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Old 05-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
SillySally
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Default Bitter off-flavor in bucket fermenter

Last month I brewed my first 5 gallon batch from extract. It was a rosewater American wheat, and came out quite well, except that it was more bitter than what I was going for. My brother-in-law (though not the most expert beer drinker) even told me it was 'too hoppy' for him to drink. I used 1oz Hallertau at the start of the boil and 0.2oz at flameout, which, according to my calculations, should have yielded an IBU of about 12. It did not taste like a 12 to me. I've considered adjusting the hop additions, but I really think that this is an off flavor, and would like to address this possibility first.

I've read that non-hop-bitternes can be caused by resins that form in fermentation, that can be removed with a blow-off hose. I'm currently brewing in a 5 gal plastic bucket fermenter with a one-piece plastic airlock. Can create a blow-off tube for this system, or do I need a carboy? How would I go about creating a blow-off system for a bucket, anyway?

Has anyone else had experience with bitter resinous off flavors? If so, how did you deal with them?

Is this even the right forum to post this in? Should I be in the fermentation forum instead?


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Old 05-17-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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If you used an ounce of haulertau mittelfruh,the AA% is 3%-5.5%. It is said to have a "plesantly harmonic bitterness". Being low alpha acid,it shouldn't be that strong.
But,for the other question,here's a link to traditional blow usage; http://beersmith.com/blog/2009/10/10...ow-off-method/


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Old 05-17-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I used an average alpha of 4.5 in the IBU calculator to come up with that 12, and according to Papazian that's on the low end of IBU for an American wheat, so I was pretty sure something was up, but it's good to hear it from someone else.

Your link shows blow off being used in a carboy. Do you think it could work with a bucket fermenter? I'm concerned that debris will get caught between the bucket and lid, not to mention that the tube is probably too big for the tiny gasket in the lid.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SillySally View Post
Thanks for your reply. I used an average alpha of 4.5 in the IBU calculator to come up with that 12, and according to Papazian that's on the low end of IBU for an American wheat, so I was pretty sure something was up, but it's good to hear it from someone else.

Your link shows blow off being used in a carboy. Do you think it could work with a bucket fermenter? I'm concerned that debris will get caught between the bucket and lid, not to mention that the tube is probably too big for the tiny gasket in the lid.
I'm very new to homebrewing myself, but from what I've read, tannins might be the cause of the bitterness. Did you use steeping grains? If so, did you let the temp get above 170 or squeeze the steeping bag? This, from what I've read, can cause tannins to be released into the wort.

As far as a blowoff tube for a plastic fermenter, I actually asked the same question at my LHBS yesterday. They do sell narrower tubes that will fit in the gasket (smaller than what fits on the spigot). Another option the LHBS employee suggested was taking the gasket out, using the tube the kit came with, and closing the gab with plastic wrap. Not sure I'd go with this option personally as I can envision a very active fermentation dislodging the plastic-wrapped tube.

Again, I'm a newbie myself, but I hope this helps. Again, with those hops, my first suspicion would be tannins.

Cheers!
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