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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > WOW, did i mess up!
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
gedion
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Default WOW, did i mess up!

ok, so i got a recipe kit at a LHBS and set out to make an imperial stout. there were lots of hops(recipe and instructions below) in it and they came in multiple poorly marked bags. ok so im a noob, and in my head i thought that i wanted a more malty less hoppy beer. so i only added the first addition of hops to the boil, no other. thought id be good. but because the bags were poorly marked. im not sure which hop i used. months pass by and its about three weeks into the bottling period so i decided to crack one open to see how it is. smells fantastic! the first and after taste is amazing with lots of chocolaty notes in it, exactly what i wanted. but the middle, that taste you get while your actually drinking it is super, no its SUPER bitter. its very disappointing. im hoping it will mellow with age.



6.6 lbs Gold Malt Extract
3.3 lbs Gold Malt Extract
1/2 lb. Choclolate Malt
1 lb. British Crystal Malt
3/4 lb. Black Patent Grain
1 lb. Roasted Grain
2 oz. Northern Brewer Hops
1 1/2 oz. Kent Goldings Hops
1 oz. Hallertauer Hersbrucker Hops
1/2 oz. Hallertauer Hersbrucker Hops
1 oz. Hallertauer Hersbrucker Hops
1 pkg. White Labs WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast

Raise 1 gal. water to 160oF then add all cracked grains. Stabilize grains at 155oF to 158oF for 30 to 45 min. Sparge with 170oF water. Add extract to this wort. Boil the wort for 1 hour adding 2 oz. of Northern Brewer at the beginning of the boil Kent Goldings 30 minutes into the boil and 1 oz. of Styrian Goldings 40 minutes into the boil. Add 1/2 oz. of Styrian Goldings for the final two minutes and dry hop the final 1 oz. Pitch yeast when below 80oF. Ferment at 68oF - 70oF.

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Old 12-21-2012, 10:46 PM   #2
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First, I see a discrepancy: the recipe lists Hallertauer, and your instructions list Styrian Golding. Both are aroma hops, that wouldn't add too much bitterness. . . but it would be nice to know which you had.

As for what causes the bitterness you're tasting, my guess is you used the northern brewer . . . which would be the correct hops to use. Adding that for 60 minutes would be the appropriate bittering hops for the beer. And 2 oz is no small ammount (though appropriate for an imperial stout).

Note that Black Patent Malt also has a bitter flavor profile, and 3/4lb is a lot (i've never used more than 1/4 lb, but I don't make imperial stouts, either . . .)

My guess . . . the beer tastes pretty close to what it's supposed to taste like. Imperial stout can tend towards more bitterness than people realize.

In the future, I would suggest using ALL the hop varieties per the recipe . . . much of what you're losing out on by not hopping per the recipe is the aroma, and some of the balancing that you get from aroma hops. Hallertauer isn't going to add a lot of bittering to your beer . . . particularly that late in the boil. And sometimes the balance from these aroma hops helps smooth out taste that would otherwise be dominated by black malts.

As for whether this bitterness will mellow with age . .. I can't say for sure. If it comes from the Black Malts (as I suspect), you're probably stuck with it . . . but maybe not.

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Old 12-21-2012, 10:51 PM   #3
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Most (all) Imperial Stouts can benefit from aging in the bottle. Don't give up on it now, just wait a few months and crack open another bottle.

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Old 12-21-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Give it time and I'll bet you love it.
Maybe crack open another beer about Valentines day. If that isn't enough go mid March and it will be good.

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Old 12-21-2012, 11:18 PM   #5
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Yeah, give it time. Lots of time. I did an imperial stout in November, 2011 that really didn't hit it's stride until August, 2012. Unfortunately by then, my 'sampling' took it's toll and I really didn't get to enjoy it at it's best. Imperials can take a long time...

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Old 12-21-2012, 11:25 PM   #6
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Yeah time will help it mellow and time will mellow bitterness. As already mentioned dark malts can have some bitterness to them but those tend to fade quicker then hop bitterness. If your water is really high in sulfates this could accentuate bitterness. Either way time is your friend and beers like this do benefit from some aging.

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Old 12-23-2012, 04:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterfool101 View Post
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Note that Black Patent Malt also has a bitter flavor profile, and 3/4lb is a lot (i've never used more than 1/4 lb, but I don't make imperial stouts, either . . ..



i never thought about the volume of black patent malt being an issue. i like imperial stouts for the most part. but i don't think i have ran into one as bitter. this is the first one i have made as well so maybe its just a combination of the malts and the hops or some other force i have to recon with. ill set it all aside like everyone suggests and focus on my next brew.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:35 AM   #8
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oh, and thanks to everyone for there advice and dealing with the beginners of the Home brew world. it helps a lot! Merry Christmas.

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Old 10-22-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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alright, i have an update, everything did mellow out, but its SUPER strong, not so much in the ABV side(although it is up there) but on flavor, its almost like drinking watery molasses. probably should have been a batch larger than 5gal, its DEFINITELY a sipping beer. there is also a crusty type sediment? when you poor it it is sometimes floating in the head. over all its good. will have it around for a long time lol

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