Constantly high perceived bitterness?

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marc1

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Yeah, that was my bad-just gave the wrong number. In the SMaSH (according to BeerSmith) my sulfates are 131 to chloride 38. In the Rye IPA they were 95 sulfate to 104 chloride. Again, I know there's meant to be a relation between these but they're always displayed as a ratio and I've never gotten my head quite around what's needed, so I've always either just followed a recipe's instructions or gone with a BeerSmith profile. When you say .5 do you mean, for example, 100ppm sulfate to 50ppm chloride or the other way around?
Are you starting with RO water or tap?
 
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rmeskill

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Tap, but sampled/measured tap, so I should be starting with the correct numbers
 

marc1

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Tap, but sampled/measured tap, so I should be starting with the correct numbers
Municipal water can change without notice. If your beer was fine before, but isn't now, this is one potential cause to investigate.
It looks like magnesium can influence bitterness. Maybe that has increased in your source water?

Does Magnesium Matter?
 
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rmeskill

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Just brewed a basic American IPA (88% pale, 10% Caraamber, 2% Carapils), OG 1.057, Sulfate:Chloride 146:46, Mashed at 66.6C (152F). Just Cascade/Centennial, with plans for 15g of each (1/2oz) at first wort, 15g of each at 15' and 15g of each for a 15' whirlpool starting at 85C. With the discussions above, I backed up the hops from 15' to 5' which should have put me at 44IBUs and .779IBU/SG according to BeerSmith. I was intentionally keeping myself at a 3:1 Sulfate:Chloride ratio to try and achieve a hop-forward IPA but not the flat-out bitter bombshell I've been accidentally managing elsewhere. Yeast was voss kveik at 28-30C so it chewed through quite quickly-I'm 48h on and at 1.016 with a (hopeful) expected FG of 1.012. Flavour is great-still a touch of sweetness which will likely go away, leaving just a nice balanced mouthfeel and, while it's noticeably hoppy it's in no way offensive. Going to leave it alone for the rest of the week and let everything settle, dry hop on Friday, cold crash Sunday and bottle Monday, but I'm cautiously optimistic my issue has just been slow cooling and under-calculation of whirlpool + late addition contributions.
 

Tyler B

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Please report back. I've had a couple similar batches recently so I'm curious to hear how yours goes.

If I was you, and this batch still gives you the high perceived bitterness, I would consider simplifying the hop schedule just a bit to help determine which addition is giving you the bitterness. In other words, maybe don't do fwh, whirlpool, and dry hops all in the same beer. That was my plan for the next pale ale anyway.
 
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rmeskill

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Dry-hopped today. I'm obviously going completely on my own taste here, but I I think it came in pretty much where I was aiming for (maybe slightly lower than expected), which, according to BeerSmith is 43.4IBU. It's got some bite, but not much, so roughly 40 is probably about right. I'll wait for it to finish before I give the final assessment, but it seems dropping my late-additions by 10' achieved the desired results. I might run another test batch with no whirlpool to see if it's just the late-addition hops that end up adding far more in the whirlpool that are the main contributor.
 
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rmeskill

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So is there a chance that dry-hopping at (relatively) high temps (26-28C) can actually increase perceived bitterness? Because while I can clearly taste some gorgeous dry hops in here it also seems it's added a bit more to the bitterness in the past 36 hours. Gravity is stable at 1.010, so that can't be it, but it does feel like I've gone from ~40IBU to ~50. In no way a deal-breaker for a 6.4% IPA, but still seems a bit odd to me...
 

Tyler B

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So is there a chance that dry-hopping at (relatively) high temps (26-28C) can actually increase perceived bitterness? Because while I can clearly taste some gorgeous dry hops in here it also seems it's added a bit more to the bitterness in the past 36 hours. Gravity is stable at 1.010, so that can't be it, but it does feel like I've gone from ~40IBU to ~50. In no way a deal-breaker for a 6.4% IPA, but still seems a bit odd to me...
I don't have a ton of experience with this, but based on what I have done, I would say definitely yes. Additionally the 1.010 FG probably doesn't hide/balance the bitterness like a beer that finished higher probably would. Also, the whirlpool hops add some bitterness.

Something I have even less knowledge about... I think people who make NEIPAs tend to whirlpool at a lower temp and use a chloride:sulfate ratio that favors chloride to accentuate the malt and fruity flavors. I believe ratios that favor sulfate accentuate hops, so this is something to explore as well. Maybe somebody who has more experience can chime in on these things.
 
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rmeskill

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Well in this case, to be fair, I both used a chloride:sulfate ratio that would accentuate bitterness (intentionally), used a kveik yeast (because I don't have any way to control temp in mid-summer) but tried to adjust hop additions accordingly. Finishing on 1.010 clearly is going to accentuate bitterness, notwithstanding the water profile, but I was doing this as a test run of perceived bitterness along the way, and it seems that dry hopping even brought out some bitter notes (though, I should note, some lovely classic American hop aromas, too). I think the verdict for me is, when using VK yeast in summer I need to move back the hop additions and perhaps adjust the water ratio to push it into a more balanced portfolio for even hop-forward IPAs. I've learned a lot-here's to hoping I don't forget it all before my next brew...

All that said, this beer still isn't done-going to cold-crash it tonight and bottle tomorrow or the day after. Some of the bitter portfolio might also be accentuated now since I'm tasting the beer at ambient temp (26C/78F) so I'm unlikely to get the most honest assessment until it's been bottled and chilled. I'll keep updating the thread until then...
 

Tyler B

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As I said in a previous post, I had the exact same issue when using Lallemand Voss Kveik dry yeast. I think your conclusion is probably correct. Like most beers, mine continues to change as it ages. Some days it tastes better than others. Hopefully yours hits its stride after a little bottle conditioning.
 
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rmeskill

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Happy to report my roughly down the middle old-school American IPA came out pretty much exactly right. Plenty of body, still, but balanced well with the hops-I think my initial concern about it still being too bitter were just a bit preemptive-once it carb'd in the bottles and cooled down to fridge temp it really is nearly perfectly balanced. Just made a SMaSH pale ale with 'standard' hop additions but skipped a whirlpool to go for a dry hop addition instead, to see whether it's specifically unexpected hop extraction in the whirlpool or just slow cooling that's to blame. Roughly 5%, mashed at 66.6C, 1.045 with estimated 1.008FG and 40IBUs for a bitterness ratio of .875, so should be a bit more bitter anyway, but the last time I did a rough SMaSH like this it was nearly undrinkable but I did use a whirlpool there.

And I just finally broke down and bought a grainfather, so I look forward to starting this thread all over again once I find out I'm screwing up something else over there 😂
 

mabrungard

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the IBU formula being used. I'm not familiar with Beersmith, but in ProMash, I can select from 3 different IBU prediction formulas. I can tell you from experience, that the Tinseth formula tends to produce a more bittered beer than what will be produced when the Rager formula is used. I've studied the formulas intensely and find that the Tinseth formula does produce the most accurate correlation between prediction and measurement, but I still use Rager because I like how it affects my beers. Another reason to use Rager is because many older recipes used that formula.

With regard to chloride/sulfate ratio, don't rely on it to explain bittering or the lack of it. The ratio is nearly useless.
 
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rmeskill

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the IBU formula being used. I'm not familiar with Beersmith, but in ProMash, I can select from 3 different IBU prediction formulas. I can tell you from experience, that the Tinseth formula tends to produce a more bittered beer than what will be produced when the Rager formula is used. I've studied the formulas intensely and find that the Tinseth formula does produce the most accurate correlation between prediction and measurement, but I still use Rager because I like how it affects my beers. Another reason to use Rager is because many older recipes used that formula.

With regard to chloride/sulfate ratio, don't rely on it to explain bittering or the lack of it. The ratio is nearly useless.
Well yes, you're right-I'm on Tinseth with Rager and Garetz as other options. But swapping from Tinseth to Rager on my most recent SMaSH switched the IBUs from ~40 to 30, which just doesn't comport with my taste buds, so I think I'll stick to Tinseth for now...
 
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