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Old 10-07-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
jabergess
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Default All my IPAs taste the same

I've done extensive amount of research and still can't come up with anything definitive on what is causing all of my IPAs to taste about the same. I thought I was on to something when I started looking at my water profile so the last IPA I did I used distilled water and added chemicals to make it "McDoles Pale Water" per the GBA Brewing Water Chemistry Primer. I also fermented that IPA at 65 degrees for 10 days and then 68 for 10 more days per a recipe on MoreBeer's site. Nope, still tasted like all the others. Maybe slightly smoother, but that's about it.

Anyway, so all my IPAs (13 of them and counting) come out spicy/peppery no matter what hops I use or what hop schedule I follow. My dream IPA has citrusy notes and gives me what I call "hop burps". Just about everyone else that likes IPAs thinks my beer is fine, but I want citrus dammit! And I want my beer to all stop tasting the same whether I use Simcoe or Citra.

I've tried different grain recipes, hopbursting, adding gypsum, adding 5.2 powder, extract only, more or only late addition hops, etc. Only my last IPA did I try using distilled water so maybe it is the combination of water issues and other things? I'm wondering if prolonged wort cooling times plays a role because depending on when I brew it can take over an hour to cool the wort. It makes sense to me that it would isomerize the hops, but some of my beers have not had prolong cooling times so either it is water playing a role or something else. My water profile is: 9.7 pH, 11 Na, 4 Ca, 1 Mg, 2 SO4, 7 Cl, 9 CO3, 22 HCO3 and I have run it through a cartridge filter for several years (the water profile is after running it through a filter). Everything I've read said that water is only good for dark beers so I get where my early beers wouldn't be like I want, but I can't explain the extract beer or the distilled water beer not cooperating.
I've mashed at various temperatures from 154 down to 149. Would a higher mash temperature even affect the character of the hop or just of the malt flavor??
All other styles of ales come out fine, other than a couple of times my dark beers have turned into gushers. I have no idea if that is related. Oh and usually I keg my IPAs, not bottle them...

Of course I want to keep trying things but I'm not certain which way to go now and I feel like Charlie Brown with that darned football! Either I'm just missing the right combination of things to do or I'm out to lunch all together.


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Old 10-07-2013, 01:42 PM   #2
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What yeast are you using? and what are some of the flavoring hops that you are using?


Edit: I see that you are using Citra and Simcoe. How many minutes into the boil are you adding them? What is your bittering hop.

Simcoe can be somewhat spicy and Citra isn't citrusy it's more tropical fruit.

Maybe look at Amarillo late in the boil maybe 20-15 minutes or maybe some centennial.


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Old 10-07-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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The prolonged cooling time seems like the most likely culprit, to me. The longer those hop oils are in contact with hot wort, the more of them get converted to iso-alpha bittering compounds instead of flavour/aroma elements. I use a plate chiller and get my wort down below 100 F in about 3 minutes (recirculating back to the boil kettle) with regular tap water, then use a cooler of ice water and a pump to get it the rest of the way down to about 65 F in another 10 minutes or so.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:06 PM   #4
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Have you tried cold crashing with gelatin? I find it strips some of the harsher hop flavors and leaves the more delicate citrus/fruit character.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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I've used:
1st Rye Pale Ale - White Labs East Coast Ale WLP008, hops: 1 oz Centennial @45, 1 oz Amarillo @15, 1 oz Cascade @5 (I've made this twice)

2nd Bob's IPA - White Labs California Ale WLP001, hops: 1 oz Warrior @60, .5 oz Cascade @30, 1 oz Amarillo @15, .5 Cascade @5, 1oz Amarillo @dry hop in secondary

3rd Bob's IPA II - Wyeast 1056 American Ale, hops: 1oz Centennial @45, .5oz Simcoe @30, .5oz Simcoe @15, .5oz Amarillo @5, .5oz Amarillo @2, 1 oz Amarillo @ dry hop in secondary (Bob at Brew Depot was trying to help me achieve a citrusy IPA with the 2nd and 3rd recipes)

4th Hazed and Infused Clone - Wyeast 1272 American Ale II, hops: .5 Chinook @60, .5 Willamette @15, .75 Cascade @15, .5 Centennial @10, .5 Willamette @0, .75 Cascade @0, .5 Liberty and .5 Centennial @ Dry hop in secondary

5th & 6th - MoreBeer's American IPA - White Labs American Ale WLP060, hops: 1.5 oz Magnum @60, 2 oz Cascade @10, 2 oz Cascade @1, 2 oz Cascade dry hop in secondary (I've made this one twice)

7th & 8th - Jim Neilson's Hop Mothra - White Labs WLP001 California Ale, hops: 1 oz Magnum @30, 1 oz Cascade @20, 1 oz Liberty @10, 1 oz Cascade @10, 1 oz Cascade, .5 oz Amarillo, .5 Centennial and .5 Simcoe all dry hop in secondary (made twice)

9th - Jamil's Evil Twin - Wyeast 1056 American Ale, hops: .25 oz Columbus @60, .5 oz Columbus @20, .5oz Cascade @10, .25 Columbus @5, .75 Centennial @4, 1 oz Cascade @0, 1 oz Centennial @0, 1 oz Citra dry hopped in secondary

10th - Hop Mothra III - Wyeast 1056 American Ale, hops: 1 oz Magnum @ 30, 1 oz Cascade @20, 1 oz Liberty @10, 2 oz Cascade @10, .5 Cascade @5, 1 oz Cascade, 1 oz Amarillo, 1 oz Centennial, 1 oz Simcoe .5 Citra dry hopped in secondary

11th & 12th two IPA tests with treated water, Wyeast 1056 American Ale, hops: .5 oz Simcoe @ 30, .5oz Cascade @20, .5 Soriachi Ace @ 10, .5 Amarillo @10, .5 Ahtanum @5, .5 Cascade @2, .5oz Cascade, .5 oz Centennial, .5 oz Citra dry hopped in secondary

13th Joe Dumas' Grapefruit Bomb, Wyeast 1056 American Ale, hops: 1 oz Simcoe @60, 1 oz Simcoe @15, 1 oz Simcoe @10, 1 oz Simcoe @1, 1 oz Simcoe dry hopped in secondary

I'm all over the place, aren't I? Maybe I'm not putting enough hops in? Jamil's Evil Twin came closest to having some citrus flavor, but the spicy still overruled it. I forgot about it for months while it was being dry hopped.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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I have not tried cold crashing, but now that I have a freezer with temperature control that seems like an easy test. I'm worried about a plate chiller and hops getting stuck in there. I'm contemplating either buying or building a counterflow chiller and running my current inadequate immersion chiller as a prechiller instead.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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I would think that centennial and amarillo would be veyr good at giving a citrus flavor and aroma. Not sure what's going on.

This may not be helpful in getting you the citrus flavor you want the normal way, but have you considered actually adding some grapefruit juice or orange/lemon zest to the brew? Zesting is pretty easy to do late in the boil. The juice can be added during the primary.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:58 PM   #8
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I have never considered adding grapefruit juice or lemon zest to an IPA. I'm pretty certain the IPAs I'm trying to replicate don't add them: Dogfish 60, Sweetwater IPA, etc. If I could ever figure out my issue I might consider doing that in the future. I think the spicy/peppery notes would still overpower the zest.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyTanium View Post
Have you tried cold crashing with gelatin? I find it strips some of the harsher hop flavors and leaves the more delicate citrus/fruit character.
I did this on one of my IPAs and never again. Stripped so much of the flavor/aroma.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #10
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IMO you need more late addition hops and more dry hop, like a total of 3oz for each.

My other question is timing. How long are you dry hopping for for and when are you bottling in respect to the dry hop. I mean, are you packaging immediately after the dry hop or waiting. Also, are you waiting until the beer has reached FG before dry hopping. Also, are you drinking your beer fresh? Hop aroma and flavor are very delicate and fade quickly, if the beer isn't fresh you could be losing a lot of what you are looking for.

My IPAs are in primary for about 10 days to FG and begin to clear, I use no less than 3 oz to dry hop for 5-7 days in primary and then package immediately and they are delicious. I use a total of 3 oz during the 10 minute to flameout as well


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