Bitter NEIPAs. Ferm. Temp. Problem?

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ashopis

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Hey there. I’ve been getting a lot of back of the tongue bitterness/astringency in my NEIPAs. I only use hopstamd and dry hops. 6 oz at about 165 degrees in a hop spider for the hop stand (20 minutes) and 6 oz added loose at day 2 and In the beer for 5 days.

I don’t have temp control so I’m fermenting at room temp, about 75F or so these days.

Any advice in tamping down the bitterness/astringency?
 

Jag75

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If your fermenting in a room thats 75f I wouldn't be surprised to see the actual temp in the 80's.

 

day_trippr

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- batch size?
- hop strains?
- hop stand temperature at start?
- end of runnings pH and SG?
- yeast strain and pitch rate?

bitterness /= astringency

- If this is a five gallon batch and the hop stand started at end of boil six ounces of "neipa hops" would pack a pretty solid IBU punch, which depending on the hop AA% could amount to "harsh bitterness" (imagine those 6 ounces as all Galaxy, for instance, dropped in end of boil).

- Otoh, if the water has a high residual alkalinity and the sparge liquor was not treated to account, sparging could have pulled tannins out of the mash, which would favor "astringency".

- Finally, the warm fermentation could contribute another character issue if it's verging on fusel production...

Cheers! (There's actually a lot that goes into a successful brew :))
 

couchsending

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Astringency / back of tongue bitterness has nothing to do with IBUs.

You most likely have a bunch of alkalinity in your water which is the root of this.

Fermenting at 75 would cause a bunch of higher alcohols and not make a great beer (depending on the yeast) but it shouldn’t cause bitterness/astringency.
 
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ashopis

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Thanks, all, for all your thoughtful questions. Her is some more info:

1. It was a 5 gallon BIAB batch. No sparge.
2. Simcow and Galaxy hops.
3. 3oz each for hop stand in a spider. Added at 175. Temp dropped to 155 over twenty minute steep.
4. London III. One pouch.
5. Not sure of pH as I don’t have a meter (yet).
6. ABV 8%


cheers and thanks!
 
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ashopis

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Here's some water info (ppm):
Ca: 105
Mg: 3
SO4: 95
Na: 85
Cl: 240

These numbers represent the original water profile provided by the water company, plus my additions to achieve approximately a 250:100 Chloride to Sulfate ratio.

Also, the pre-addition pH (according to the water company) is 7.3. There is also a value called "Alk" which is 17.

-Cheers.
 

couchsending

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Here's some water info (ppm):
Ca: 105
Mg: 3
SO4: 95
Na: 85
Cl: 240

These numbers represent the original water profile provided by the water company, plus my additions to achieve approximately a 250:100 Chloride to Sulfate ratio.

Also, the pre-addition pH (according to the water company) is 7.3. There is also a value called "Alk" which is 17.

-Cheers.
What you’re experiencing has nothing to do with the amount of hops you added in the hotside. I add a lot more hops to the kettle at higher temps for most IPAs and get zero astringency lingering bitterness. 90% of the time that’s caused by water/pH related issues. Half the breweries around me that don’t know anything about their water have this issue with their pale beers.

That alkalinity number is kinda critical. Ideally if you could find the bicarbonate number that would be best. Brewing without knowing your pH is like driving without a speedometer. IMHO it’s the most important aspect of the brewing process and will help you make much better beer and learn a lot more about how the whole process works from start to finish.

I’d suggest adding some source of acid to adjust your pH a bit of you’re going to use tap water. Also drop your chlorides down a bit as well. High chloride levels in the presence of lots of Ca Can cause astringency and a lingering bitterness. Especially if your pH is high throughout the mash and boil.

Also if you don’t have temp control you should use one of the kviek yeasts. You’ll get a much cleaner ferment than a traditional brewing yeast at those elevated temps.
 

youngdh

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I experienced this a year ago with my session NEIPA when I switched to Galaxy for my dry hop. I was on the verge of dumping the batch as it was indrinkable for me. After some research, I learned that Southern Hemisphere hops like Galaxy can produce many more suspended polyphenols which gives a very astringent flavor. It was recommended to add some biofine to the keg to help drop the polyphenols out of suspension. I gave it a try and problem was solved! Not saying this is your problem but seeing Galaxy in your hip bill it’s worth a try :).
 
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ashopis

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So it looks like the first things I could try are using high temp yeast such as kviek and monitoring and adjusting the pH. I will also avoid galaxy in my next batch. Too many variables to change at once, but what the heck!

Thanks for the input.
 
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ashopis

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Is there a Kviek strain that works well for NEIPA's? Something without that Kviek "twang" I've read about here and there.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Is there a Kviek strain that works well for NEIPA's? Something without that Kviek "twang" I've read about here and there.
I have made a few with Voss (mine pack was from Omega) that were very nice. I have read that Hornindal is a good choice as well (Hornindal more tropical, Voss more orange/citrus).

I have been curious about the topic. I find that bitterness from 60-minute hop additions registers on the back of my tongue and builds up over 30-60 seconds. In some heavily dry hopped beers, I get an astringent sensation similar to bitterness, but it tends to show up quickly and registers more on the side of my tongue. "Hop Burn" from young, heavily hopped beers is more of a tingling on my throat.

I recently made some 1-gallon NEIPA-ish single hop sampler beers (one with Idaho 7, one with Vic Secret). These beers just had hops in a hopstand and dry hop. They both ended up with that astringent/bitterness character. I was not quite sure of the cause. I wondered if too much hop matter made it from the kettle into the fermenter, as I just dumped the entire contents of the kettle into the fermenter.
 
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ashopis

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I have made a few with Voss (mine pack was from Omega) that were very nice. I have read that Hornindal is a good choice as well (Hornindal more tropical, Voss more orange/citrus).

I have been curious about the topic. I find that bitterness from 60-minute hop additions registers on the back of my tongue and builds up over 30-60 seconds. In some heavily dry hopped beers, I get an astringent sensation similar to bitterness, but it tends to show up quickly and registers more on the side of my tongue. "Hop Burn" from young, heavily hopped beers is more of a tingling on my throat.

I recently made some 1-gallon NEIPA-ish single hop sampler beers (one with Idaho 7, one with Vic Secret). These beers just had hops in a hopstand and dry hop. They both ended up with that astringent/bitterness character. I was not quite sure of the cause. I wondered if too much hop matter made it from the kettle into the fermenter, as I just dumped the entire contents of the kettle into the fermenter.
FWIW. I added my kettle hops via a hop spider to avoid hop matter. Didn’t seem to change that astringency from the previous batch where I added straight to the kettle.
 

codysorgenfrey

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Is 66ppm HCO3 enough alkalinity to cause some astringency in a NEIPA?

I too have experienced this problem but thought it was maybe high polyphenol dry hopping.

Here is my treated water profile:
Ca 134
Mg 4
Na 13
Cl 163
SO4 79
HCO3 66
 

kingmatt

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My first guess would be hop burn, especially since you are adding Galaxy hops during fermentation. I've sworn off Galaxy hops in general because I routinely experience hop burn with them (even when I am extra careful to avoid it).

If you need to use Galaxy, or any other high polyphenol hop, make sure you use them post fermentation after you soft crash the beer to drop all yeast out of suspension.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Is 66ppm HCO3 enough alkalinity to cause some astringency in a NEIPA?
I would be curious what others would say, but I would say that 1) 66ppm is fairly moderate and 2) that alkalinity itself is not an issue but something that should be taken into account when adjusting pH.

I am not sure if the ideas presented above are that "high alkalinity causes astringency" or that "high alkalinity causes high mash/sparge pH (and final beer pH?) which causes astringency"? Is this just related to extracting tannins from the grain, or also astringency from hops?
 
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OP says "added dry hops at day 2 for 5 days", IMO this could be part of the issue for 2 reasons, 1 hop burn, and 2 thats a total of 7 days in the fermenter, could be some diacetyl, another week would help and add the hops at the end like day 11 or 12 for 2 days or so.

66ppm HCO3 is not horrible but not ideal either, I start at 98ppm and use acid to get it around 20ppm

Edit: hop burn from dry hopping during fermentation.
 

codysorgenfrey

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OP says "added dry hops at day 2 for 5 days", IMO this could be part of the issue for 2 reasons, 1 hop burn, and 2 thats a total of 7 days in the fermenter, could be some diacetyl, another week would help and add the hops at the end like day 11 or 12 for 2 days or so.

66ppm HCO3 is not horrible but not ideal either, I start at 98ppm and use acid to get it around 20ppm

Edit: hop burn from dry hopping during fermentation.
Can you elaborate on the use of acid to reduce HCO3?

I do use lactic acid to get my mash pH to 5.33. I didn’t realize that the underlying chemistry was reducing the HCO3 levels.

I guess it makes sense, the opposite of alkaline is acidic.
 
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Your lactic acid adjustment will lower you alkalinity, I brew with my private well water I sent my water to Ward and got the report back. I then purchased a salifert kit to test my water so I knew how much acid to add to get my alkalinity down to where it needs to be. I started with one gallon of water and added 1ml of phosphoric acid at a time and tested at each increment. When I got to 5ml the water tested in the 20s ppm of alkalinity. So now I make that addition before I do anything else, I do 15gallon batches and say my mash is 10 gallon so i add 50ml of acid to the mash. This also puts my mash ph in around 5.3 I also treat my hlt with acid because I use that for my sparge water.

Edit: I add the acid to the mash water before heating it and adding any salts
 
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As a side note on that I test each time I get a new bottle to verify no changes or if there are I adjust for them. The kit I linked measures in meq/L so you will take your result and multiply by 50 to get ppm. This may not be necessary but its a tool I use to control my water and know what Im brewing with before I even start. So depending how much acid you are adding and what percentage the solution is, your water may very well have 20ppm alkalinity or less when you mash in, this would just verify that for you.
 

couchsending

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Can you elaborate on the use of acid to reduce HCO3?

I do use lactic acid to get my mash pH to 5.33. I didn’t realize that the underlying chemistry was reducing the HCO3 levels.

I guess it makes sense, the opposite of alkaline is acidic.
Are you sparging? Are you treating that water? The presence of alkalinity produces astringency when pH rises a towards the end of sparge and extracts tannins from the last runnings of the mash. If your pH increases too much during the sparge because you’re not treating your sparge water then you will end up with a much higher pH in the kettle. 5.4 pH is optimum for alpha acid isomerization but is really as high as you’d like to go.

66 ppm of HCO3 isn’t bad at all. It takes a bit more acid to adjust but not so much to have a flavor contribution to the beer. Just make sure you’re adjusting the pH of your sparge water down to the 5.4ish range if you are using water that has some alkalinity in it. If you’re using RO it doesn’t really matter.
 

codysorgenfrey

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Are you sparging? Are you treating that water? The presence of alkalinity produces astringency when pH rises a towards the end of sparge and extracts tannins from the last runnings of the mash. If your pH increases too much during the sparge because you’re not treating your sparge water then you will end up with a much higher pH in the kettle. 5.4 pH is optimum for alpha acid isomerization but is really as high as you’d like to go.

66 ppm of HCO3 isn’t bad at all. It takes a bit more acid to adjust but not so much to have a flavor contribution to the beer. Just make sure you’re adjusting the pH of your sparge water down to the 5.4ish range if you are using water that has some alkalinity in it. If you’re using RO it doesn’t really matter.
Thanks! I do fly sparge but I didn’t think the 66ppm would be too bad for sparging untreated. I’ve never done a kettle ph reading before either so this might be my problem!
 
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