Bitter, over-hoppy, danky, lingering aftertaste.

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AntDoctor

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I've been doing a few sparkling hop-water batches and the Pale Ale II kit from Northern Brewer and maybe another recipe, and I feel like things have a tendency to taste super hop-bitter with a lingering aftertaste that sticks to the tongue. I FEEL like this taste usually fades after a week, and it kinda reminds me of the flavor of beer dregs, getting all the hop bits and yeast in your cup.

Like, is it just particles in suspension? Is it cold crashing that fixes things? Do I have to wait a week+ after force carbing my kegs? Gawd I'm just annoyed at this ****.

My first few recipes were ****ing amazing hazy IPAs that tasted amazing gog damn it. Also I just ****ing suck at getting the damn carbonation level and serving pressure right! I don't WANT to do the safe set-it-and-forget-it, you can't make me!! NO!
 

Mtrhdltd

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I think patience will solve all your problems. I use the set and forget carbonation for two reasons. First is im already cold conditioning the keg for two weeks anyways. Second I always have perfectly carbonated beer. Back to your first point, some of what you are tasting will mellow with cold conditioning. Every beer I have brewed tastes better after 2 to 4 weeks cold conditioning. The quickest I will go grain to glass is 30 days, I am guessing that you are drinking sooner than that. Now my disclaimer, while I have experience with hoppy beers, I have never made a hop water.
 

schoberli

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Hello AntDoctor! I will watch this thread to learn more, I am having a very similar problem with some of my brews.

My experiences with the bitterness problem:

Very first batch: A NEIPA. Still brewing with partial mash and extract at this time. The beer had a slight bitter side-taste that I had never had in a beer before. I thought it was maybe the water or my process brewing with malt extract.

Third batch a chestnut beer that was dry-hopped. After bottling, there was the exact same side-taste again, but much stronger, bitter, almost-sour side taste remaining in the mouth for some time. I first thought it would come from the chestnuts. After 2 weeks of cold-storage, the bitterness suddenly disappeared...

In the meantime, tasting a beer of a local traditional brewery: The same bitterness there as well Pale Ale 33cl Bügel. I was also thinking about oxidation as they have a traditional and organic process. But oxidation is described as a sherry-like, almost cardboard taste, which it is not really.

Batch 7: Now I just had the same thing with another NEIPA. 20 IBU, dry-hopped with 40g/l (5 ounces/gallon). I have changed the process in the meantime, I do full grain now and also some water chemistry. 2 days after bottling it was an extremely good hazy, with flavors of strawberry and lemon. Now, a week after bottling, here it is again: A very broad-bitter side taste that covers all other hop notes and remains sticky on the tongue. Now I will put it in cold storage for 2 weeks and check it again. Some people say that hoppy beers need 4-8 weeks of cold storage, but for a NEIPA it's not really true is it? I thought you are supposed to drink them very fresh...

It doesn't happen to all of my beers. I would say the risk is higher for dry-hopped beers and NEIPAS, I haven't had it in my Belgian ale, even though the process and equipment were more or less the same.

I still have the following ideas what it could be:
- Some proteins that remain in the beer and that react with the hops to create this bitterness? And dissipate over time in the cold? For the two beers with the strong taste, I was going only for a 30min boil, so maybe there were too many proteins remaining. Cold crash or a longer boil could help.
- Leftovers of the sanitizer? I take care to get rid of all sanitizer residues before contact with the wort... And then the effect should vary from bottle to bottle too...
- Hop burn? Is there anybody with experience? Does it taste like a broad-bitterness sticking on the tongue and remaining for minutes after the sip?

I will try to do a 90-minutes boil and cold-crash before bottling to find out if it gets any better, I will let you know. I still think this is a mistake in the process somewhere, a NEIPA should usually be drunk right away, no need for a long cold-storage...

Cheers and regards from Switzerland! This is my hazy when it still tasted good...
 

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AntDoctor

AntDoctor

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Hop burn? Is there anybody with experience? Does it taste like a broad-bitterness sticking on the tongue and remaining for minutes after the sip?
Interesting! Yes, the bitterness that I was describing DOES seem to stick to my tongue for a long time. Is this what hop burn is supposed to be like?

Also, what brewing techniques do you use? I'm wondering if this happens because I ferment and serve in a single keg or because I don't have a wort chiller. Perhaps I should treat my ineffective cooling like a "no chill" batch: cut back on the hops to compensate for the fact the brew is warmer longer? BUT, I do have the hops in a hop-sock, so I take most of the hops out at flame-out.... Hmm.

Lastly, I think that's normal for hazy IPAs, at least those stored in bulk. Before I got my keg, I had siphon pints of NEIPA out of my carboy and carbonate them in a liter soda bottle using a carbonation cap (lol, very "janky"). After a while, it did start tasting a bit overly bitter, like you describe. Sitting on the bitter trub, I think it's only a matter of time before the beer is imparted with this flavor. Does bottling soon help it last longer? They say that IPAs should be drunk fresh anyway...
 

schoberli

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How is your off-flavor, is it more a spicy and burning sensation? Or on the bitter side, maybe black-tea like? And how much hops did you use for dry hopping?

My process is:
- infusion with 1-2 rests in a big pot
- filter and sparge in a bucket & perforated plate
- Boil in the same pot again, whirlpool
- getting the wort into a sanitized flexible container through a tap, leaving the trub behind
- cooling down the wort in the flexible container in the fridge, with no headspace. I am able to cool down within 2-3h using this process.
- Pouring the wort back to the fermenter for fermentation
- I don't use a new container for secondary fermentation though...
- Directly bottle the beer into glass bottles when it's ready.

I don't think it is the wort chilling process in my case. Maybe some incomplete chemical process involving hops and proteins, that's why it mellows out after few weeks in the cold?

On vinepair.com:
Hop burn is most often perceived after swallowing beer — likely while sipping or sampling a very fresh NEIPA — when the drinker is assessing aftertaste. It’s an extreme astringency, akin to sucking on a dry bag of black tea.

If you want to experience this sensation for yourself, simply drop a hop pellet or two in a beer — make it a hazy or NEIPA for the most intense experience — and let it soak until it falls apart. Then, take a sip. Chunks of hop aren’t part of the off flavor; but the drying scratchiness at the back of the throat is. Warning: Some find it so harsh, it may feel like gagging or choking.
I was just sucking on a used bag of black tea, this describes my off-flavor quite well. However I thought that hop burn would be much more spicy/"burning"... Anybody here with hop-burn experience? Does it also mellow out with time when cold-stored?

On brewfather, there is a warning about hop burn and I clearly went over the suggested quantity, so let me take care of this the next time.

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I'm currently cold-crashing my next beer for 2 days before bottling, and I only went to 8g/l of dry-hops which is the upper limit proposed by brewfather. Let's see how that one turns out.
 

schoberli

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I searched a bit more on HBT, I think it's hop burn what we both are experiencing.

What you can do against, thanks Dgallo for these useful tips:
Hop burn is caused by polyphenols that are in suspension. It causes a spicy bitterness that kinda has a burning sensation. During fermentation, yeast will actually bind the polyphenols with proteins and this will causes them to remain in suspension longer. Temperature of the dryhop has an effect on this too because hops contain enzymes that can cause a refermentation called hop creep. This refermenation causes additional hopburn.

reducing the dryhop size can cause less hopburn due to less polyphenols, but dryhop sizes isn’t the best way to manage it (for example I just kegged a double NEIPA yesterday that was dryhoped with 10 oz of AUS/NZ hops in a 5 gallon batch, 2 days before and I don’t even have a touch of hopburn.

Best ways to reduce it;

1) make sure you transfer trub free wort to the FV

2) do not dryhop while the yeast are actively fermenting the beer

3) once your at a stable FG, crash the beer to 50s or below to drop the majority of the yeast out of suspension.

4) then dryhop at 60 or below (yeast dependent, some ale yeast can still be quite active at 60). Ive personally aimed to dryhop at 56-58*f for 3 days or less.

5) this all should be done with the best anti o2 practices you can achieve on your system
 

Dgallo

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I searched a bit more on HBT, I think it's hop burn what we both are experiencing.

What you can do against, thanks Dgallo for these useful tips:
You’re welcome brother.
 
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AntDoctor

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Hmmmm, I don't get a burning sensation or a tannic taste at all in mine. It's more like tasting weed on the back of your tongue. Dank and long lasting. I'm going to redo one of my batches, but just dial down the hops and see what happens...
 
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