How to deal with an overly bitter IPA? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > How to deal with an overly bitter IPA?

Thread Tools
Old 12-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
Sep 2010
San Diego, CA
Posts: 64
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

So I tried to rush a brew session into a tight timeframe and seriously messed up in a number of areas (but more on that another time). Long story short, my main concern is that I accidentally threw in 4oz of Cascade into a 4 gal batch (don't ask) for 90 minutes with an OG of 1.048! Then .25oz at 30 mins, .25 oz at 10 mins, and .5oz at flameout.

Upon tasting when taking a gravity reading, it was quite bitter. Normally I wouldn't mind a lot of bitterness in my IPA but due to the 4oz at 90 mins it left a long harsh aftertaste and not nearly enough aroma or "up front" hop character. So..

I'm going to wait to see how it tastes after primary to make a decision on how to deal with it. My original plan was to dry hop but I think it will already be way too bitter for that.

Any suggestions or thoughts? I'm thinking of brewing another batch with a higher ABV, more of a malt backbone, and nothing but late hop additions and then blending the two batches. Good plan or crazy?

Thanks in advance everyone!

Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
Apr 2012
Richland, WA
Posts: 1,421
Liked 193 Times on 150 Posts

Let it age for a while and the bite will mellow out.
Catch the next Triple Barrel Brewcast Broadcasting now 4/1/13 tune in and enjoy
Twitter: @3bblcast

45_70sharps Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
Sep 2010
San Diego, CA
Posts: 64
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

Originally Posted by Nightshade
Let it age for a while and the bite will mellow out.
Well that's simple and effective. Don't know why I didn't think of that! Then I can dry hop when it's down to a decent level.


Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
Feb 2011
Westwood, NJ
Posts: 250
Liked 17 Times on 14 Posts

If it's really no good. What about blending it. Brew another batch that has no bittering hops, and is blasted with late additions, then when done fermenting, mix the two. That would probably work.

As for letting the bitterness age out, i've noticed that the thing that ages out is the aroma and flavor and not the 60 minute bittering, or at least that's the last thing to go. So not just letting it sit would work for you.

If you don't want to blend it, then dry hop the snot out of it and hope for the best.
BierKeller Brewery
Keg #1 - Oatmeal Stout
Keg #2 - Janet's Brown Lite
Keg #3 - Blonde ale w/ Huell melon hops
Fermenting: Berliner
On Deck- Saison, Big IIPA

Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
Liked 508 Times on 470 Posts

Obviously the balance is off. Dry hopping will give you the aroma and flavor you are lacking without any additional bitterness. Another thought since it is still in primary would be to add a pound of extra light DME to add back some malt and balance out the bitter. You can take and boil up the DME, cool and very gently and slowly pour into the primary so as not too add O2 and allow it to ferment out. It will raise the gravity about .008. Then dry hop.

Otherwise as mentioned just let it age out and it will mellow a bit but 4 oz at 90 minutes is a lot for that low a gravity beer. You can also just make it a IIPA instead
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
Jan 2012
Key West, Florida
Posts: 6,243
Liked 766 Times on 591 Posts

+1 to the aging idea..... after that I would dry hop the hell out of it to make up for the lack of flavor/aroma.
EAC - 5/2/14

Growing Hops in Key West, FL....

Primary : Irish Red
Primary : Pomegranate Berliner
Primary : IPA
On Tap : Sour IPA, Bourbon Chocolate RIS, Helles Lager, Best Bitter
On Deck : Blueberry Espresso Brown Porter, Blood Orange Wit, Imperial Session IPA

*Member: The HBT Sweaty Fat Guys Cigar club

Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 06:40 AM   #7
Sep 2010
San Diego, CA
Posts: 64
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

You guys rock. Great feedback. I still haven't decided which way to go with this. I was thinking of aging then dry hopping (sounds easy enough) but if I go the direction of brewing another batch to blend with... I get to brew again!

I think I'll wait until primary is over, taste it, and then go from there. I'll update this thread when I do.

Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 06:45 AM   #8
helibrewer's Avatar
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,820
Liked 327 Times on 276 Posts

Carbonation will also help deadon the bitterness somewhat. You can always bench trial a small portion for the added DME effect then scale it up if it's what you're after...that way if you don't like the results, no harm, no foul.
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Kegged: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
On Deck: German Lager

Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
45_70sharps's Avatar
Sep 2012
Raymond, Washington
Posts: 1,807
Liked 172 Times on 141 Posts

I've had overly bitter beer due to lots of hops and some coffee.
Time made it into a great beer.
Let's see if I keep this updated!

On tap
Black Butte clone

In secondary
Pumpkin ale

In primary
Honey wit

Up next.. Firestone Union Jack clone

Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 12:53 PM   #10
Jan 2008
Fallon, NV
Posts: 383
Liked 34 Times on 27 Posts

Probably toxic. Send it to me and I'll be happy to dispose of it properly

Too bitter-------bwhaaaaaa hhhaaaa

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Overly bitter beer? How do i mellow it out? petry121 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 05-20-2012 05:10 PM
Overly bitter APA's - help me with mash pH mychalg9 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 10-24-2011 12:35 AM
Blended a bland IPA with a overly bitter parti-gyle for drinkable beer JLW General Beer Discussion 3 02-20-2011 03:55 AM
Overly bitter Yunus General Techniques 6 08-29-2008 09:42 PM
Overly Bitter IPA Foreigner All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 19 07-12-2007 07:41 PM

Forum Jump