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I used 2oz of 10+% AA hops in the boil and my beer is NOT bitter - Help?

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Caseyjustus

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I have been having the same issue with my home brews from day one - almost Zero perceived hop bitterness. I have tried boiling longer, harder, cooler, shorter, dry hop, whirlpool, you name in and still I sit here with a beer that is good but not great.
I am finally of the opinion that my water is the culprit, but my research isn't revealing WHY this is happening. I am using bottled drinking water from a municipal source, have been using the same water for my short brewing life, and have run through what seems like dozens of hop varieties to no avail.

My brew day schedule was something like:
Boil 2.5 gal water (backfilled to 5 gal when the wort chilled)
Steep specialty grains for 20-25min
- 1lb each Carapils and CaraHell
Add 6.6lb Golden Extract
Bring to boil, Add 1oz each Hallertau Blanc and Rakau hops for one hour
1oz H. Blanc for 20-25 min @180-190deg F
2oz Kohatu for 20-25min @ 168-170deg F
1oz Kohatu for 10-15min @168-160deg F
then finally the same two oz at the beginning of the boil to dry hop
Used Omega Jovaru Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast

Fermentation did exactly what I expected to and gave me the 5.25% ABV I was looking for.
 

deadwolfbones

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Boiling a smaller volume and topping up will reduce the bitterness in the finished beer (because you're diluting it by half).
 

day_trippr

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Both H.Blanc and Rakau are typically in the 10.5% AA range so it's pretty surprising two ounces at 60 in a 2.5 gallon partial boil didn't produce significant bitterness. Unless they were old and/or stored terribly - they have similar HSI's (15-20% per half year) - but even then there should have been some kick, and that's totally discounting the incremental Kohatu (typically 6-7% AA).

Hard water and high wort pH can mute hop bitterness. If this has been going on for that long it may well be worth getting a Ward's water report...

Cheers!
 

Qhrumphf

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Boiling a smaller volume and topping up will reduce the bitterness in the finished beer (because you're diluting it by half).
This.

With a concentrated boil you're limiting solubility of iso alphas and then diluting it after. Getting high levels of bitterness is virtually impossible this way.

For optimal hop and hop bitterness, you need to full boil.
 

madscientist451

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Here's something to try:
Extract doesn't need to be boiled. So Add it at the end of the boil.
Keep everything else the same so you can compare.
Don't know if it will work, but its not going to hurt anything to try it.
 
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Caseyjustus

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This.

With a concentrated boil you're limiting solubility of iso alphas and then diluting it after. Getting high levels of bitterness is virtually impossible this way.

For optimal hop and hop bitterness, you need to full boil.
But even with this level of hops?
I guess I’m more curious about the “virtually impossible” part of this
 
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Caseyjustus

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Both H.Blanc and Rakau are typically in the 10.5% AA range so it's pretty surprising two ounces at 60 in a 2.5 gallon partial boil didn't produce significant bitterness. Unless they were old and/or stored terribly - they have similar HSI's (15-20% per half year) - but even then there should have been some kick, and that's totally discounting the incremental Kohatu (typically 6-7% AA).

Hard water and high wort pH can mute hop bitterness. If this has been going on for that long it may well be worth getting a Ward's water report...

Cheers!
I agree it should have some bitterness but I’ve got trusted people telling me there is none (I was almost convinced my pallet was broken). One of those sources is where I bought my hops and he was just as surprised by these results having personally tasted this batch.
Worst case scenario the pH was around 7 (info from the company that bottles the water
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, the one time I tried it I pulled enough bitterness out of boiling an ounce of hops in a quart of water to bring five gallons of an insipidly underbittered wheat beer to an enjoyable brew. So I'm not sold on the partial boil thing being the problem...

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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That's exactly what I did, and it totally worked...

Cheers!
 

Qhrumphf

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IBUs tend to functionally max around 100. More hop doesn't equate to higher bitterness at that point.

If you're starting with 2.5 gals, and boiling that down to ~2 gals, you're ending up at a max of 40 IBUs.

Based on the fermentables and ABV (especially if that was dry extract), can deduce that there's a lot of dextrins and sweeter sugars. That all lines up for a lower perception of bitterness, and especially with the biasing factor of expecting a lot of it I could easily see one saying "no bitterness".

Adding a little bit of hop tea to an American Wheat isn't really comparable. Water vs incredibly high gravity concentrated boil.
 
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Caseyjustus

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Are you dumping the hops straight into the boil loose? Or are they in a bag or hop spider?
I used bags and lightly pressed them to get as much wort out as possible after the boil. The dry hopping was done with a steeping tube.
 

Knightmare1

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1oz H. Blanc for 20-25 min @180-190deg F
2oz Kohatu for 20-25min @ 168-170deg F
1oz Kohatu for 10-15min @168-160deg F
then finally the same two oz at the beginning of the boil to dry hop
Used Omega Jovaru Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast

Do not understand your times and temps next to your hop additions. You are at a rolling boil for the full hour. Right?
 

Miraculix

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With wort there is only the possibility of getting about 90 to 100 ibus into it at max, no matter how many hops you throw into it.
The higher the og, the less ibus actually find their way into solution.

However, plain water can solve MUCH more ibus than wort (found this out the hard way by overdosing a 5l water volume with hops, which later got diluted with 15l of wort which still resulted in a too bitter beer). So your solution is to boil your hops in plain water, instead of wort if you want to top up later.
 

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