Beers tasting too hoppy

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andy32pinkerton

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So my first few batches of beer (brown ale, Magic Hat #9 clone, Hefe) went out without a hitch and tasted very good, at least to me. Awesome! Was so happy.

My last 2 beers though, both kits I bought from my local home brew store (as were my first 3): a blonde ale and a Killians clone.

I dont recall the recipes for either but one thing they had in common: they each had a much stronger hop flavor than they should, or perhaps it was just those funky off-flavors or esters?....I didnt change my process, could the recipes they used just suck? Or perhaps I pitched the yeast to hot?

I have gotten myself a wort chiller since this last batch in hopes that it will eliminate these flavors, or at least eliminate that possibility. Just looking for any guidance as to what I may be doing wrong.

Thanks!
Andy
 

scottyg354

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Chilling the wort will solve a lot of problems. When I first started I was have problems with aroma and taste. The problem was I wasn't getting my beer below 140 fast enough. With my homemade wort chiller I can now get my beer from boiling to about 75 degrees in under 10 minutes, since I made that and started using it I haven't had any Aroma or flavor problems. Perhaps you made a mistake on hop additions during the boil?

Whats you fermentation temp? Hot fermentation will give you esters.
 

aiptasia

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Without seeing the recipe or the ingredients or knowing any of your procedures, it's hard for us to help you. If they taste too hoppy, that very well may be the case.
 
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andy32pinkerton

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Chilling the wort will solve a lot of problems. When I first started I was have problems with aroma and taste. The problem was I wasn't getting my beer below 140 fast enough. With my homemade wort chiller I can now get my beer from boiling to about 75 degrees in under 10 minutes, since I made that and started using it I haven't had any Aroma or flavor problems. Perhaps you made a mistake on hop additions during the boil?

Whats you fermentation temp? Hot fermentation will give you esters.
Fermentation temps have been steady between 66 and 69.

Its possible I made hop errors, but I dont think I did...one question I did have though was, I never really read that you need to, but should my hops be in a muslin bag, or should I remove them somehow? Perhaps even racking to a Secondary at some point during fermentation which I havent done, would help?

Another issue that may have some effect on flavor is I have trouble keeping my boil temps low enough during my boil, with my stupid electric stove.

Lastly, these past 2 kits have been extract only, where the first 3 also has specialty grains included...perhaps these last 2 were just simple beers that had off flavors from these things we've talked about?
 

remandsager

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Did you carry the hops through from the boil kettle into the fermentation vessel? They should be strained/removed in some fashion...
 
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andy32pinkerton

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Did you carry the hops through from the boil kettle into the fermentation vessel? They should be strained/removed in some fashion...
I havent removed them...that would probably cause it, huh?! lol

I had never read that this was necessary before, so never did
 

brycelarson

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Lastly, these past 2 kits have been extract only, where the first 3 also has specialty grains included...perhaps these last 2 were just simple beers that had off flavors from these things we've talked about?
I think this is your problem. Extract only beers have never really been that great for me. You really need the malt complexity that some steeping grains give you. I bet it's recipe formulation that you're not happy with.
 

dcp27

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I havent removed them...that would probably cause it, huh?! lol
nope, this wouldnt cause it. can you give an example of your hop schedule for those last 2?

also when you say 66-69F for ferment temps, is that ambient or wort temp?
 
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andy32pinkerton

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nope, this wouldnt cause it. can you give an example of your hop schedule for those last 2?

also when you say 66-69F for ferment temps, is that ambient or wort temp?
I believe the hop schedule for each were (dont remember specific hop varieties of the top of my head:

2oz boiling hops for 60 mins
~1oz finishing hops for final 15 mins

Ferment temps would be ambient temps
 

dcp27

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1oz hops @15 shouldnt be too hoppy, depending on variety.

you will def have a fair share of esters at those temps since fermentation would raise it into the 70s tho. try keeping your temps a lil lower in the future and see if it still persists.
 

oakbarn

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There are really 3 hop "flavors"

1. Bitterness: This comes from boiling the hops for longer than 15 minutes. Most bittering hops are added at the beginning of a boil.
2. Flavor Hops: Added at the last 15 minutes or less
3. Aroma Hops: normally at flame out or as a dry hop.

Flavor Hops will also add some aroma. Adding at flame out vs dry hopping will also make a "taste" difference.

So when you say too hoppy, do you mean too bitter or a very hoppy taste?

Regardless, time can solve the over hoppiness to some extent.

I also agree with everthing above.

1. I use hop bags (the throw away kind). I put no more than 2 oz of pellets in a bag. I hang them by a string. for Bittering or flavor hops, I remove the bags at flame out. Using the bags will keep the majority of hops out of the trub.

2. I whirlpool my wort (try not to splash) and let sit 15 minutes before transferring to fermenter (No longer necessary as I have a Stout Conical and just dump after 30 minutes after I have moved to fermenter).

3. If I want great hopiness, I use a Hop Rocket and leaf hops when transferring to the fermenter.
 

brycelarson

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There's also the issue of perceived bitterness. The more malt backbone a beer has the more hops it can carry and be pleasant to drink. A thin beer without a good malt base could be over hopped at very low IBU levels.
 

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Fermentation temps have been steady between 66 and 69.

Its possible I made hop errors, but I dont think I did...one question I did have though was, I never really read that you need to, but should my hops be in a muslin bag, or should I remove them somehow? Perhaps even racking to a Secondary at some point during fermentation which I havent done, would help?

Another issue that may have some effect on flavor is I have trouble keeping my boil temps low enough during my boil, with my stupid electric stove.

Lastly, these past 2 kits have been extract only, where the first 3 also has specialty grains included...perhaps these last 2 were just simple beers that had off flavors from these things we've talked about?
I've never removed my hops after boiling, and there isn't any flavor impact from that.

I don't know what you mean about a low enough boiling temperature, though. You need a vigorous boil for brewing.

When you say the beer is too hoppy, do you mean too bitter? Or do you mean hops flavor?

If you don't have any late hops additions (and I wouldn't think so for those beer styles), I"m wondering if your fermentation temperature is too high, causing fruity flavors (called "esters") that are what you're tasting.
 
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andy32pinkerton

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I've never removed my hops after boiling, and there isn't any flavor impact from that.

I don't know what you mean about a low enough boiling temperature, though. You need a vigorous boil for brewing.

When you say the beer is too hoppy, do you mean too bitter? Or do you mean hops flavor?

If you don't have any late hops additions (and I wouldn't think so for those beer styles), I"m wondering if your fermentation temperature is too high, causing fruity flavors (called "esters") that are what you're tasting.
Both were too bitter and also too hoppy...neither a blonde or Red has a ton of hop characteristics generally and they are both just overwhelmed by hoppy bitterness in my batches.

I keep my fermenter in a guestroom closet, and our apartment keeps a steady temp of about 68 degrees...could this be too warm? Is the ambient temp too high?

Thanks in advance to everyone for their patience with a noob!
 

brycelarson

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Both were too bitter and also too hoppy...neither a blonde or Red has a ton of hop characteristics generally and they are both just overwhelmed by hoppy bitterness in my batches.

I keep my fermenter in a guestroom closet, and our apartment keeps a steady temp of about 68 degrees...could this be too warm? Is the ambient temp too high?
What was the recipe? How did you get the red red with just extract?

I'm guessing that you're just making out of balance beers. even a moderate level of hops with too little malt will be non tasty.

As for 68 - that depends on the yeast - but yes, for most it's on the high side for clean flavors.

Post up your recipes and we'll have more applicable suggestions.
 
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andy32pinkerton

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What was the recipe? How did you get the red red with just extract?

I'm guessing that you're just making out of balance beers. even a moderate level of hops with too little malt will be non tasty.

As for 68 - that depends on the yeast - but yes, for most it's on the high side for clean flavors.

Post up your recipes and we'll have more applicable suggestions.
Yea, see thats the thing...the red wasnt red...and didnt "taste red"...sooo yea, Im gonna cool my wort quicker with the chiller, stick to extract with specialty grains at the min, and perhaps try to keep the fermenter somewhere else where it can stay cooler.
 

scottyg354

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Wouldn't you guys think, depending on the hops that 2 ozs for 60 minutes might be a little much for a Killians clone? More of a malty beer. Also I've used bags with my hops and I've also just added them directly to the wort. No major issues. I do either strain or use my autosiphon when racking into the primary though.
 

dcp27

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I keep my fermenter in a guestroom closet, and our apartment keeps a steady temp of about 68 degrees...could this be too warm? Is the ambient temp too high?
that's warmer than i'd want anything non-belgian. with active fermentation you're looking at upwards of 75F wort temp, which will create alot of esters. can you desribe the hoppyness you're getting? is it like stone fruit, earthy/floral/grassy, citrusy, etc?

Wouldn't you guys think, depending on the hops that 2 ozs for 60 minutes might be a little much for a Killians clone?
i'd assume this was meant for a partial boil, so its probably fine if that's the case
 

brycelarson

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Yea, see thats the thing...the red wasnt red...and didnt "taste red"...sooo yea, Im gonna cool my wort quicker with the chiller, stick to extract with specialty grains at the min, and perhaps try to keep the fermenter somewhere else where it can stay cooler.
Post up your recipe. Where did it come from?

Extract and steeping gran can make awesome beer. Just extract... not so much in my experience.

i'd assume this was meant for a partial boil, so its probably fine if that's the case
Yeah, I was assuming the same.
 
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