Does hop bitterness mellow during fermentation? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Does hop bitterness mellow during fermentation?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-10-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
Megascottydemon
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Louisville, KY
Posts: 21


I know that bitterness will mellow over time, but I brewed a pale ale today, and had to taste a little sample. Like a sledge hammer of bitter to the face! Don't get me wrong I wanted it to be bitter, in fact I have been complaining about my beers not being bitter enough. Got what I wished for I guess. Beer Tools calculated it at about 61 BU's using the Rager formula. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and did it mellow after fermentation



 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
samc
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 5,387
Liked 62 Times on 58 Posts


I did a split 10 gallon batch of an Imperial IPA. For some reason 1/2 the batch was near perfect and the other half was beyond bitter, mostly undrinkable. Another poster recommended additional dry hopping which balanced it out enough to save it.

In your case you should wait until after fermentation and some aging time before tinkering.



 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
Megascottydemon
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Louisville, KY
Posts: 21

Well I do plan to dry hop in the secondary, but I am honestly not that worried about it, any more. I was just surprised, and I do hope it mellows down some.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 04:40 PM   #4
Dr Malt
Recipes 
 
Aug 2005
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 305
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts


Hop bitterness decreases with fermentation so you will see a reduction in bitterness as the beer goes thru fermentation. In addition, as beer ages, other flavor compounds change (increase and decrease) to affect the overall sensory perception of bitterness. Wait until you beer is finished to determine if the bitterness is too high for your taste.

Dr Malt

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 11:06 PM   #5
Megascottydemon
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Louisville, KY
Posts: 21

Yea, it has decreased, and is tasting quite good, thanks Dr. and samc for your replies. I was having a noob moment.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #6
Jim Karr
 
Jim Karr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2005
SW Michigan..Bangor/Covert area
Posts: 1,259
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts


Please post your recipe, so we can figure out how many IBU's your brew should have, and how bitter certain specific hops can be.
__________________
As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord. Joshua




"God is great, beer is good, people are crazy." Some country artist

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2009, 10:51 PM   #7
Megascottydemon
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Louisville, KY
Posts: 21

Alpha King Clone
10-A American Pale Ale

Size: 6.0 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 203.22 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.061 (1.045 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.015 (1.010 - 1.015)
Color: 14.18 (5.0 - 14.0)
Alcohol: 6.0% (4.5% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 67.0 (30.0 - 45.0)

Ingredients:
13 lb American 2-row
1.0 lb Caramel Malt 60L
.5 lb Belgian Caramunich
1 oz Centennial (9.7%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
.5 oz Warrior (15.8%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
1 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added first wort, boiled 15 min
1 oz Cascade (7.5%) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
1 oz Centennial (9.7%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
.5 oz Warrior (15.8%) - added dry to secondary fermenter


Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.2


I ended up with about 6.5 gal in the kettle post boil, a little more than I wanted. So I loss a couple points of OG adjusted it on beertools, and it said about 61 ibu's with the extra volume. This was one of the first times I fooled with my water. I added about 4 grams of gypsum to the boil to bring out that hop crispness I love about Alpha King. I was just freaked when I tasted it right after I chilled it. Now it smells and tastes great, and I hope to bottle sometime this week. I will let you know how it turns out.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2009, 11:43 AM   #8
-TH-
Recipes 
 
Oct 2008
Zeeland, Michigan
Posts: 902
Liked 90 Times on 53 Posts


I'm not familiar with Alpha King but that recipe looks to me like an IPA not an APA. I know, it doesn't answer your question. Just sayin'.
__________________
TH

Builds, etc: E-Brewery | Pneumatic Bottle Capper | Fermentation Chamber | Stirplate | Bottle Cabinet
Water Spreadsheet: www.EZWaterCalculator.com

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2009, 08:09 PM   #9
Megascottydemon
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Louisville, KY
Posts: 21

Yea it is an IPA, but Three Floyds calls it a "Pale Ale" so I left it at that. I'm not one to split hairs about style guidelines, but whatever you call it, it's delicious!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2009, 11:55 PM   #10
Edcculus
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,546
Liked 48 Times on 45 Posts


Unfermented wort, especially IPA or pale ale wort tastes sweet and very bitter. Not really a good bitter either from my experience.

I don't really know the exact science, but at least the perception of the bitterness changes once most of the sugar is fermented out.



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adjusting (increasing) bitterness after primary fermentation Bosium General Techniques 4 08-30-2011 03:31 PM
Adding bitterness after fermentation? dstar26t General Techniques 13 03-27-2008 08:55 PM
How much will it mellow? NYeric Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 05-02-2007 10:03 PM
Really roasty, will it mellow? The Pol Recipes/Ingredients 4 04-24-2007 01:54 PM
Mellow IPA Purebloom Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 03-16-2007 03:22 PM


Forum Jump