I think I overdid it...

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duskb

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So I brewed up a batch of a pale ale I like...lots of cascade (yummy). Anyways the store was out of pellets so I got hop leaves. Never used them before. As I was pouring the wort through the strainer into the fermenter I thought "no harm in running my top off water through the strainer to get a more hoppy flavor". Well it looks like I got what I wanted....this stuff is SOOOOO fricking bitter its unbelieveable, it tastes lke soap. I'm almost afraid it'll end up undrinkable. Lets assume before I keg this stuff its off the chart in bitterness (since I filtered all my water though the hops)....any ideas on how to rebalance it or am I stuck with really bitter beer?
 

CGengo

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Your topoff water shouldn't add any bitterness, that "damage" would have been done during your 45+ minute hop additions. Using the hop leaves to filter your topoff water might add some hop aroma but shouldn't contribute any bitterness. Fermentation and a little aging will mellow the bitterness. RDWHAHB!

Chris
 

jmo88

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How much hops did you use? And what was the schedule? I made a very bitter pale ale a while back, and my first bottle of it was way too hoppy. Split my tongue, and I like my IPA's near the 100 IBU mark... so I love me some hops. Last week I opened one for the first time in two months and it was amazing. It was much more mellow than what I had originally. It also tasted soapy at first.

Point is: Give it time. Lot's of time.
 

dataz722

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Nope it will be a complete a total waste so you should probably just go ahead and ship it to me now :)

Nothing is too hoppy.
 

Yooper

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And, whole hops are about 10% less potent than pellets, so you probably actually decreased your bittering (IBUs) if you followed the same recipe. Pouring top off water through the hops won't extract any bittering at all, so I wonder if something else was different this time.

Adding malt extract later in the boil would give you more bittering, for example.

How old is the beer? If it's older than 4 weeks old and it's too bitter, then I'd consider some dry hopping to add some aroma and flavor and maybe help cover the bitterness.

What was the recipe?
 

emacgee

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Your topoff water shouldn't add any bitterness, that "damage" would have been done during your 45+ minute hop additions. Using the hop leaves to filter your topoff water might add some hop aroma but shouldn't contribute any bitterness. Fermentation and a little aging will mellow the bitterness. RDWHAHB!

Chris

Well I could see how running the water over the hop leaves could wash harsh tannins into the final brew, sort of like tea. I guess this is less likely with cool topoff water though. What was your recipe and hop additions?
 
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duskb

duskb

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Well I could see how running the water over the hop leaves could wash harsh tannins into the final brew, sort of like tea. I guess this is less likely with cool topoff water though. What was your recipe and hop additions?
The ingredients were fresh, weeks old if that. I just bought them last weekend. I did run ALOT of cool top off water though the strainer and my thought was it would add some flavor to the mix...you've all made some good points though bittering happens early on and I used Pearle pellets for bittering per recipe. The cascade was used for 15 and 0 min. It does tastes more bitter than it has when Ive made it with cascade pellets before.

I think you're collective thoughts are well stated. I cant do anything about it now and if I have to keg it and toss it in a corner for two months so be it....I have other ones to start on in the meantime.

I'm not sure I'm going to duplicate this process though. I'll stick to putting water into the top off stage.
 

steelerguy

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When did you taste the beer? Was it the wort that was bitter? When you transferred from primary to secondary? At bottling?

My first Pale Ale tasted really bitter to me also, once it had bottle conditioned and about 6 weeks out from boil it tasted just fine. The longer you age the more the bitterness will smooth out.
 

Chriso

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Hops don't contribute tannins. That's grain.


If it's less than 5 weeks since you brewed this batch, I would recommend you just give it more time -- Bitterness, especially, is VERY harsh during early stages of hoppy beers, but with even just a little more time, it will transform into a very flavorful beer.

RDWHAHB!
 

cellardoor

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Another factor to consider is the water alkalinity. If the water you use has high alkalinity then it could perceive the beer to have a very harsh and unpleasant bitterness.
 

Laurel

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In Beeralchemy, the "baseline" for Perle hops AA content is 8%. That's significantly more than cascades. I'd say that the OP didn't think to do the substitution in his head or in a brewing software so ended up with a much harsher beer than expected due to the increased AA content.
 

Fenster

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+1 to letting it age.
It is amazing how great a beer that was once too bitter can taste after a few months in the bottle.
 
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