IPA gone extremely bitter after 2 months

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Bonde

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Well, just kegged for the first time. A wonderful thing to get into, but now a lot of new questions has emerged as my first keg has now gone bad.

I see mostly 3 options:

1. It could be my Co2 (which is not food grade, but as far as I’m told It doesn’t matter, or at least not here in DK)
2. Could it be my aroma hops just fading enough to let the not so bitter 69IBU shine through?
3. Could the keg Start getting oxidated when the Co2 is not always on. I mean loss of pressure etc.

What do you think? It’s my first keg. I actually had kind of this taste (not entirely the same) when I started brewing in my first batches, which I think was because of hot side oxidation and too hot sparge. This shouldn’t be the case this time.

The IPA Tasted great the first month in the keg, but (almost along with clearing) it deteriorated very fast the past week or so.

Taste is best described as:
Very harsh bitternes on the back/sides of the tongue. The taste is not in the beginning when sipping, but in the taste that lingers afterwards.

Recepie(5 gallon):
Pale 2500g
Munich 1450g
Pilsner 1270g
Cara pils 500
Cara munich 360
Cara Crystal 140
Vienna 220

As you can see, it was kind of a empty the closet IPA

Hops

120 min. Magnum 25g AA14.5
60 min. Challenger 10g AA7.6
10 min. Amarillo 20, cascade 5, centennial 5
5 min Amarillo 20, cascade 5, centennial 5
1 min Amarillo 20, cascade 5, centennial 5
Dry 40 Amarillo, cascade 6, Centennial 6

Kegged after one month in primary, dry hopped in primary for 14 days.

I really, really hope someone can help me, so I will not panic(hopefully), especially about co2 as I have 4 beers in primary soon to be kegged… and not ruined if that’s the case.

Note: I dumped the last 2 liters, would never get to drink it when not enjoying it. It had no signs of any infection on top, which would also have lead to sourness too right?


Water:
Calcium 37mg
Sulfat 11mg
Magnesium 5.4mg
Sodium 17mg
Chloride 19mg
HydrogenCarbonat(bicarbonat) hydrogen na 148
Ph 7.8

Added 10ml of calcium chloride
 
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Bonde

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Another beer gone bad….

Is it really possible that the co2 can do this.
It’s almost the same story, on tap from the 9th of may(brewed 24/4), tasted great the first 2 weeks. But then had this cheesy like off taste and bitterness today when tasting.

I’m really starting to be pulling my hair out, this is so demoralizing.
Hear of tons of people just using regular industrial co2 for carbonation without any problems.

My prior IPAs batches bottled, did not seem to lose flavor so fast, could at least stay fresh for 3 months.
 

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Assuming that it's not a sanitation issue (which would be unusual, infections don't usually taste bitter), you can check if the source of your problem truly is the CO2 by priming some of your kegs with sugar. Taste some after 2-3 weeks, and then let the beer sit for another month or two. If the taste isn't there at that point, it's probably your source of CO2.

Most of us use CO2 from fire extinguisher places, welding shops and other industrial sources, and don't run into problems.

(Edit: The pressure generated from the natural carbonation should be more than enough to serve several pints without requiring a CO2 hookup for dispensing).
 
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Bonde

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That would be an option yes... But a long time to wait brewing/kegging for 2-3 months before knowing/ruling if one of the factors.

Can yeast cause such serious off tastes?

Could it just be hops fading too fast, maybe because of the use of old hops, so only the alpha acids left?

Used max. ½ year old hops for this last one.
 

unionrdr

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I've had the hops aroma/flavor start to fade at 4-5 weeks in the bottle. Then,it seems,only a bright tasting bitterness left on the back. I wonder if o2 absorbing caps would help this? Or in your case,good keg seals,or sealing on the hose connections?
I also wonder about using industrial grade gasses? How pure are they?
 
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Bonde

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4-5 weeks in the bottle, how long in primary/secondary and did you dry hop? Both of mine were dry hopped.

And when talking about keg seals etc., As long as the co2 pressure is higher than the atmospheric pressure nothing should be leaking into the kegs right?

If hose connections were to blame, the first glass should have tasted bad too or? Because of the oxidation I assume you have in mind here.

Just checked my receipts from the store I bought the hops, they were purchased December 12 and has an expiry date in 2012. Therefore 2010 harvest I presume. This would, in my opinion, not categorize as old hops.

Regarding the food vs. non-food grade I rang up the supplier AGA and Airliquide here in Denmark, and they could tell me that it was absolutely the same gas, only a question of how they are filled/refilled. And on the other hand what beer spoiling “common” bacteria can survive in a extreme high pressure an minus 24c environment?. Or am I missing a microbiological thing here.
 
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Bonde

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For the interested the second one is:
A mix of Pale, munic, cara pils and cara Hell (crystal) 5kg
Simcoe 30g @ 90min
Cascade 20g+williamette 25g+Simcoe 5g @10
Cascade 5g+williamette 25g+Simcoe 5g @5
Cascade 5g+williamette 25g+Simcoe 5g @1
Cascade 30g+williamette 20g+Simcoe 5g @Flameout
Cascade 25+Wiliamette 15g @ dry

3 weeks in primary
1 week with dry hops
3 weeks after kegging the taste dramatically decreased and started developing off tastes(or maybe just more detectable)

Alc 6% IBU 50

FG 1011 – 3 step mash 54/62/67
 

unionrdr

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4-5 weeks in the bottle, how long in primary/secondary and did you dry hop? Both of mine were dry hopped.

And when talking about keg seals etc., As long as the co2 pressure is higher than the atmospheric pressure nothing should be leaking into the kegs right?

If hose connections were to blame, the first glass should have tasted bad too or? Because of the oxidation I assume you have in mind here.

Just checked my receipts from the store I bought the hops, they were purchased December 12 and has an expiry date in 2012. Therefore 2010 harvest I presume. This would, in my opinion, not categorize as old hops.

Regarding the food vs. non-food grade I rang up the supplier AGA and Airliquide here in Denmark, and they could tell me that it was absolutely the same gas, only a question of how they are filled/refilled. And on the other hand what beer spoiling “common” bacteria can survive in a extreme high pressure an minus 24c environment?. Or am I missing a microbiological thing here.
It spent 4 weeks in primary,with a tight seal I always have trouble breaking. The 4th week was a dry hop. Didn't use o2 caps,just reg ones/plastic seal inside. I was wondering out loud about all those things. Thought maybe a leak would let air in slowly over a period of time? Just covering the bases to help you think it through. There are microbes that live in high pressure ,even foul nasty ones. They found a new one a while back in Yellowstone around the bubbling mud pits near geysers. So not all nasties are "common". Just tried to help. Now I know better.
 

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I see mostly 3 options:

1. It could be my Co2 (which is not food grade, but as far as I’m told It doesn’t matter, or at least not here in DK)
2. Could it be my aroma hops just fading enough to let the not so bitter 69IBU shine through?
3. Could the keg Start getting oxidated when the Co2 is not always on. I mean loss of pressure etc.


Definitely #2.
No problem, just have to drink your IPAs young if you want that wonderful hoppy aroma/flavor.

When mine get too old, they do the same thing.

Check most commercial IPAs - they have best-by dates on them. Pliny the Elder has it wrapped around the label a dozen times - drink it young!
 
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Bonde

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Definitely #2.
No problem, just have to drink your IPAs young if you want that wonderful hoppy aroma/flavor.

When mine get too old, they do the same thing.

Check most commercial IPAs - they have best-by dates on them. Pliny the Elder has it wrapped around the label a dozen times - drink it young!
As young as max 3 weeks? that really surprises me. Maybe my taste just became a lot better during the last year of intense brewing (32 batches), but I don’t recall my first IPAs going off within the first 3 months. Of course that’s actually a possibillyti and normal development, becoming very picky towards beer drinking.

Would a hop aroma tea bring back some of the taste? Cause as it is now, I’m close to dumping 5gallons 
 
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Bonde

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It spent 4 weeks in primary,with a tight seal I always have trouble breaking. The 4th week was a dry hop. Didn't use o2 caps,just reg ones/plastic seal inside. I was wondering out loud about all those things. Thought maybe a leak would let air in slowly over a period of time? Just covering the bases to help you think it through. There are microbes that live in high pressure ,even foul nasty ones. They found a new one a while back in Yellowstone around the bubbling mud pits near geysers. So not all nasties are "common". Just tried to help. Now I know better.

Sorry if offence was taken, just my mind thinking in Danish and writing US/eng, it do not always come out right . Appreciate the help very much. Nice to see things from a different perspective and get some other opinions/suggestions to the problem that I might not already have thought of.
 
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Bonde

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Are beers like fx. St.Austells Proper Job pasteurized? I had one the other day, 10 months old, still had I nice hop taste to it. Will pasteurizing also “keep” the hop aroma and taste fresh.
If not, where is the breweries advantage that I cannot figure out? I mean in 90% of the cases I would prefer my own beer to a commercial, not because it funny and interesting, but because it simply tastes better than most. Ok… Pilsner Urquell still has an advantage when it comes to pilsners, and the german lagers are difficult to get perfect. But as far as IPA, Porter/imperial stout, Weizen etc. I prefer my own as my everyday beer (not compared to fx. Schneider weisse, Franziskaner or the Danish Limfjords porter or Samuel smith).
 

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Could it be an astringent off flavor? http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html for description of it and possible causes. I had a similar issue which I ended up attributing to too much dry hopping. It was about the 4 week mark and over the course of 3 days or so it went from awesome to undrinkable. I finally gave up and dumped it. Lesson learned, going to drink the next one faster.
 

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I'm thinkin that you might be confusing bitter for sour. I have had a batch that didn't show signs of infection for a week or 2. It got worse everyday, till I dumped it(30 gals.).
 
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Bonde

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Read all those up and down, over and over again during the first stages of brewing.

I just went down my cellar to find an old IPA that would definitely be over it by now, it was kind of the same bitter wise(not as much though), but still I have this new kind of cheese like smell and a little taste too. Could this be c-hops when overhopped, though I do not see the 7 Ounces all in all plus 1.5 dry to be overhopping.

Another thing, when brewing I noticed that the Williamettes were a lot more brow then the cascades and simcoes. More of a brown tan then green. I would definitely no expect hops to harvested too late to be bringing me this off taste. Or what do you think?

I’m most of all leaning towards the theory that maybe cascades are just disappearing faster than most, and leaving me with the bitter off tasting beer now. Maybee over hopped ?

But the again, how can we even drink Sierra Nevadas overseas if that’s the fact.

additional info: Re-Read all my notes, seems to be the same washed yeast for the 2 batches.
 
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Bonde

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I'm thinkin that you might be confusing bitter for sour. I have had a batch that didn't show signs of infection for a week or 2. It got worse everyday, till I dumped it(30 gals.).
Ouch... 30g...
 

Hang Glider

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fill a glass with fresh hops.

pour your beer over it, let it sit in the fridge for half an hour.

sip through a screen/sieve, or pour carefully into a fresh glass.
how's that taste? If it's back where you want, you can dry hop again, since you're kegging. (sorry, bottlers)

Drop some fresh hops into your keg and seal back up. Wait a day, drink away.
Pull 'em out after a week.

just a thought
 
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Bonde

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fill a glass with fresh hops.

pour your beer over it, let it sit in the fridge for half an hour.

sip through a screen/sieve, or pour carefully into a fresh glass.
how's that taste? If it's back where you want, you can dry hop again, since you're kegging. (sorry, bottlers)

Drop some fresh hops into your keg and seal back up. Wait a day, drink away.
Pull 'em out after a week.

just a thought
Your absolutely right….

Why didn’t I think of that, will go right ahead. :rockin:
 
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Bonde

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It definitely made a difference, at least in the perception of the bitterness.
It still has some kind of strange off aroma to it, but it’s drinkable.
Will dry hop again, and update later on when things balance out.

Its was kind of hard to tell if it would go back to great, it was different this time because I used Centennial instead of cascade, ran out of cascade.
 

Hang Glider

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When you mentioned that the willamette was brownish, I thought that might lead toward your problems...

Hops must be fresh. Even kept frozen and sealed, they lose some of their goodness. I ordered a pound once, and ended up throwing a good quarter of it out - it didn't smell good and fresh anymore.
 
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Bonde

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Here we go again....

4 weeks in the keg, and it´s off again, or too bitter/astringent. This time I made a full boil to make sure over sparging wasn’t the problem.
Tomorrow I’ll be dry hopping the cr.. out of the keg with simcoes. I’m starting to grow a little tired of the cheesy/tart off smell mentioned earlier, in the Cascades. Seems get that every time I use them.
 

eastoak

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Here we go again....

4 weeks in the keg, and it´s off again, or too bitter/astringent. This time I made a full boil to make sure over sparging wasn’t the problem.
Tomorrow I’ll be dry hopping the cr.. out of the keg with simcoes. I’m starting to grow a little tired of the cheesy/tart off smell mentioned earlier, in the Cascades. Seems get that every time I use them.
if you want to eliminate sparging as a culprit don't sparge at all. mash with the full volume of water, drain into your kettle then proceed as you normally would. your efficiency will suffer but you could add extra grain to make up for that. i've stopped sparging all of my beers and they have turned out so much richer and flavorful than before. i don't like to drink beer over 6% ABV so the loss of efficiency suits me fine, i enter 58% efficiency into beersmith and go from there. the latest issue of BYO magazine has a big article about no sparge brewing.

i had a streak of beers that were going sour on me and it turned out to be the hose on my auto siphon. even though i rised and sanitized after use, with time it got funky anyway. i bought 3/8 inch silicone hose that i could boil and the problem went away.
 

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Brew something of a "control beer" to check if it is your process or simply old/stale hops in an IPA. Something non hoppy and non bitter like a cream ale where any off flavour will stick out like a sore thumb from the very beginning. It's possible the off taste you are experiencing 4 weeks into the keg is present from the very beginning, but gets masked by the intense hop aroma and flavour of a fresh IPA.

I like Cascade, but in moderation. It can get harsh to me too, so you might want to use something fine and mild like Hallertau or EKG in your control beer.
 

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If you have a slow CO2 leak from the keg you could be stripping out the aroma hops more quickly than you would in bottles. Aroma hop compounds are only slight water soluble and are much more soluble in CO2. So if you vent your keg a couple of times (to fill bottles, for example) you will affect the aroma a lot. The same is true with a slight leak. When you open your fridge or kegerator, does it smell like hops?
 
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Bonde

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Have exactely the same problem. Did you ever find out what the problem was?
Well after testing a few different combinations I believe it’s the Cascades that are the problem. I’ve done an IPA with Chinook, Simcoe and Centennial, and one Amarillo Single hopped that never had the problem. Same story with my English IPAs.

Even though the Cascades are only 50% of the hop scheme, it still goes bad, or very very different.

And it seems as if it’s almost always at the 6 week mark after brew day that it starts to turn bad, it’s quite extreme. I believe that it might be something with the cascades fading very quickly and leaving some other compound behind, or maybe unmasking another side of the cascades oil combined together with the base bittering being more “up front” due to the natural fading of 15-1 min. additions.

Maybe some of us are just hypersensitive to some kind of compound/oli in the cascades… I don’t know.
 

unionrdr

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It could be the particular hops themselves from a particular grower that whatever hop company sold you. Combined with your process is gettin cheesy. Just tryin to think outside the box here.
 
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Bonde

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It could be the particular hops themselves from a particular grower that whatever hop company sold you. Combined with your process is gettin cheesy. Just tryin to think outside the box here.
Actually, when I initially had my problem with the cascades I wrote the seller of the hops too. He ended up admitting that this was a 1.5-2 year old whole leaf crop that he recently bought as he ran out. Bought in the US, maybe we had hops from the same place, that would explain a lot.
A few days after, he pulled them of his website.

But obviously I got a little cascade scared by this whole thing.

Actually the same reason to why I in January bought 50kg of hops directly from the wholesaler from the 2011 harvest. Until now, only used a little of the cascades in each of my tests, but no issues yet.
 

unionrdr

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The fact that he pulled them off his website says there may indeed be an issue with more than just you. He took a chance to make his sales...but may have indeed come upon some bad chit.
 

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Bonde:
I am with you on the frustration.
I have found that in my IPAs-gone-bad I always had cascade (4 to 6 ounces during boil for a 5 gallon batch) and the extreme bitterness/harshness/astringency taste was even more pronounced when I was dry hopping even with just one ounce of cascades. So I agree with you on the cascades beeing potentially the problem.

I am in France so the Cascades we get here is probably not the freshest.

What I found was an aggravating factor was the use of Nottingham for yeast. Let me explain. When I used Cascades and Nottingham, I had a bad batch. However, when I used Cascades and Safale S04 Fermentis, no problem... coincidence? I do not know. I have looked everywhere on the web and found that other people got this extreme bitterness/harshness/ astringency taste with Nottingham.
I am now fermenting a batch with a lot of Cascades but with a different yeast (Mauribrew), I will let you know in a few weeks for sure. After I am through with the little of Cascades I have left, I will probably stop using it for a while.

This problem has been has been very (very!) frustrating to me but I will not rest until I resolve the issue and start producing the best IPAs I will ever drink, for sure.

It is only when you brew that you become a brewer, right?

What yeast were you using for those bad batches?
 
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Bonde

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Sorry for not getting back to you Barbleue… Forgot all about it in the craze of work.

Well actually I’m done with the cascades for a while too I believe. There are just something strange going on with ageing these beers without some sort of stabilization (which will be my next test). There must be some sort of degradation of hop oil that produces some sort of off flavor that some of us might be quite sensitive too… Or maybe I’m just shooting in the dark now. I’ll give this cascade one last shot, and brew up a mayor hopped IPA with only cascades, then we’ll see. fresh hops this time, so now there shouldn’t be any “old hop” factor.

I am not experiencing the problem you have with Notty… actually I went away (almost) from using dry yeast… Believe it or not… same story almost. I never find it satisfactory with fx. US05, there is this off thing, but very subtle. No prob’s with 1056 or 001.

How did the Mauribrew turn out?
 

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Hi:

The IPA I made with Cascade and Mauribrew had the same unfortunate bitter/astringent taste....so yes, I trully believe it is the Cascade and nothing else. It has been a year since I have been struggling with that problem! just unbelievable. I only brew once a month so it takes a while for me to experiment and then get the results. I wish I would brew more but I just do not have the time.
Mauribrew in itself did not pack the sediment as notty did so, in that aspect, I like Notty better.

My current batch is an all amarillo IPA with US05. I have great hopes for that one.

Also, recently got some centennial, I am pretty excited.

I should receive a BrewMagic system very soon, but that is another thread.

Cheers!
 
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