CTZ (columbus, tomahawk, zeus). You're not getting any/much flavor from a 60m hop addition anyways, so it's a waste.

Secondly, that's a crap-ton of IBU's. I could see if you were making a big imperial, but not for a 30's something gravity IPA.

Third, try first-wort-hopping.

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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John Palmer says it can come from leaving the beer in primary too long. I say that's outdated info at this point. But it's basically fermenting conditions. It's the salt of a fatty acid breaking down in the trub...which is what soap is. So you are litterally tasting soap.
I never had this problem. but I think first of all you should start using hop sacks & pouring all through a fine mesh strainer into the FV. This will help stop all that hop residue from helping the trub's fatty acids from breaking down. Besides having less trub at racking time to begin with.That's my current theory. I get only about 3/8" of trub & yeast at racking time by doing so. & no soapy weird off flavors.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
John Palmer says it can come from leaving the beer in primary too long. I say that's outdated info at this point. But it's basically fermenting conditions. It's the salt of a fatty acid breaking down in the trub...which is what soap is. So you are litterally tasting soap.
I never had this problem. but I think first of all you should start using hop sacks & pouring all through a fine mesh strainer into the FV. This will help stop all that hop residue from helping the trub's fatty acids from breaking down. Besides having less trub at racking time to begin with.That's my current theory. I get only about 3/8" of trub & yeast at racking time by doing so. & no soapy weird off flavors.
I usually just throw the beer into a fermenter and putting it in my chest freezer at a good temp for the yeast and let it be for 3 weeks. Then I go straight to keg.

So you're saying I should try to strain as much hop and trub crap out when adding the wort to my fermenter? That I can do.

I'll check on maybe going with less IBUs... but that's the thing I WANT those high IBUs. I like the ridiculously bitter stuff.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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My current theory is that all those alpha acids that may still be locked into the hop trub from flavor/aroma additions may be reacting with the fatty acids in the trub,creating slats of fatty acids,IE soap. Straining judiciously could help reduce the effect on high IBU beers.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
My current theory is that all those alpha acids that may still be locked into the hop trub from flavor/aroma additions may be reacting with the fatty acids in the trub,creating slats of fatty acids,IE soap. Straining judiciously could help reduce the effect on high IBU beers.
Sounds like a decent theory to me. I'll give it a shot and let you know the next time I try an IPA. It'll be a while though... Ales and Dark beers for winter Yum

Thanks for the help folks!
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:55 PM   #7
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Well one more post. I'm looking for a solid IPA recipe to try. All grain if possible. Anyone have any good ones? tried and true? Doesn't have to have massive IBU or anything. I just want to try a brew that someone else has approved of and see if I can get decent results.

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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you're welcome. I hope my theories from experience can help even one other brewer. Gotta get my science jones somehow...
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
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You probably won't believe this, but many people complain that IPAs taste like soap. The most common culprit in my experience is Cascade hops. I personally don't understand it, but there are also a lot of people who think cilantro tastes like soap while I think it is amazing. Interestingly, none of the IPAs you mentioned liking use Cascade (not 100% sure about the 90 minute, though).

Also, despite wanting more bitterness, tre9er is correct that your hop schedule really is rather backwards. To use an example, a Maharaja clone is roughly: 1oz at 60 min; 1 oz at 30 min; 4.5 oz at 0 minutes; 7 oz dry hops. (and, of course, that's in a 1.090 beer). I think if you were getting more hop flavor and aroma, you would percieve more of the puckering bitterness you want, even though your IBUs might be reduced overall.

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Old 10-12-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chally View Post
You probably won't believe this, but many people complain that IPAs taste like soap. The most common culprit in my experience is Cascade hops. I personally don't understand it, but there are also a lot of people who think cilantro tastes like soap while I think it is amazing. Interestingly, none of the IPAs you mentioned liking use Cascade (not 100% sure about the 90 minute, though).

Also, despite wanting more bitterness, tre9er is correct that your hop schedule really is rather backwards. To use an example, a Maharaja clone is roughly: 1oz at 60 min; 1 oz at 30 min; 4.5 oz at 0 minutes; 7 oz dry hops. (and, of course, that's in a 1.090 beer). I think if you were getting more hop flavor and aroma, you would percieve more of the puckering bitterness you want, even though your IBUs might be reduced overall.
That makes total sense. Maybe it's not the bitterness that I'm enjoying. Maybe it's the aroma, thus i should put as much of that in at the end as possible. Hrrrrmm... You have my mind cranking right now. Nice nice. I guess I'll have to look through some clones recipes for beers I like and see if I can get close to them.

BTW I am one of those people that think Cilantro tastes like soap.
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