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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Is it possible to 'over-hop' by squeezing wort out of a hop bag?
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
Jersh
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Default Is it possible to 'over-hop' by squeezing wort out of a hop bag?

So the first time I brewed this recipe it turned phenomenal... It also happened be only my third batch ever brewed, and my second AG batch. I recently brewed it again, and this time it tastes like ass, it's basically WAYYYY overhopped, so much that I can barely swallow a single drink (and I like hoppy beers).

I used the exact same ingredients from the exact same store, same % a.a. hops, etc. My efficiency, OG and FG were basically all the same between both batches. The only two variations I made in the protocol were:
1. For the first of hour of the boil I had the wort split between two different kettles on my stove so as to prevent boil-overs. After an hour I combined the wort into one kettle for the first hops addition.
2. I used hop-bags for the hops (the chinook hops were whole leaf, the rest were pellet). Last time I just threw the hops directly into the kettle. This time, I used my immersion chiller to cool the wort, and then before I transferred it to the primary I used a pair of tongs to remove the bags of hops, and then basically used the tongs and squeezed the bags to remove as much of the wort as possible... By squeezing the bags of hops, is it possible that I somehow released more bitterness than normally would have been, and that would explain the problem with this batch? Also, it had only been in the bottle two weeks when I first tried it, however the previous time I brewed it, I started drinking it after one week and it was just fine.

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Old 05-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #2
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No. Bitterness comes from the boil.

I squeeze the sparge water from my hops all the time.

The only thing I can think of that may have changed is the AA % of the hops used. There's no mention of them at all.

With higher AAs you probably overhopped.

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Old 05-15-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
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Oops forgot to mention that as well.... I used the same AA% as well second time around.

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Old 05-15-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Since I don't have a valid answer that would help, I will offer a smirky answer.
Is it possible that a buddy or significant added some "ass extract" when you weren't looking?

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Old 05-15-2009, 09:33 PM   #5
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Nope I was home by lonesome when I brewed this one, SWMBO was in Florida for the weekend. I guess one of our cats could have dropped a dookie in there, but they would have had to prop their hind legs up on the kettle and I don't think they coulda taken the heat!

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Old 05-15-2009, 09:43 PM   #6
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Just a noob here, but I am sure I read somewhere about being careful not to squeeze the hop sack as it did add significant bitterness. I would search around to be sure.

Also, drinking after only 1 or 2 weeks in the bottle may also be an issue. That seems just too short a period of time I think. I would bet that it will taste completely different after 4 weeks in the bottle.

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Old 05-16-2009, 02:21 AM   #7
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That "bitterness" you describe is actually tannins that were released into the wort when you squeezed the bag. It's the same mouth feel you get from red wine or iced tea. You'll get the same effect if you steep at too high a temperature. Next time just lift the bag out, let it drain for a few seconds and toss it.

Tom

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Old 05-16-2009, 02:40 AM   #8
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tannins from hops? I thought that was from squeezing the grain bag.

I always squeeze my hop bags with good results, haven't noticed a difference from before I used the bags. Was your boil volume larger this time? From what you wrote it sounds like you boiled until it stopped trying to boil over and the foam stopped coming up before you added the hops, and you hadn't done this before. The hop alpha acids are brought out of solution by the foam and probably stick to the sides of your kettle, so that might be the reason you had more bitterness the 2nd time.

And dude, buy yourself some fermcap-s, it's like $7 for a bottle that will last you for a really long time. Two drops in the boil and you WILL NOT get a boil over, I have the liquid within two inches of the top of my kettle with a crazy rolling boil and don't even have to watch it.

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Old 05-16-2009, 03:21 AM   #9
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I added the hops at the same time point as I did last time... The recipe I used is different than most... It's a 90 minute boil, but the first hops addition isn't until 30 minutes, so it boils for a full hour at the beginning with no hops. So

I have the droplets that I use to prevent boil-overs... I split it into two kettles 1) b/c I had 7.75 gallons in an 8 gallon brew kettle, so I was about 1/2 a cm from the overflowing when I first started, and 2) b/c it will boil much quicker on my stove top when I have the wort split between two kettles. When I do a 60 minute boil I only use one kettle, but when the recipe calls for 90 minutes I have to split, the volume difference between 60 and 90 is just enough to make it nearly impossible to boil in my 8 gallon kettle.

Thanks to all for the feedback

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Old 05-16-2009, 08:54 AM   #10
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I squeeze my bag all the time, and I don't ever get any ill effects from it.


My hop bags, too.

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