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IPA not getting the taste I want....Help!

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BigEasy43

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So I did an IPA kit and dry hopped it with 3 ounces of Citra Hop, but really not getting a ton of taste. Did I do something wrong during brewing? Issues fermenting?? I put a couple of bottles in the fridge last night and just had them this afternoon maybe fridge too cold? Any help would be great.
 

CUrchin

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Keg or bottle prime? I find bottle priming usually leads to just enough oxydation that it kills hop character, no matter how hard I try. When I keg my IPA's, they rock. Oxygen is your enemy,
 
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BigEasy43

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Keg or bottle prime? I find bottle priming usually leads to just enough oxydation that it kills hop character, no matter how hard I try. When I keg my IPA's, they rock. Oxygen is your enemy,
Bottle Prime!!
 

CUrchin

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Story: I brewed for a few years, bottle priming, got on the IPA train. Was never happy with the outcome, even with tried & true recipes. Then a friend loaned me his kegs. Bam, suddenly my IPA's rocked. Don't want to say you -can't- do it with bottle priming, but I haven't figured out a way to get bottle primed IPA's to have that awesome hop character.
 

PurpleJeepXJ

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IPAs are meant to age. Look it up, that's the whole point of an IPA. If you are using tried and true recipes or kits and still aren't getting the taste you are expecting, I would look towards equipment or process.
 

jerbrew

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Maybe water. IPAs can be temperamental to water when it comes to taste perception. Process could be an issue as well.

@purplejeepxj I get where you're coming coming from with the history and aging bit but an most IPAs today, depending on style of IPA, ate a far cry from how they developed. Same with a lot of beers styles. As for taste, I don't think aging will help out here if it's not right at 3 weeks it won't be right at 6 or 10 or longer. Probably not the profile OP is looking for.
 

JordanKnudson

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IPAs are meant to age. Look it up, that's the whole point of an IPA. If you are using tried and true recipes or kits and still aren't getting the taste you are expecting, I would look towards equipment or process.
That's the story of the old English IPAs, but definitely not true of American IPAs, especially modern ones.

Still, I'd agree about looking at process. As mentioned earlier, bottling may be causing enough oxidation to be a problem. Another possible source of the issue may be water chemistry (someone was going to bring it up eventually). Without getting too complicated, perhaps your water's sulfate:chloride ratio is not well balanced for the hop load of an IPA.

EDIT: dang, beat me to the punch
 

whovous

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FWIW, I don't think the stories about old English IPAs being meant to age are entirely true. The combination of the preservative nature of lots of low alpha acid hops and the rocking of the barrels on the long sea voyage to India produced a beer that stood up a lot better than lower hopped beers shipped to India. But the fact that they were still drinkable after months at sea does not mean they weren't better still if you drank them in Burton on Trent or London within weeks of bottling.
 

jerbrew

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FWIW, I don't think the stories about old English IPAs being meant to age are entirely true. The combination of the preservative nature of lots of low alpha acid hops and the rocking of the barrels on the long sea voyage to India produced a beer that stood up a lot better than lower hopped beers shipped to India. But the fact that they were still drinkable after months at sea does not mean they weren't better still if you drank them in Burton on Trent or London within weeks of bottling.

Good point.
 

rollermt

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Can you post some more details about your recipe and brew day? I feel like the forum gives a ton of good advice if you post your full recipe, your fermentation temp, and more details in general.

3oz is more than enough to get a good dry hop aroma, but how long did you leave them in? What were your bittering and aroma additions like?
 

TANSTAAFB

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+1000...Don't care what kind of hipster d bag rep they've gotten or how much people trash them on the forums for the difficulty in obtaining their beers, I've never had a Jester King beer I didn't like
 

TANSTAAFB

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Apologies for the slight derailment...
Definitely need more info to help you out. What was the recipe, process, temps, etc
 
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BigEasy43

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Boiled 4.5 Gallons of water and let mash sit for 60mins at 154F. Strike water added at 174F and gathered my second runnings. Boiled for 60mins and checked my gravity after letting the wort cool down and reading was 1.040, but beersmith was telling me 1.051 so something went wrong for that part. Pic of recipe is attached.

IMG_20160705_081539.jpg
 

JordanKnudson

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I wonder if you'd have a better time getting the hops to shine through by reducing your caramel malts. They are 9.3% of the grist, which is a bit high for an American IPA. That, combined with the Munich, will get you a pretty malty profile, which may make it hard for the hops to shine as much. FWIW, the often-circulated advice from Vinnie at Russian river is: keep your crystal malts below 5% and below 15L.
 

hockeybrewer

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It also depends what kind of IPA your looking for, if its a north eastern hop bomb your not going to get that with 5.5 oz of hops and that much crystal malt. My last NE IPA I used 13 oz of hops and a quarter lb of carahell as my only crystal malt and that's only because I forgot the honey malt. I bottle my beers and I'm careful about oxygen but not obsessive and after a month in the bottle at room temp the aroma was still amazing but the flavor was starting to diminish. I recommend that once your bottles are carbed after 2 or 3 weeks to throw all of the bottles in your fridge to keep them fresh as possible.
 

SHbrewing

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I suspect the recipe is just lacking the overall amount of hops you'll need for a true hop bomb.
 

myntz

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I'd dump the crystal 30 entirely and up the pale to 10lb.

I also suggest to up the 15min-flameout addition 2-3X and do another whirlpool addition @ 180-160*F of 1-3oz. You could probably drop your dry hop to 1-2 ounces as well. This should give you plenty of hop flavor and aroma that will stick around. (If you wanna get real crazy, toss an ounce of pellets into the fermenter before racking the wort in there and pitching the yeast)

I find that upping additions inside 15 mins-flameout and whirlpool keep the aroma in the beer longer than just dry hopping, and contribute much more flavor.
 

BeerEngineer15

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The amount of hops look alright, a little low perhaps but that would be sufficient if not for the amount of character malt. If you want to keep the grain bill the same, you need more hops, otherwise reduce the malt character.

My recommendation is to eliminate the Crystal 30 and then cut the Munich and Crystal 15 in half. Increase the amount of 2-Row to get you to your intended OG.

As was said before by others the water is critical for hoppy beers. I always had issues with my pale hoppy beers and finally I got my water tested. I found that my water's Sulfide:Chloride ratio was off the chart on the "Malty" side. I started using RO water and building up the profile. It has made my hops really shine through where before they seemed dull and almost lifeless.

I believe that people assume that if they aren't getting a good hop flavor they just need to add a bunch more hops when that's not always the case. A combination of grain bill and water profile can be the cause just as often.
 

harsradish

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So I did an IPA kit and dry hopped it with 3 ounces of Citra Hop, but really not getting a ton of taste. Did I do something wrong during brewing? Issues fermenting?? I put a couple of bottles in the fridge last night and just had them this afternoon maybe fridge too cold? Any help would be great.
I think the problem lies within the process. Dry hopping is going to give you more aroma than taste. There are of course a lot of factors that weigh into getting most hop utilization, however, taste is going to come from hop additions in the boil.
 

rocketdog

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Have you tried gypsum? I always toss a teaspoon or two into my brew kettle when I want to accentuate the hop character of my beers. Probably wouldn't hurt based on the description of the problem you're having.
 

millsbrew

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Story: I brewed for a few years, bottle priming, got on the IPA train. Was never happy with the outcome, even with tried & true recipes. Then a friend loaned me his kegs. Bam, suddenly my IPA's rocked. Don't want to say you -can't- do it with bottle priming, but I haven't figured out a way to get bottle primed IPA's to have that awesome hop character.
I agree. IPA's are best fresh. So the 2 extra weeks of bottle priming could
decrease the perceived fresh hop flavor. Also, you are letting the hop aromas escape since bottling takes longer than transferring to a keg. Good luck.
 

Raven1469

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you want more hop flavor, you want to add more hops at about 15-0 min in the boil. If you want more hop aroma you will dry hop. I know you get a little bit of hop flavor from dry hopping but most of the hop flavor comes in the boil.
 

PatrickLS83

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There are a lot of great suggestions in this thread. Here are a couple things I learned along the way getting our IPA's more hoppy (I run a little nano in VA). First, drop the crystal malt to almost nothing, many times we do 100% Marris Otter or Pils for IPA's. Look at your water profile, you want a higher sulfate to chloride ratio and slightly acidic. Others mentioned gypsum, which we use for this exact purpose, but you have to know your base water profile to know how much to add, you can get a water test kit or if your on municipal water sometimes you can just email the water treatment folks and they'll tell you the whole breakdown. Sometimes we add a little bit of lactic acid to the mash. We air on the side of 2lb per BBL of dry-hopping which scales down to roughly 1 oz per gallon. Agitate your dry hops. Many breweries will blow CO2 into their tanks to agitate dry hops and get a better utilization. In a carboy, spin and swirl as much as you can to get the hops in full contact with the beer and then let the yeast and hops settle out before racking. You want IPA's to be fresh. They are not meant to be aged. Hop fade will set in after a few months. Bottle conditioning doesn't cause oxidation by itself, but your transfer process from carboy to bucket to bottle will likely introduce oxygen. This will shorten the shelf life of the beer. Drink it quickly and it'll never be an issue. If you feel your recipe and process is solid, look at your water profile, you'd be surprised how much it impacts the flavor. Hope this helps!
 

rollermt

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Agree with SHbrewing, just make it again with more hops, especially if you want a "controlled" experiment that doesn't tweak anything else mentioned above. I am a fan of the late hopping strategy, where aim to get more of your IBUs from the aroma pitches.

http://www.mrmalty.com/late_hopping.php
 

Kjay

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I am on the drink them fresh train. I try and turn my iPas around in 14-21 days. When I used to bottle I always found that I thought something was missing usually the fresh hops on the nose and hop flavour profile we crave. I have also started to dryhop during active fermentation with great results.

With that being said last year I read somewhere that the massive walls of tall boys full of IPAs is where they go to die as they are not fresh by the time we buy them. Proof of that is the GLB Canuck that I am drinking now was canned on December 9/16 that I found in rural Ontario about 3 hours north of Toronto was not the beer I was expecting. Canuck might be my favourite IPA so I was expecting what I know and this isn't what I know.
 

Sbe2

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* going to hijack thread*:off:

Has anyone dry hopped before pitching their yeast, and if so what was the result?

I know it may be blasphemy, and I get the whole CO2 purging off aroma. But I am curious as to what would actually happen. I am going down this rabbit hole because it is my understanding that most, if not all, NEIPA dry shopping is done at the tail end of fermentation, resulting in a biotransfermation....blah, blah, blah.... Why not dry hop before the start?

Anyway, continue on with the thread...:rockin:
 

PatrickLS83

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@Sbe2 Generally you don't want to dry hop during primary because the fermentation will scrub out a lot of the aroma as you mentioned. The airlock will smell amazing but if you can smell it in the airlock it's not in the beer anymore, which is a bummer. I've actually worked with some breweries that will dry hop after cold crashing so that the hops immediately drop from the top to the bottom of the fermenter (cold crashing also tends to crash out the hop particles). There's also a timing theory here. You may only want dry-hop contact for 4-5 days but if you dry-hop during primary your beer will sit on hops for at least an additional week and may taste like a fist full of asparagus instead of a smooth and citrusy. But don't take my word for it, theories are meant to be de-bunked, try it out and see how it goes!
 

Sbe2

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Yeah, I may have talked myself into trying it out. I am actually working on timing of dry hops in my primary.

I have 6 oz of mosaic hops in a hop bag weighted down. I am dry hopping for one day then cold crashing for two or three days depending on life. Hopefully I will get the hop burst I am looking for in this SMaSH.

Side note. ^ this was done in my primary a couple of points away from my FG. The samples I pulled had that dreaded rubbery/band aid taste. This brew I took water from the hour water side of my sink, due to time, where as I usually get water from my outside tap. I chlorinate my water, didn't use a Camden tablet, so I am worried that is what it is. But, maybe it is still yeast in suspension???. Either way I will drink it.
 

treacheroustexan

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More hops and I've noticed a huge improvement in my IPA's since I've started using a tsp gypsum in my water. Seems to make them "pop" more.
 
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If you're looking for hop flavor, read up on first wort hopping. Throwing your hops in as the wort is heating up (pre-boil) will give you massive hop flavor, as well as the same amount of IBU'S as if you added them at the 60 minute mark. Keep in mind, a high alpha variety like magnum might not taste the greatest, so I generally stick to hops you would dry hop with. Calculate the IBU's from your FWH addition, and then add some Magnum when the boil starts to hit your desired IBU's. Adjust your Magnum addition accordingly though, you won't need the same amount that the recipe calls for due to the ibu contributions of your FWH.
 

mddonelan

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Maybe I did not read something correctly but your original post noted citra and the recipe shows various types including magnum.

Did hops will provide different amounts of flavor/bittering. I have made the mistake before of just swapping one type for an other and expecting the same results.

Maybe someone with more experience can comment.
 

mddonelan

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If you're looking for hop flavor, read up on first wort hopping. Throwing your hops in as the wort is heating up (pre-boil) will give you massive hop flavor, as well as the same amount of IBU'S as if you added them at the 60 minute mark. Keep in mind, a high alpha variety like magnum might not taste the greatest, so I generally stick to hops you would dry hop with. Calculate the IBU's from your FWH addition, and then add some Magnum when the boil starts to hit your desired IBU's. Adjust your Magnum addition accordingly though, you won't need the same amount that the recipe calls for due to the ibu contributions of your FWH.
Olaf_Deathbringer doesn't adding hops as the wort is heating up just add bitterness and no additional flavor?
 

kristiismean

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Olaf_Deathbringer doesn't adding hops as the wort is heating up just add bitterness and no additional flavor?
Depends on the hop (but yes, you are correct) For the Citrus hops, adding them really really late keeps the citrus flavor. I just made a NE IPA (bottled conditioned 4) and kegged the rest, and have no loss of aroma, if anything, the keg is less.

pretty much added in the citrus hops at the 2 minute and 0 minute, and then brought it down to 68 and pitched within 15 minutes. If you just let it cool, or don't bring it down to a hop stand temperature, then to oils will continue to loose the citrus taste. (the bright in your face part at least).

OP, how fast did you chill?
 

mddonelan

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Depends on the hop (but yes, you are correct) For the Citrus hops, adding them really really late keeps the citrus flavor. I just made a NE IPA (bottled conditioned 4) and kegged the rest, and have no loss of aroma, if anything, the keg is less.

pretty much added in the citrus hops at the 2 minute and 0 minute, and then brought it down to 68 and pitched within 15 minutes. If you just let it cool, or don't bring it down to a hop stand temperature, then to oils will continue to loose the citrus taste. (the bright in your face part at least).

OP, how fast did you chill?
kristiismean .... 95% of the beers I brew are IPA or Pales and your process is exactly what I usually do but had never heard of adding them as water is heating up for flavor and that is why I was inquiring.
 

kristiismean

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kristiismean .... 95% of the beers I brew are IPA or Pales and your process is exactly what I usually do but had never heard of adding them as water is heating up for flavor and that is why I was inquiring.
yep, adding them as a fwh (while bringing up to boil) is going to impart mainly bittering, and no flavor.
 
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