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My bitter went away, is this preventable?

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Nooner

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I usually make wines and meads, but made a hopped mead to emulate an IPA. Before bottling it had a nice bitter IBU amount, very tasty. Now I'm opening bottles a few months later and the bitter is gone. Does it diminish over time? Is there a way to stabilize it so it stays bitter? Or did I just do something wrong? Thanks.
 

Kahler

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Depending on how much hops you added, it could have diminished in the few months you had it sitting. I dont have much experience in meads, but maybe through the conditioning period the flavors are over powering the hops? Did you dry hop? Add to a boil?
 

TechFanMD

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Curious how you would get much bitter from hops in a mead unless you boiled the water with hops then added honey. What was the process?
 

ehall

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bitterness will always fade with time. handling procedures can affect that too.
 
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Nooner

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Thanks everyone. Yes I boiled the hops in water prior to adding to honey and prior to fermentation. Before bottling the bitter was very significant like a fairly bitter IPA, nothing crazy but definitely IPA style. I racked a few times over about 6 months; the bitter may have diminished at this point, but not enough for me to notice. But now many months in bottle and there's NOTHING there. Weird. So O2 exposure can/will kill the hop bitter? I did degas before bottling, maybe that killed it. Also, it's common for the bitter to diminish over time anyway regardless of handling, everyone sees that regularly?
 

Kahler

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Just wanting to understand the total timetable.
6 months, with racking periodically
Then a few more months after bottled??

Yes, in that length of time a considerable amount of the hop flavors will be gone.
How much hops did you use?
What was the total volume of mead?
 
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Hop bitterness will decrease with time. This is why IPAs are best served "fresh" (for lack of a better term). Cellar a bottle of a commercial IPA for 3 years and then compare it with the one for the store. You'll notice the difference. In beer, longer boil times w/ the hops may help with stability - but you're going to get more bitterness, less hop flavor/aroma. Those late addition hop adds are the first to go.

All of that said, I'm a little bit surprised that the bitterness is totally discernable to you after 6 months. I'd think it would be reduced but not totally gone.

Also, if you really want to dive deeper than I care to... How much hop bitterness dissipates with time?
 
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Nooner

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Just wanting to understand the total timetable.
6 months, with racking periodically
Then a few more months after bottled??

Yes, in that length of time a considerable amount of the hop flavors will be gone.
How much hops did you use?
What was the total volume of mead?
It was a 3gallon batch. I boiled 2oz citra (13.3 alpha acid) for 20-30 minutes then it sit for 2hours, and 1oz mandarina bavaria added during fermentation. It's almost a year old at this point (started Oct 2019, bottled June 2020). I'm guessing it was O2 exposure. Obviously will need to learn more about hops before I try another one. Thanks everyone!
 
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Nooner

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I think I'll boil some hops and just keep that in the fridge to add when I pop these open. Managing the bitter per glass might be fun anyway. :)
 
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Nooner

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Hop bitterness will decrease with time. This is why IPAs are best served "fresh" (for lack of a better term). Cellar a bottle of a commercial IPA for 3 years and then compare it with the one for the store. You'll notice the difference. In beer, longer boil times w/ the hops may help with stability - but you're going to get more bitterness, less hop flavor/aroma. Those late addition hop adds are the first to go.

All of that said, I'm a little bit surprised that the bitterness is totally discernable to you after 6 months. I'd think it would be reduced but not totally gone.

Also, if you really want to dive deeper than I care to... How much hop bitterness dissipates with time?
Wow the link was very helpful, thank you.
 
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