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Stupid mistake with hops

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jmulligan

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Hi - I promise I Googled first before posting this question!

Anyway, I made my first all-grain beer about 2 weeks ago. It is a wheat beer, a kit from Annapolis Homebrew. The day of the brew I gathered my ingredients, took them over to my brew site, and made the beer.

Long story short, I was cleaning out my fridge a few days ago and found a bag of hops that should have gone into the beer at the start of the boil. When I originally got my ingredients together, I remember thinking "Only one bag of hops, and it goes in the last 10 minutes? I know wheat beers aren't super-hoppy, but this seems weird..."

I should have listened to my instincts and torn the fridge apart then.

Anyway, I just wanted to know if there is anything I can do to add some of the intended bitterness back in. Can I make some wort with DME and hop that, and then add it to the carboy?

So much for a good first AG! :(
 

KENTUCKYBREWER

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I don't see why you couldn't make a hop tea and try to up your IBU. I would siphon it into secondary (your boiled tea should be O2 free or close) and move your beer out of primary on top of it; less chance of oxygenating or contamination.

I would sample the beer first and see if it is worth messing with. It may be good enough to drink and you can chalk it up to experience for next time. Why risk a whole batch for the sake of the kit instructions. Quite often mistakes beget great discovery.
 

Yooper

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That's what I was going to suggest- taste it and see how it is. If it's ok but not very bitter, maybe you'll want to live with that. If it's cloyingly sweet or very unbalanced, then you can consider the hop tea route.
 

Funkenjaeger

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I would not boil them in just water, personally. To quote BYO's Mr. Wizard:
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Sans-Serif]During the boil, hop acids undergo numerous chemical changes and the resultant mix has a profound influence on beer bitterness and the quality of bitterness. When the pH of wort boiling is increased by adding alkaline buffers, hop utilization increases but bitterness is reportedly unpleasant. If you boiled hops in water as opposed to wort, the pH would be higher and the flavor would lack. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Sans-Serif]
http://***********/mrwizard/1351.html
Besides, if you're going to be adding 'hop tea' of some sort, you're going to be watering down your beer if you don't have some fermentables in it rather than just water.

I would mix up some amount of weak wort (maybe 1.030-1.040, like a starter) and boil the hops in that, just to be on the safe side and avoid harsh bitterness. I would put some thought into how much wort to boil - remember that bitterness does saturate (usually they say around 100IBU's), so if you only boiled up a quart of wort, and it saturated at 100IBU's, by the time you go diluting that by a factor of 20 by adding to your main batch, you may only be adding like 5 IBU's to the beer (assuming bitterness follows a simple linear relationship, which I'm not sure it does, but regardless, I would still expect it to be a significant issue). Since you are talking about a low-bitterness wheat beer you can probably get away with using a reasonably small amount of wort, but still, a quart sounds very low.
[/FONT]
 

cheezydemon

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Excellent answer Funken.

And good for you jmulligan, first for googling, and second for asking the question, admitting that you had screwed up.

Let me make you feel even better....

I don't get drunk too often, and now I remember why. 2 weeks ago friday, I had had too much to drink, so naturally, I decided to brew some beer....starting at 10:00pm........

Everything went OK, and by OK I mean that I managed to hit temps, times etc., but that my wife was pissed that I was brewing that late, the kids got up and had to be herded back to bed.

I FORGOT TO ADD THE HOPS............

After it was cooled and I was adding it to the fermenter I realized my stupidity. So I then boiled the hops in water......

DOH! Don't drink and brew.(or drive for that matter)
 
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jmulligan

jmulligan

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Thanks for the quick replies!

Thanks, Bobby and KentuckyBrewer for letting me know that the boiling would work. I will definitely take yours and Yooper's advice and give the beer a sampling first, to determine if it's way off and needs some bittering.

And thanks for the detailed BYO description, Funkenjaeger. I wondered if boiling without any kind of DME dissolved in would give me a higher (but not good) utilization rate.

Thanks cheezydemon for making me feel better! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that has forgotten one of the sacred trinity of ingredients!

Janet
 

RoaringBrewer

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These guys nailed it - brew up some hop-tea for that beer. My guess is that it will need it... Even though wheat beers are normally hopped very little (8-16IBU is the style guidelines for a hefe - I'm sure more IBU is permitted in some american wheats), your 1oz (or less) of hops at 10 mins is probably going to get you about 2-3IBU or something... If the recipe was meant to have 15, that should be noticable on the palate, I would think?

Give it a taste, report back! :)
 
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jmulligan

jmulligan

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Bobby_M said:
Well, when we say hop tea, we mean to boil the hell out of it for 60 minutes to extract bitterness just like in a regular batch.
DeathBrewer said:
yeah, i was going to say...you need to do the full 60 minute boil.
Yeah, that's what I figured. They were meant to go in at the start of the boil, so I would do 60 minutes.

Thanks again, guys! I will report back once I taste the current product, and after the likely "hop tea" addition.
 

UselessBrewing

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My first thought would be to add some 5.2 to some water and then boil forgoing the making of a small wort batch . This should put the water at a good place to accept the AA there in increasing the IBU during the 60 min boil. It should be noted that this will water down you SG. you could add 2oz of DME to the boil but that would be adding ferment ables to your secondary. I don't think that will cause any problems. If you don't use DME you are not adding any extra malt flavors to your beer just the AA.

FYI: I would also add the hops to a 1 gallon Paint strainer and seal it off with some string before boiling it. This will reduce the amount of trub you add to the secondary.

I did some hops calculations in BeerSmith and found that with 2qts of water, 1oz of Hallertauer, in a 60 min boil produces 173.8ibu and 9.6AA. I plugged this into a Hefe that I did recently and it came out to 15.5 IBU in a 5 gallon batch. That is just about right for a Hefe, so it should work for you.

Edit: I forgot to add. Adding .5 gallon of water to the beer brought the SG down 5pts from 1.067 to 1.062, and the estimated ABV down 6 tenths. (Benifits are high) On the bright side you have more beer!
 

Funkenjaeger

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Wastegate said:
I did some hops calculations in BeerSmith and found that with 2qts of water, 1oz of Hallertauer, in a 60 min boil produces 173.8ibu and 9.6AA. I plugged this into a Hefe that I did recently and it came out to 15.5 IBU in a 5 gallon batch. That is just about right for a Hefe, so it should work for you.
Which again brings me back to the point I just made, that bitterness does saturate, supposedly around 100 IBU's, though brewing software does not usually consider this. People have gone nuts and made IPA's that beersmith would say have 200-300 IBU's, but that's not what actually happens. So, you would not ACTUALLY get 173 IBU's in that 2 quart boil, you'd get more like 100. Therefore you'd need to boil the hops in quite a bit more liquid to get enough to bump up the beer by the desired 15ish IBU's - which makes the dilution of the finished beer even more significant.
 

CBBaron

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Is anybody selling hop extract to home brewers yet?
This seems like a ready made reason to use that product.
Otherwise I say taste first. If it needs something boil the hops in a couple qts of water. You may not get to the desired bitterness but it should give you a noticable difference.
Just be glad you were brewing a wheat and not an IPA or Imperial stout where you were trying to achieve 70-80 IBUs. A hop tea is not going to get you to that point.
Craig
 
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jmulligan

jmulligan

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Just to update - I did as several people recommended, and boiled the forgotten hops in a quart and a half (or so) of water for about 60 minutes. It boiled down to a small amount of liquid (I think I added a little more water halfway through), which minimized any dilution of the beer. I strained the hop liquid and chucked it into the secondary.

As of last night (2 weeks later) when I bottled it, it had a decent bitter flavor. I think this will turn out ok. So thanks to everyone with advice, I appreciate your help. :mug:
 
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