Can you add bitterness to a finished beer?

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Feb 11, 2020
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Don’t know if it is possible but I brewed my first lager and it lacks bitterness. Is there a way to add bitterness? My only thought was to pull a couple of pints then boil with some hops, cool it, then add it back to the keg? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
A hop shot would do the trick, but I think if you did what you described above it would accomplish the same thing. The only thing I would caution you on would be to perform the boil as described but pull a couple of samples and dose your newly hopped beer with varying amounts. That way you don't over-bitter your whole batch just in case.
The hop shot resin apparently would need to be heated to dissolve in water, to be added to beer without becoming a blob in the bottom of the keg.
AFAIK, the hop shot is just hop resin, and needs to be boiled too, say for 20-30', to isomerize and thus release bitterness.

You can probably get a lot more IBUs from boiling a few ml of hop shot than from 1-2 oz of high %AA hops, in a quart of water. And it's much cleaner to add to your bottling bucket or keg, there's no hop matter or even powder.

Disclaimer: I've never tried this process, to see what it yields.
I've used hop shots.
They work fine in the boil with no wort wasted in the bottom of the kettle.
They do leave a resin "scum line" in the kettle at the boil level.
Although I've not used them to make a hop tea.


One time after squirting the vial into the kettle, there was a little drop on the end of the syringe and I thought what the heck and put it to my tongue.
Man was that the WRONG thing to do, my tongue touched the roof of my mouth, now I had it on my tongue and the roof of my mouth, I rinsed to no avail, got a paper towel, wiped the roof of my mouth and my tongue, let me tell you the taste was overwhelming for hours, the wiping didn't help enough, although it did wipe out the little bead that was in my mouth. Very bad move. Lesson learned.

Reminds me of a fateful visit to the Coors brewery in Golden CO when I was going to college in Denver in the earliest '70s, and where I made the mistake of snatching a healthy pinch of pressed hop cones from a rolling bin positioned next to a HUGE boil kettle and started masticating on them while we trudged through the mandatory tour before embedding ourselves in their hospitality room for the afternoon to enjoy the brews that never get sold (virtually all of them fabulous and clearly not in their consumer's wheelhouse at all - which could be a redundant assessment ;)).

By that night my taste buds were so fried and offended I swore off drinking beer, and switched to Crown Royal for almost three years, before the mental scarring had dissipated enough to give a beer a try. Even the smell caused me to nearly wretch!

Cheers! (Bad juju. Don't do that!)
I’ve used hop tea with good results. Steeped in 170 degree water in a French press - strained and poured directly into the keg.