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Can't get real hop flavor

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Nick Z

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First off: Thank you for the replies! I know this thread is long and old and I appreciated people replying to it.

I'll reply in more detail later but I do have one quick question: I ferment in two gallon fermenting buckets. I usually end up with a gallon and a quarter to a gallon and a half of wort going into the fermenter. Is that too much headspace. Is all the air in the headspace killing the hop flavor?

I usually use US05 as the yeast and it takes 16-24 hours for visible airlock activity to occur. Ferment in a room that stays around 63 degrees F.
 

eric19312

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I think that is a reasonable amount of headspace. Perhaps depends on how well the lid seals.

Are you dry hopping? Dry hopping in bucket type fermentors is kind of inviting oxygen in. You might try adding any dry hops before active fermentation slows down so the beer is still pushing CO2 out and moving any oxygen that came in with the hops out with it.

Nothing wrong with airlock activity taking 24 hours or even longer to show up.
 

Jako

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whirlpool hops that don't see enough heat don't do much for me aroma/flavor wise. for me and how i taste beer i would rather do "classic" addition times/ dry hop in stages.
 
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Nick Z

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Thanks again for the replies.

I am in Oregon City. I'd be happy to accept any hands on assistance that is offered. Covid makes this tricky, of course.

The RO water I get is from the Glacier Water vending machines. It goes through carbon filtration and reverse osmosis. My tap water is very chlorinated. I tried getting around it by throwing in some metabisulfite the night before and letting it sit. But I was still getting what I think were off flavors. And since I didn't know the actual water profile of my tap water I figured I'd just use RO water. And it would allow me to build a water profile from scratch.

As for water profile: I almost always use the "yellow/amber/brown/black balanced" profile in Bru N' Water for whatever color the spreadsheet estimates the color is. Typically I have been using recipes with a two row, vienna, and a little victory malt. I basically copy Brulosophy's Hop Chronicles recipes.

When I've popped the yellow beers open, even after a month, I don't usually see any darkening. I will look more closely the next time I open a bottle. But the color seems to be stable.

I have been bottling straight from the fermenter (I installed spigots on some buckets and I got a Little Big Mouth Bubbler). I always use a short piece of hose and a bottling wand. After the bottles are filled I cap them with oxygen absorbing caps. I've started squirting the wine preserve gas into the head space, per a suggestion on another thread here.

I have been throwing the dry hop charge into the bucket while fermentation is still ongoing. Airlock activity typically resumes within a couple of minutes. I started using larger hop bags to allow for more surface area contact with the dry hops.

I have been concentrating on flameout additions recently. I've tried several variations on this. I've tossed the flame out hops (often close to an ounce for a one gallon batch for just the flameout addition) as soon as I switch off the stove. I've thrown them in at 150 degrees. I've thrown them in at 120 degrees. Sometimes I sit every few minutes. Sometimes I let them sit there, untouched, for thirty minutes or more. Even without trying to chill the wort the temperature will drop even so. But it usually doesn't get below 120-100 degrees in half an hour.

After I've chilled the wort all the way down I then run it through the paint strainer. I have to stir the wort for several minutes to separate the hops from the liquid. Then it goes into the fermenter, gets yeast pitched and is sealed up. These buckets seal pretty well. I can't smell fermentation going on. I can only see it in the airlock.

I haven't tasted the wort before bottling. I'll need to start doing that. But I do sniff it a lot and it often has a fairly hoppy odor going into the fermenter. And I would think the dry hopping would reinforce that.

I've noticed that I have better hop flavor retention with the older, piney hops like cascade, centennial, chinook, and ctz. The Janet's Brown Ale, for example, turned out better than most. I have the worst hop flavor retention with the newer fruity hops like citra, mosaic, and galaxy. Which is a shame because I really like those hops.

I did notice something disturbing when I did a flame out addition the other day. I weighed out the mosaic hops and they smelled great. Fresh, pungent, fruity. I tossed them into the wort. Twenty minutes later the wort did not smell nearly as pungent as the hops did before I put them in. That might mean nothing.

The lid on my kettle is not completely air tight but I used to just use a splatter screen to cover the kettle. So the lid has to be an improvement.

I'm not trying to make an NEIPA here (though I like those). I'd be satisfied to make a normal, moderately hoppy pale ale.

As I said: it has to be something I am doing wrong. And from what I've read it really shouldn't be this complicated. I must be screwing up in some epic, boneheaded way.

Edit: I'm planning on making the clone of Bell's Two Hearted tomorrow. This has hop additions at 45 minutes, 30 minutes, and a dry hop. I am hoping this will test whether my flameout practices are a problem. Since there are no flameout additions.

Does Brewtan B do anything? I've seen conflicting instructions on how to use it, when to use it, compatibility with irish moss, and effectiveness. I have some a packet on hand.
 
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WayFrae

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I had a similar issue to you. I just couldn't get the fresh hoppy aroma/flavor that I wanted. I was also creating a balanced profile from RO water. I think that is your problem. What fixed it for me was increasing the amount of gypsum in my water. It really let's the hops shine. Give it a try on your next batch. I put about 16 grams in 9 gallons of water for my hoppy beers.
 

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When I've popped the yellow beers open, even after a month, I don't usually see any darkening. I will look more closely the next time I open a bottle. But the color seems to be stable.
If you do not see evident darkening, I would wager that you are not experiencing blatant oxidation.
I'm also of the opinion like other posters here that your problem must be more "basic".
Steps like purging the headspace really only help in polishing the last details so to speak (I was active in that thread you mentioned, and IME the aroma/flavor difference between headspace-purged and nonpurged variants has always been quite subtle, and at times even non existant, although the color difference has nearly always been fairly evident).
So if your problem really is "almost no hop flavor", there must be something on a much more basic level going on.

I did notice something disturbing when I did a flame out addition the other day. I weighed out the mosaic hops and they smelled great. Fresh, pungent, fruity. I tossed them into the wort. Twenty minutes later the wort did not smell nearly as pungent as the hops did before I put them in. That might mean nothing.
That's totally normal IME. The wort after hot-side additions does not have a very pungent hop smell at all.
After dry-hopping it is a different story. There you should be able to smell the pungency as you open your fermenter, bottle etc.
 

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Water is so fundamental as a beer component, that my bet is on this source being your root cause despite all the other things you’ve improved.

Are you hitting your gravity reasonably well? I ask because that water source, while sounding good on paper, might have high residual alkalinity (RA). This can not only cause a high mash pH which reduces efficiency, it can also produce insipid tasting pale beers.

I would prep this water differently next time. Create a profile with 100-150 ppm sulfate, roughly half that amount of chloride, wherever calcium falls (should be well north of 50 ppm), and no sodium or magnesium. Then, acidify your mash with either 2% acidulated malt based on the grain bill weight, or 0.2 mL of lactic acid per gallon of water in the mash.

Since we don't know the RA of the Glacier water, these acid additions are enough to make a difference, even if not the optimal amount, yet should not be too much to ruin it completely if the RA is indeed reasonable.
 

Taket_al_Tauro

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Water is so fundamental as a beer component, that my bet is on this source being your root cause despite all the other things you’ve improved.

Are you hitting your gravity reasonably well? I ask because that water source, while sounding good on paper, might have high residual alkalinity (RA). This can not only cause a high mash pH which reduces efficiency, it can also produce insipid tasting pale beers.

I would prep this water differently next time. Create a profile with 100-150 ppm sulfate, roughly half that amount of chloride, wherever calcium falls (should be well north of 50 ppm), and no sodium or magnesium. Then, acidify your mash with either 2% acidulated malt based on the grain bill weight, or 0.2 mL of lactic acid per gallon of water in the mash.

Since we don't know the RA of the Glacier water, these acid additions are enough to make a difference, even if not the optimal amount, yet should not be too much to ruin it completely if the RA is indeed reasonable.
I totally agree on everything you said, but if I understood it correctly, he is using RO water and that shouldn't have high alkalinity, am I correct?
That said, taking care to adjust pH may be beneficial even when using RO water.
 

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I agree in principle, I just am not trusting that machine to be maintained and/or to do exactly what it purports to do. I use RO water produced from my well water at home. It performs well given the source, which is extremely hard water. The resulting RA in my RO water is 24 ppm and it retains sodium from the water softener of about 16 ppm. So I do need to acidify a little bit, certainly more than if I assumed my water was as pure as distilled.

It's an easy try to make these changes and see if there's any improvement.
 

Taket_al_Tauro

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I agree in principle, I just am not trusting that machine to be maintained and/or to do exactly what it purports to do. I use RO water produced from my well water at home. It performs well given the source, which is extremely hard water. The resulting RA in my RO water is 24 ppm and it retains sodium from the water softener of about 16 ppm. So I do need to acidify a little bit, certainly more than if I assumed my water was as pure as distilled.

It's an easy try to make these changes and see if there's any improvement.
I'm also having a strong feeling that the major issue here must be somehow water-related.
Otherwise I find it difficult to explain how it can turn out with "almost no hop flavor" despite large hot- and cold-side additions.... and no evident darkening that would point to major oxidation issues...
Even in times when I really did not care about O2, my bottled IPAs were certainly very far from being top-notch, but they still definitely had hop flavor.

EDIT: The beers feeling watery is also something that points to a water chemistry related issue IMHO
 
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BrewnWKopperKat

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As for water profile: I almost always use the "yellow/amber/brown/black balanced" profile in Bru N' Water for whatever color the spreadsheet estimates the color is. Typically I have been using recipes with a two row, vienna, and a little victory malt. I basically copy Brulosophy's Hop Chronicles recipes.
Do you have some bottles left from a recent batch? Do you have a way to measure 100ml of water reasonably accurately?
 
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Nick Z

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Thanks again for the replies.

Yes, I have plenty of bottles left from four or five batches. I popped open a Wizard Fight bottle yesterday and.... same thing. Virtually no hop flavor. Even if the late hop additions are screwed up the dry hop charge should have left significant aroma. I can easily measure 100ml of beer.

I tend to agree that I am screwing up something quite basic. Which is why this is so... embarrassing.

You guys might be onto something with the water. The Glacier water machines will say when they were last serviced. When I started using them during the summer they were serviced every three to four weeks. Lately I'm seeing them go months without servicing. Which, I assume, means changing the filters out.

For the Bell's Two Hearted I am using the Bru'n Water amber dry profile. About twice as much gypsum as chloride.

I shoot for about 5.2 on lighter colored beers, as per Bru 'N water instructions. I use the calculated amount of acid to lower the pH. Usually using 10% phosphoric acid I got from Northern Brewer. Sometimes lactic acid. My understanding is that lactic can impart an off flavor, whereas phosphoric does not.

I put all the mineral additions in the mash and batch sparge with just the RO water. I read several threads here that said to do that. I wonder if Martin Brungard will weigh in here.

Would poor water adjustment affect the dry hopping?

I will go pick up several gallons of distilled water today for the next batch.

I am going to go over my bottling procedure, as I still think my bottling may be the issue.

I fill from the fermenter with a bottling wand. I fill all the bottles, usually about ten or eleven. This takes about five minutes. Then I take them inside and cap them. I have squirted the wine preserve gas into some bottles and not into others.

It occurs to me that the bottles are exposed to the open air for several minutes before getting capped. I fill all the bottles and then cap. Perhaps I should cap each bottle as I fill it? I got the idea of the wine preserve gas from the thread where the poster tried purging the entire bottle with the gas versus just purging the headspace after filling. He said he noticed no difference and now just purges the headspace.

I do have issues reliably hitting my original and final gravities. I tend to be off plus or minus a few gravity points in the original gravity. My finishing gravity is almost always lower than the recipe calls for. Typically between 1.008 and 1.002. I kind of like it dry so that hasn't bothered me too much.

I get better extraction with a long mash of ninety minutes or so. But I get a lower final gravity. If I keep the mash to sixty minutes I get lower mash efficiency but the final gravity is higher. It's a tradeoff.

Again, my thanks for sticking with me on this.

I was going to snag another Little Big Mouth Bubbler but Northern Brewer says they are out of stock. I shall have to wait.
 

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Do you have some bottles left from a recent batch? Do you have a way to measure 100ml of water reasonably accurately?
Yes, I have plenty of bottles left from four or five batches.
[...]
I can easily measure 100ml ...
I'll dig into my notes this evening to find the process I use to dial in kettle salt additions by adding salts "in the glass"
 
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eric19312

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The distilled water option would really address a major area of uncertainty. I really think you should try that.

Your process sounds great. Perhaps consider replacing that bottling wand and the plastic tube you are connecting to the spigot. They are cheap and can harbor contamination.
 

McKnuckle

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It does sound like you're already adding the right water treatments, including acid. <sigh> Go with distilled water. It's cheap and a reliable blank slate. Will cost you almost nothing and rule out a major factor.

Regarding the bottling technique; we're again picking nits. A few minutes with the caps off is not going to destroy the beer. We're talking about turning a 95% technique into 97% by capping immediately. Don't make yourself nuts.

The super low FG is actually not normal. My beers almost never drop below 1.010. I wonder if there is not some other living critter that's contributing to the fermentation party, and might be trashing the flavor? Hate to go back to infections, but... FG should not normally be 1.002 or thereabouts unless you are mashing low and very long on purpose, and even then - that's abnormally low FG.
 

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As a follow-up from #137 ...

Yes, I have plenty of bottles left from four or five batches.
[...]
I can easily measure 100ml ...
My thought is that you could try adding gypsum (CaS04) in the glass to move from a "balanced" profile to a "dry"/"IPA" profile.

I have had good experiences adjusting kettle salt additions using this process:
  1. Create a solution of 100ml water and 0.2 g of gypsum
  2. Pour a 12 oz bottle
  3. Add a tablespoon of the solution, stir & taste.
  4. Add additional tablespoons (or teaspoons) until the addition makes the beer worse (e.g. tastes like mineral water).
  5. If the glass gets to around 8 oz, continue with a new bottle.
Each tablespoon is roughly a kettle salt addition of 0.3 grams of gypsum per gallon of wort.

notes/disclaimers/YMMV
  • I have used this process a couple of times to "dial in" kettle salt additions.
  • This is an approximation process - but it "works for me" and I'd rather "get close" with two bottles of beer rather than two batches of beer.
  • I have used the process with gypsum (CaS04) and Calcium Chloride (CalCl). I have not tried it with other salts.
  • I double checked my process notes, but didn't include the math. The process uses a tablespoon (or teaspoon) to add a small amount of a concentrated solution. 0.2 g and 0.3g (above) are in different volumes of liquid and result in different PPMs.
  • there are limits to the amount of CaCl or CaS04 that can be dissolved in a volume of water. Web searches and personal experiences with this process suggest that I didn't exceed the amount of CaCl or CaS04 that can be put into the concentrated solution.
  • it may be possible to adjust the process to use a 4 oz pour (rather than 12 oz pour). I haven't made time to look into this.
 
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Nick Z

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I'll try the gypsum process on a bottle today. It can't hurt to try.

When I got 1.002 FG that is when I typically had a two hour long mash. Sometime last year I discovered that a really long mash bumped my mash efficiency to something around 93%. I rejoiced and started doing long mashes. Then I noticed I was getting low FGs. I recently went back to doing regular 60 minutes mashes and while I lost mash efficiency I was getting FGs of around 1.012-1.008. Pretty close to what was predicted by Beersmith or the original recipe.

If I am more concerned with maximum extraction than a normal final gravity I will do a super long mash.

Also: I batch sparge with 170 degree water. After I dump the mash into a colander and drain out the wort I throw the grains back in the cooler and pour in the 170 degree water. Then I let it sit for about half an hour with frequent stirring. Once all the runnings have been put together the temperature of the wort is usually around 123 F-116 F. I know that because I take a temp I use an online hydrometer temp calculator to figure out my pre boil gravity.

A question on flameout additions: I was told somewhere on this forum (maybe this thread or another, I can't recall) that you don't want to add the flameout additions until the wort has dropped below around 160F. Otherwise the hops will just isomerize into alpha acids and give bitterness without flavor.

But I wonder if I thinking too black and white about it. I used to keep the wort temp close to boiling, on purpose, for about twenty minutes when doing flameout additions. And while I got very little hop flavor I actually got more than I am now.

What kind of flameout hop schedule do people use in regards to temperature? Toss them in at flameout and let them sit 20 minutes before cooling? Cool to 150 and then toss in? A little bit of both?

It still doesn't explain why the aroma dry hopping should give is not there.

It has to be something basic I'm missing, like you guys said.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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A question on flameout additions: I was told somewhere on this forum (maybe this thread or another, I can't recall) that you don't want to add the flameout additions until the wort has dropped below around 160F. Otherwise the hops will just isomerize into alpha acids and give bitterness without flavor.
As a counter example, take look at Basic Brewing's "Hop Sampler" process. The process is roughly: bring the wort to a boil, kill the heat, add the hops, let it sit for around 20 minutes (the wort will cool naturally from boiling to around 150i-sh), chill and bottle. They get a combination of bitterness and flavor/aroma. I've done this - Cascade is different from Citra is different from Mosaic. Yes, one will lose some of the flavors/aromas - but its not an "all or nothing" thing.

I've also done "hop stands" with DME. Add water / DME to the kettle, head to 180F, add hops, hold at 180F for 20-30 minutes. Again, bitterness & flavors/aromas.
 

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One suggestion I have is to use a lot of hops I know that sounds stupid but most websites say to use a lot less than I use. Also I started skipping the flame out addition and doubling up the whirlpool that really helped. But for my 5 gallon batches I typically use 10oz minimum to 1 pound of hops total. It also depends on the hop variety I made a NEIPA with a 8oz Denali and 8oz Vic secret chasing a pineapple flavor almost all of it was after flame out and it was hoppy but not punch you in the face crazy. My next ipa I used galaxy and cashmere 12oz total with some buttering additions and the hops are more pronounced.
 

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One of my old beer club members was on the end of a city line, all his beers lacked in all aspects. Flavors were dulled down and muddied, not distinct. We narrowed it down to iron in the water. To us, it did not taste like coin or bloody as you normally see for descriptors, but is was bad. A water test on his house system confirmed that iron was there.

I also did a judge training where I added different metals to bottles, fixed amount of time with a control bottles that was also open for the same amount of time. Copper and iron were 2 I recall. After that I avoid all metal except stainless, once you have alcohol developed. A copper racking cane will kill your beer. In my case it was improving beer from just being on the best of show table to winning it. The little bug in the system as a brass valve on my bottle filler. It was instant improvement once I quit being cheap and purchased a $30 stainless valve. The change was instant. Both copper and iron will also rob hop character. It also prompted me to go stainless taps years ago
 
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One suggestion I have is to use a lot of hops I know that sounds stupid but most websites say to use a lot less than I use. Also I started skipping the flame out addition and doubling up the whirlpool that really helped. But for my 5 gallon batches I typically use 10oz minimum to 1 pound of hops total.
This very question will reveal my ignorance but.... what is the difference between a flameout and a whirlpool addition?

I'll double check but I'm pretty sure the only metal my beer touches in stainless steel. The buckets and spigots and such are all food grade plastic.

I was looking at the Zombie Dust Clone recipe in Zymurgy. The instructions said to use two grams of gypsum per gallon of reverse osmosis water. Is that just the mash water or also the sparge water? So I need to put in chloride and magnesium and sodium as well? Or just the gypsum?

Going to the store to get distilled water. And to pick up some Kroger Spring Water, which they publish a water profile for.

Any word on Brewtan B?
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I was looking at the Zombie Dust Clone recipe in Zymurgy. The instructions said to use two grams of gypsum per gallon of reverse osmosis water. Is that just the mash water or also the sparge water? So I need to put in chloride and magnesium and sodium as well? Or just the gypsum?
Are you referring to this recipe?

Three Floyds Brewing Zombie Dust IPA Clone | Beer Recipe | American Homebrewers Association ?

Going to the store to get distilled water. And to pick up some Kroger Spring Water, which they publish a water profile for.
This will be helpful! Please post the water profile for the spring water.
 
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Beenym88

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This very question will reveal my ignorance but.... what is the difference between a flameout and a whirlpool addition?

I'll double check but I'm pretty sure the only metal my beer touches in stainless steel. The buckets and spigots and such are all food grade plastic.

I was looking at the Zombie Dust Clone recipe in Zymurgy. The instructions said to use two grams of gypsum per gallon of reverse osmosis water. Is that just the mash water or also the sparge water? So I need to put in chloride and magnesium and sodium as well? Or just the gypsum?

Going to the store to get distilled water. And to pick up some Kroger Spring Water, which they publish a water profile for.

Any word on Brewtan B?
What I would do if I was you is look into commonly used ipa water profiles. Then use ez water it’s a free website it will gives you your additions for mash and sparge water. I use ez water with all distilled water because my well water isn’t suitable for brewing. Whirlpool hops are once the wort has been cooled i usually add the hops at 190. Flameout hops are added right when you cute the heat from your kettle.
 
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Nick Z

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Are you referring to this recipe?

Three Floyds Brewing Zombie Dust IPA Clone | Beer Recipe | American Homebrewers Association ?


This will be helpful! Please post the water profile for the spring water.
Yes, that's the one.

Here's the link to their 2019 water quality report:


I just got some of their "purified" (reverse osmosis) water, spring water, and distilled. I filled my five gallon containers at the Glacier water machine too. But... it hasn't been serviced since 11/18/2020. Not sure the filters are going to be in tip top shape by now.

I'll use the distilled in the Zombie Dust recipe. Should I add gypsum to the sparge and mash water at a rate of two grams a gallon? Or just mash?

I'll probably need acid for pH adjustment. I'll have to see what I can wring out of Bru N water.

Is there a big difference in what you get out of the hops at 212 F (flameout) versus 190 F?
 

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To answer your question, when referring to 2g gypsum per gallon, it's referring to the entire volume of water. Treat it all together. Put minerals in purposefully, not randomly. Why would you add sodium to a pale ale? Use your water software of choice to see what the mash pH is estimated to be with distilled water and the 2g per gallon of gypsum. It may already be where you need it in terms of calcium, sulfate, and pH.
 

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Pellets. I use pellets for most everything. Though I actually find it easier to strain out whole hops after a boil.
Couple of things I could recommend. Whirlpool bomb. Hops in stages, with flavor at 10-15 to go, and ample at knockout.

Finally, I’m a big fan of making hop slurries for dry hopping. Learned it from Goose Island. Slurry with de-gassed beer for 3 days or so, time it with crash cooling and siphon or CO2 drive off the bottom. The c ash drives everything down, including hot s with sleeping yeast.

Just some thoughts.
 

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Yes, that's the one.

Here's the link to their 2019 water quality report:


I just got some of their "purified" (reverse osmosis) water, spring water, and distilled. I filled my five gallon containers at the Glacier water machine too. But... it hasn't been serviced since 11/18/2020. Not sure the filters are going to be in tip top shape by now.

I'll use the distilled in the Zombie Dust recipe. Should I add gypsum to the sparge and mash water at a rate of two grams a gallon? Or just mash?

I'll probably need acid for pH adjustment. I'll have to see what I can wring out of Bru N water.

Is there a big difference in what you get out of the hops at 212 F (flameout) versus 190 F?
I think there is a big difference. Hops are only considered flavor and aroma hops in the last 20 or less minutes but my personal opinion is you don’t get much until you hit the 10 minute mark. Any beer that your drinking that had that bright hop flavor is definitely heavy on hops after the boil so flameout, whirlpool, and dry hop. I was talking once to the brewer at my favorite local brewery and he didn’t get specific but he said I use a **** ton of hops during dry hop until i upped it past what I thought you were supposed to do I wasn’t getting what I was looking for. But you can over do it what I do is sample my beer when it’s a new recipe and decide if I’m done adding hops are now my most recent one I’m going to keg today is 8oz galaxy and 6oz cashmere it’s so fruity and I can’t wait for it to be carbed.
 

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Is there a big difference in what you get out of the hops at 212 F (flameout) versus 190 F?
Depends on the time spend at that temperature and the hop compounds that are lost in the temperature range.

While my "hop sampler" batches don't have precise temperature control (generally the temperature falls from boiling to around 150F over 20 to 30 minutes), it still yields enjoyable beer with aromas and flavors that are typical for the hop that I use.

See also The IBU is a LIE! Kind of..... | Experimental Homebrewing
 

a_gunslinger

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What do you mean by this? Your wort and everything tossed in at flame out/whirlpool is sanitized. Put a lid on your kettle if you’re worried about airborne items falling in.
Sometimes this is harder on an intermediate sytem, where you have the immersion wort chiller in the kettle last 15m to sanitize. Cant remove it and it interferes with lid going back on tightly.
 
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a_gunslinger

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I ordered the bucket screen and some tea infusers from Amazon. I'll pop by my local homebrew shop to look for the mesh bags and spigots.
Might want to try one of these taller stainless dry hop filters. Better mass/volume than tea ones, and I think better beer contact than the spider. Never felt like the beer was all getting thru the spider efficiently. These just drop in, they sink, down in the turbulance. FWIW

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073QMXXL7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1


strainer.png
 
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tripeland

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Do you know if the hops you use are fresh or have been handled properly by the supplier/HB shop? Are they sold in purged or vacuum packed bags? Does the shop store the hops in a refrigerator or just on the shelf at room temperature?
 

ncbrewer

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When I've popped the yellow beers open, even after a month, I don't usually see any darkening. I will look more closely the next time I open a bottle. But the color seems to be stable.
I agree that it's probably not an oxidation issue, but from this statement it seems like you don't know for sure if the beer is darkening. It might be worthwhile to brew a new batch with the same recipe as one that you have some left-over bottles from. Then compare the fresh beer on bottling day against the left-over beer from the previous batch. I'm trusting that the same recipe will ensure that the beer will have the same initial color. If anybody knows this will not work, I hope they will chime in.
 
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Nick Z

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The hops are fresh, at least the pellets are. Got them mostly from Yakima Valley hops. Vacuum sealed in mylar. Others are from the local brew shop. The pellets are green and have good aroma. I've tried different kinds of hops from different vendors and I get the same results. Much as I would like to blame the ingredients, I know I am the one to blame.

The more I read and the more I think about it, this is just damn strange. Getting some hop flavor in a beer shouldn't be this hard.

As an example: The centennial blonde ale batches I've brewed, which don't have large hop additions, have been more hoppy than the batches I've brewed where I use ten times that amount of hops.

And the centennial blonde ale was racked into a bucket for bottling. And was racked to secondary before that.

Oh, and I popped open a centennial blonde ale the other day that was over a month old. Still nice and blonde.

Does trub in the bottle screw up hop flavor? When bottling straight from the fermenter I get trub in some of the bottles. And yes, I drain about two cups prior to actually putting the beer into bottles.

If the issue isn't the water I'm thinking it lies with the flameout/whirlpool additions. Either it's too hot or not enough. Or it's hot side aeration when I pull off the lid to stir. Or maybe even cold side oxidation when run the chilled beer through the 200 micron paint strainer. It usually smells hoppy going in to the fermenter.

Edit: Screwing up the hot side additions doesn't explain the lack of aroma from the dry hop charge. That probably is cold side oxidation.
 
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eric19312

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The centennial blonde story says there is hope for you yet.

For what it's worth most of us talking about cold side oxidation are focusing on preventing exposure to oxygen after fermentation is complete. Before fermentation is complete the yeast will take up any oxygen quite quickly. Bottling will introduce some oxygen but it has advantage of in the bottle refermentation that will take up the introduced oxygen.

Have you really examined your sanitation practices? Seems like others have had lingering batch to batch issues that traced back to harboring a contamination in their equipment. Autosphon, bottling wand, plastic spigots, small scratches in plastic fermentors....
 

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