Off flavour in hoppy beers

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Ksub123

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I’ve been brewing for about 5 years now and every time I’ve done an ipa or hop heavy pale ale it hasn’t turned out. They all have a similar taste that I wouldn’t quite call solvent but still unpleasant.

Recipes vary but typically are around 0.5oz bittering charge of magnum or Columbus and then about 3-4oz of the good stuff (mosaic, citra, centennial, etc) spread across the last 10 minutes and whirlpool. Maybe 1 oz dryhop.

I know there are tons of variables but given that I can make a decent Special Bitter it shouldn’t be that much of a reach. My thought is that I’m getting staling from oxygen in my bottling process. Thoughts?
 

mongoose33

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Maybe there's a hop in there you don't care for? A hop I do not care for is Mosaic. Not saying you should or shouldn't, but when it comes time to make up a hop bill for a hazy IPA, Mosaic is not on my favorites list.

Are the hops all from the same batch, i.e., you bought them in bulk and separated them into smaller packages? Perhaps they've gone stale or oxidized?

Oxygen in the bottling process wouldn't tend to produce a solvent flavor--it would produce a cardboard or Sherry type of flavor, if it were oxidizing the beer. More likely is that it would attack the flavor and aroma of the hops, quickly muting both.
 

Vale71

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Heavily oxidized hops would give you a stale cheese aroma and not a solvent aroma.
As the previous poster said the hops could be already oxidized if improperly stored or the oxygen could come into play in later stages of the brewing process.
 

brewbama

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Do you control ferm temp?

Solvent off flavors are caused by out of control ester production. Ester production is increased at higher fermentation temperatures so solvent off flavors result when a beer is fermented too hot.
 

Boleslaus

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What kind of malt bill, whats your yeast, whats your fermentation process? I would think those type of flavors would be yeast contributions not hops.
 

Blazinlow86

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I’ve been brewing for about 5 years now and every time I’ve done an ipa or hop heavy pale ale it hasn’t turned out. They all have a similar taste that I wouldn’t quite call solvent but still unpleasant.

Recipes vary but typically are around 0.5oz bittering charge of magnum or Columbus and then about 3-4oz of the good stuff (mosaic, citra, centennial, etc) spread across the last 10 minutes and whirlpool. Maybe 1 oz dryhop.

I know there are tons of variables but given that I can make a decent Special Bitter it shouldn’t be that much of a reach. My thought is that I’m getting staling from oxygen in my bottling process. Thoughts?
I know you didn't mention it being overly bitter but I had the same issue when I started out as in I couldn't make a good hoppy beer as they all had what I thought was astringency or something. It turned out I wasn't compensating for my setups chilling times accurately and therefore everything was overly bitter. Once I did that it made a VERY big difference. Cheers
 

Dgallo

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If it’s only happening to your heavily hopped beers, leads me to believe its oxidation or acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde can present its self as green apple or if it’s really bad an almost paint thinner flavor. Oxidation is more stale cardboard but oxidation can lead to the formation of acetaldehyde.
 
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Ksub123

Ksub123

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. It’s not the solvent taste you would get from yeast. It’s just solvent like, you might say soapy or it could be astringent although I’ve had commercial IIIPAs that didn’t taste like this which lead me to believe it was a problem in my process. I have brewed probably 30 batches and only my first attempt at a Belgian abbey beer had a solvent taste so I’m confident it’s not that.
I won’t get into the recipes unless someone insists because they were all different and used ingredients purchased day of or day before from LHBS. If there is one unifying ingredient it’s 1056, but I’ve fermented nearly half my beers with it and never noticed this flavour.

Has anyone else had to do any tweaks to their method to brew a really hoppy beer?
 

Dgallo

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Has anyone else had to do any tweaks to their method to brew a really hoppy beer?
Yeah a **** ton. Time of dryhoping, closed transferring, switching to kegging, dryhoping underpressure in a o2 free environment, cooled crashing under pressure, purging kegs with co2 prior to the the closed transfer. The list goes on when it come to hoppy style brewing. Oxygen is your biggest enemy. Take a NEIPA and pour it in a shot glass and take a picture. Leave it out for 2 hours and take another picture. You’ll be amazed at the color change due to oxidation
 
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Blazinlow86

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. It’s not the solvent taste you would get from yeast. It’s just solvent like, you might say soapy or it could be astringent although I’ve had commercial IIIPAs that didn’t taste like this which lead me to believe it was a problem in my process. I have brewed probably 30 batches and only my first attempt at a Belgian abbey beer had a solvent taste so I’m confident it’s not that.
I won’t get into the recipes unless someone insists because they were all different and used ingredients purchased day of or day before from LHBS. If there is one unifying ingredient it’s 1056, but I’ve fermented nearly half my beers with it and never noticed this flavour.

Has anyone else had to do any tweaks to their method to brew a really hoppy beer?
Sorry to beat a dead horse but are you adjusting your recipes for your chilling process to hit the ibu your targeting? If it's only hoppy beers your having issues with it would make sense to me its something hop related rather than anything else. Cheers
 
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you might say soapy
If it's "soapy" or detergent taste, I've battled that on and off for years. When I get that soapy flavor, it's undrinkable. I could go into details, but based on some recent trials, it CANNOT BE an ingredient, including yeast. It must be something during fermentation. I am probably going to start a new thread regarding this, but the most likely thing is 1) infection, or 2) starsan or oxyclean left over in the fermentor. I absolutely ruled out hops (I originally thought it was oxidized hops because the first time was an IPA). I ruled out the malt bill, and even water and related mineral additions (another wrong path I went way down).

My experience might be unrelated to yours, don't know. Good luck.
 
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Ksub123

Ksub123

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Sorry to beat a dead horse but are you adjusting your recipes for your chilling process to hit the ibu your targeting? If it's only hoppy beers your having issues with it would make sense to me its something hop related rather than anything else. Cheers
That’s a fair question. I use beersmith and trust that it will work. I have my doubts about calculations for whirlpool additions but it does get to 170 within 2 or 3 minutes after flameout so \O/
 

Blazinlow86

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That’s a fair question. I use beersmith and trust that it will work. I have my doubts about calculations for whirlpool additions but it does get to 170 within 2 or 3 minutes after flameout so \O/
Ah in that case it's probably not what I suggested. There is a box in bs3 that you can enter that 3 minutes into and it will compensate the additional ibus you will pickup. That being said 3 minutes won't make a big difference but if it took you say 15 minutes it makes a can make a very significant difference that I think alot of people myself included overlook. Cheers
 

BBLB

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Hi there - Ksub123, just wondering if you ever solved this one? I’m having a very similar issue and have tried everything!
 
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