Author Topic: Post fermentation bitterness adjustment  (Read 276 times)

cornershot

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Post fermentation bitterness adjustment
« on: December 30, 2013, 04:48:57 AM »
Is there a good way to add bitterness to a beer post fermentation? I have a syringe of hop extract but I've never used it before. Can I use it as is or must it be boiled first? Can I boil hops in plain water and add it that way?

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Post fermentation bitterness adjustment
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2013, 07:00:41 AM »
I have tried boiling hops in water and adding the resulting tea to a keg.  That made the beer very grassy. I do not recommend.

Offline wingnut

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Re: Post fermentation bitterness adjustment
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 07:45:21 AM »
I have  considered adding a dose of "hop shot"... essentially pre-isomerized hop extract.  You can get it from Northern Brewer in a small syringe dispensing tool. 

My thought was to add the extract to some hot water to dissolve and then add to the final beer.  It would add some hop flavor and bitterness.  Because it is processed differently than a tea, it would not have the grassy flavors of boiling whole hops.  Also, because the alpha acids are isomerized, they will dissolve in the beer, unlike the hop tea technique.  (so it is more like the hop bitterness/flavor you get from kettle hops instead of dry hops)

I have the vial in my fridge, but have been fortunate that my beers appear to be dialed in now, so I have not tried out the theory.  :D

The vial has marking on it, so you can dispense fractional portions of the tube with good precision. 

The other thing I have done... is simply  brew the beer again with a bumped up IBU number.... after experiencing low perceived bitterness on a number of beers, I learned that for my system... it is usually good to just bump up the IBU 5 points from standard recipies...and they all come out good now.

Good luck!!
-- Wingnut - Cheers!

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Post fermentation bitterness adjustment
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 08:42:27 AM »
Speaking of brewing again, if the beer is kegged you can brew another batch and blend the two batches.

cornershot

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Re: Post fermentation bitterness adjustment
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 09:17:26 AM »
Thanks for the replies. The beer in question is a Heady Topper clone from BYO October 2013. OG 1.075, FG 1.016. It used .5 ounce magnum at 60 minutes, 1 ounce simcoe at 30 minutes and a buncha hops at FO and steeped 30 minutes. It is currently cold crashing in primary. The hydrometer sample tasted too sweet but I'm hoping a huge charge of dry hops and carbonation fixes that and I won't consider any adjustments until then. But I've had beers in the past that have needed more bitterness. Just another tool I'd like to have in my toolbox to save me from drinking sub par beer until I can rebrew and get it right. At 8% abv, I suppose the sweetness could be from the alcohol?

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Post fermentation bitterness adjustment
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 09:55:42 AM »
I have  considered adding a dose of "hop shot"... essentially pre-isomerized hop extract.  You can get it from Northern Brewer in a small syringe dispensing tool. 

Hop Shot is not isomerized. It needs to be boiled to isomerize the AA's.

There are some isomerized hop extracts available, but they are prohibitively expensive for the homebrewer.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer