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Old 04-06-2006, 05:41 AM   #1
Apr 2006
central PA
Posts: 36

I'm brewing from kits (LD Carlson and Yankee from Mass). Like very strong ales, stouts, porters, Belgians, etc. etc. But always displeased with how bitter they are. Always follow recipe, which usually is to add bittering hops at start of boil and flavoring for last 5 of a 1-hour boil.

Pretty much stuck with whatever hops come with the kits: goldings, fuggle, cascade, etc. Any recommendations for good aroma/flavor without too much bitterness.

Also considering not adding hops until 1/2 way through boil, or perhaps 1/3 first 20 minutes, 1/3 next 20, etc. or some variation.

Any help much appreciated.

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Old 04-06-2006, 08:07 AM   #2
beyondthepale's Avatar
Mar 2006
Transmitting live from Mars
Posts: 75

Well, the later you add the hops the less bitterness you'll get. You can also add less, because you probably still want at least some of the hop bitterness for balance, especially with stronger beers. But the only way to really get the beers you want to drink is to eschew the kits and make your own recipes.

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Old 04-06-2006, 11:13 AM   #3
Dec 2005
Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 696
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My advice would be to work out your IBU's if you don't already. Theres some equations on this site and plenty others. It might put you off at first but its pretty easy. Say your last beer was 60 IBU's and you found that too bitter; just reduce the bittering hops by a half (or whatever) and you'll have 30 IBU's - then you'll know what 30 tastes like. Theres also plenty of applications which will to the maths for you. You could haphazardly throw them in late but you won't have much of a reference point for next time. Plus you might be overwhelmed with aroma.

But yeah, like the guy above said, just ditch the kits and make your own up (using a recipe as a starting point). Theres tonnes of hops easily available to play about with - check out the hops preference poll on the recipe forum. The alpha acid rating gives you an idea of how strong they are.

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Old 04-07-2006, 10:51 PM   #4
DragonTail's Avatar
Jan 2005
Genoa City, WI
Posts: 3,379
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Are you using specialty grains with your extract? You could also be getting some "bitter" flavor from the darker grains.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:23 PM   #5
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ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
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In my experience, strong beers need plenty of aging before they become mellow. I've made brews that needed well over a year in the bottles before drinking.


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Old 04-09-2006, 05:03 PM   #6
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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Changing the timing also changes the components that are extracted. I'd just add half the bittering hops at 60 minutes and freeze the rest in a baggie. One way to work up an assortment.
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:41 PM   #7
May 2005
Vancouver, WA
Posts: 210

Originally Posted by david_42
Changing the timing also changes the components that are extracted. I'd just add half the bittering hops at 60 minutes and freeze the rest in a baggie. One way to work up an assortment.
I agree. Using less at 60 minutes leaves some for a future batch. It's like getting free hops.(sorta)
"We all put the yeast in", Larry, Moe & Curley.

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