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Old 01-20-2007, 10:23 PM   #1
MariaAZ
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Default There IS hope for undercarbonated, too-hoppy beer

In early December I brewed my first batch, an extract & steeped grain American pale ale kit. Being not only a newbie in brewing but also a newbie in beer drinking (my faves are Oktoberfest & hefeweizen, both relatively low hopped brews) I didn't realize exactly HOW much more bitter/hoppy the APA would be.

It's been over 5 weeks since bottling, and each sample I tried tasted WAY too bitter with not enough carbonation. The latest sample, however, tasted a lot different than the one a week prior. Although it's hoppier than I'm used to, the bite had mellowed noticeably. And, carbonation levels had improved dramatically. Although the brew doesn't form a sturdy head when poured, I DO get a bit of foam. Of course I had to make sure that it wasn't just that one bottle but both bottles I've tried thus far are equally tasty.

Overall, it took a lot of patience to let the beer "do it's thing" but it's amazing what a little time can do for a brew!

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Old 01-20-2007, 10:44 PM   #2
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Bitterness could be caused by either hops or by steeping grains above 170 degrees F. Low carbonization, too little priming sugar or the bottles venting. Some beers take a few weeks to mature and mellow.

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Old 01-20-2007, 10:44 PM   #3
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I know what you mean I am very impatient and often dont let my brews age enough. It is really amazing what a little time can do

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Old 01-21-2007, 02:17 AM   #4
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I find the best way to resist the temptation to open a bottle too early is to get busy with your next brew batch. I'm on my fourth batch in as many weeks and haven't even enjoyed a sip of my first yet...(I have the bottles hidden away to lessen the temptation.)

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Old 01-21-2007, 02:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaAZ
It's been over 5 weeks since bottling, and each sample I tried tasted WAY too bitter with not enough carbonation. The latest sample, however, tasted a lot different than the one a week prior. Although it's hoppier than I'm used to, the bite had mellowed noticeably. And, carbonation levels had improved dramatically.
This is typical. When I tasted the wort from my first brew I almost threw it out. I thought for sure I had made it too bitter. It's suprising how bitterness mellows with time.
Be carefull. I've heard of more than one person that became a hop heads by drinking too much APAs or IPAs.
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:56 PM   #6
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On the downside, hoppy doesn't last for more than a year, even under the best of conditions. So, there's a sweet spot for drinking it. Keep checking it.

Hoppy beers don't make hop heads, hop heads make hoppy beers!

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Old 01-21-2007, 03:51 PM   #7
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Being in AZ you might try doing your next beer with some store bought water. I've heard other desert brewers complain about astringent (harsh, BAD) hop flavors. This is especially a problem if you are on well water.

Brew your way through the problem.

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