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Correcting flavour in conditioning/maturation?

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YorkshireAdam

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Hi all,

I made a school-boy balls-up with my most recent brew and massively over-hopped (as a result of not factoring reduced batch volume into my recipe :rolleyes:). I just took a gravity reading at day 4 and it's on track to be a c.7% beer....pale, but some good malt character from vienna and plenty of wheat. BUT, it's really over-bitter to the point of 'soapy'. Do I cut my losses, pour it down the sink and skip the grief of bottling something that tastes unpleasant? Or - with it being a strong beer that could probably stand-up to fairly lengthy ageing - are there any conditioning/maturation methods that might knock the rough edges off and make it more palatable? I'm so desperate I just googled 'Ice distillation' :D.

Any help much appreciated!
Thanks,
Adam
 

VikeMan

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Day 4 is probably too early yo judge the final bitterness level. Some of the ISO alpha acids are going to settle out toward the end of fermentation.

You mentioned "soapy." To me, bitter doesn't taste soapy. But if you're really tasting soap, that would point to fatty acids having been converted to soap, which can happen when there is a lot of kettle trub or a lot of contact time with the trub. But I wouldn't really expect that to be very apparent after only 4 days.
 

Dovage

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Agree with VikeMan, way to early to judge final bitterness Even if it is still a lot at bottling time, hops lose there potency over time. You could let it sit in bottles for a month or so and go back to it.
 
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YorkshireAdam

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Thanks both.....so basically be patient, wait and see? I'm guessing that with such a high strength (north of 7%) it could sit - and potentially improve - in bottle for, what? 18-24 months?

Re: 'Soapy'...maybe that was an inaccurate characterisation - as you say, contact with trub unlikely to be impacting at <1 week. The flavour is more just intensely bitter
 

brew_darrymore

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Bitterness will age with time and become less apparent. Give it a few months in bottles or in a keg and it will taste better.

You can also consider blending it with another less hoppy batch.
 

rburrelli

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Carbonation will also offset some of that bitterness.
 

Calder

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Not sure what 'soapy' is. Don't dump it. Bottle, and age a little (few weeks) and then try. If it is still overly bitter for your palate (I can't get bitter enough), you can always mix it in the glass with something less bitter that would complement it.

Age will drop bitterness a little, but it is not a cure. Carbonation will also cut the bitterness.
 

BucksIPA

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You could brew a second batch with less hops or no hops and mix prior to kegging. Extract would be quicker to accomplish this. Or plan a second beer and make extra.
 

Angell

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Its still early.. So you could wait....... Or you could boil a pint of water with a pound of sugar (maybe some extract too) and toss that into the fermenter. Take that beer up to triple-land! A nice Holiday IPA
 
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YorkshireAdam

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Its still early.. So you could wait....... Or you could boil a pint of water with a pound of sugar (maybe some extract too) and toss that into the fermenter. Take that beer up to triple-land! A nice Holiday IPA
I quite like this idea! Would it work on day 6?! Any risks?! I guess I wouldn't know what final strength is?...
 

Angell

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The specifics are case by case. Is it a 5-10 gallon batch? Do you have the head space in your fermenter?

If so, yes, it would work at any point of primary fermentation. If you keep it clean, any beer still on a yeast cake should take off with new sugar added. Give the fermenter a gentle swirl to homogenize. People do this trick with really high ABV beers 10-12% adding corn or cane sugar in later after the beer has eaten all the maltose. Have I done it? No.

I have done it on a smaller scale, bumping a 5% to 5.5%. Do it to Saisons if they aren't drying out to my liking.

There is software to calculate the addition of sugar. Brewersfriend. Plug in your original grist and final fermenter volume and then add the (corn/cane or malt) sugar you added. Adjust your new volume (if you added .25 gallon of fluid to your fermenter with 5gallons... its now 5.25) and that will give you a close approximate.

I also agree with the folks here who say its to soon to worry about the bitterness, it should age out. Sometimes those Australian/New Zealand hopes can be slick and flowery. But adding stuff to beer is fun too!
 
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