Author Topic: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation  (Read 1064 times)

Offline gmac

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Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« on: March 04, 2014, 09:38:43 AM »
I have a blond ale that is too sweet.  It is well attenuated so I think the issue is just a lack of balance because it does have a high level of adjuncts and was brewed to a higher gravity (1.068 OG).  I was making this for someone else who wasn't a hop head at all so I'm pretty sure that I just need more balance.

Is there anything I can do to back-bitter this?  Would some hops boiled in plain water give me any IBUs that I could then adjust with?  Normally I leave things alone and drink what I get but since this is for someone else I thought I'd see if there was a way to try to adjust the bitterness.
Thanks

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 10:00:08 AM »
I don't think you can add bitterness, but I would try adding gypsum, and seeing if that will make the beer seem drier, and maybe therefore more bitter.
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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 10:02:32 AM »
I don't think you can add bitterness, but I would try adding gypsum, and seeing if that will make the beer seem drier, and maybe therefore more bitter.

I think is the best shot, but you could also add some isomerized hop extract.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 10:33:52 AM »
I have tried adding bitterness by making a 1-gal batch of beer to add to a 5-gal batch of beer and that was helpful.  If you just want to add some hopped water, it'll be difficult to get a big IBU increase without dilution becoming a concern.  You can play around with some brewing software to see what I mean.

The gypsum or the isomerized extract sound like better plans. 


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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 10:56:34 AM »
I have tried adding bitterness by making a 1-gal batch of beer to add to a 5-gal batch of beer and that was helpful.  If you just want to add some hopped water, it'll be difficult to get a big IBU increase without dilution becoming a concern.  You can play around with some brewing software to see what I mean.

The gypsum or the isomerized extract sound like better plans. 



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Offline bwana

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 11:02:58 AM »
I would boil some water with or without hops and dilute the beer down.

Offline gmac

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 11:11:24 AM »
I guess I'm wondering why boiling a couple cups of water with an ounce of Magnum wouldn't isomerize some of the alpha acids and then boil it down to a cup or so and do a quick dose test (drops per cup).  I don't think I can find isomerized extract around here very easily.  If it won't work without wort, then it won't work but in short, is there a way to make isomerized extract at home?  That's essentially what I'm trying to do.  I wish I had time to make more beer to blend but I don't.  Had I thought of it earlier I could have made a couple liters of highly bittered wort and added that to allow it to condition but I didn't think of that early enough.  I have to bottle this weekend.  Would gypsum even dissolve without heating etc?

The beer is certainly drinkable and fine as is, I just think it could be better.

Offline euge

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 11:16:38 AM »
Water+hops+boil=vegetal flavor

Water+hops+sugar+boil=isomerization+yummy goodness

Something like that.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 11:17:56 AM »
Water+hops+boil=vegetal flavor

Water+hops+sugar+boil=isomerization+yummy goodness

Something like that.

OK, I see.  Sugar makes it magic.  Got it.
Guess I'll bottle as is.

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 11:33:40 AM »
Anybody ever use the Hop Shot stuff from NB ?  I haven't yet, but it seems that a solution of that (being already isomerized) stirred in might do the trick.


EDIT - Sorry Denny, saw you mentioned that !
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 11:37:35 AM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline gmwren

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 12:25:57 PM »
I bought some isomerized hop extract at least six years ago to correct just this problem. Almost simultaneously started better hop storage and using first ProMash then BeerSmith to adjust AA due to age and storage conditions. Never had to use the Hop stuff since. I still have it and I wonder what the "half life" of that stuff is. A LITTLE bit goes a long way.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 12:34:01 PM »
Water+hops+boil=vegetal flavor

Water+hops+sugar+boil=isomerization+yummy goodness

Something like that.

OK, I see.  Sugar makes it magic.  Got it.
Guess I'll bottle as is.

not sure it's even that the sugar isn't there. a big part of the problem has to do with dillution. say you make two cups of hop tea, the level of isomerized acids will hit a ceiling pretty quick (what is the current thought? 160 IBU?) and no more will isomerize. now you dilute that two cups of 160 IBU in ~80 cups of 10 IBU beer (160*2)+(10*80) = 1120/82 = 13 so not much of a bump really.

plus, as euge points out at the amount of hops you would be using the vegetal flavors would be fairly evident and gross (see Mikkeller 1000 IBU)
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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2014, 12:39:51 PM »
Anybody ever use the Hop Shot stuff from NB ?  I haven't yet, but it seems that a solution of that (being already isomerized) stirred in might do the trick.


EDIT - Sorry Denny, saw you mentioned that !

I don't believe it is isomerized, though.  Maybe they're making them that way now, but when I first tested them for NB they weren't.
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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 12:48:52 PM »
Anybody ever use the Hop Shot stuff from NB ?  I haven't yet, but it seems that a solution of that (being already isomerized) stirred in might do the trick.


EDIT - Sorry Denny, saw you mentioned that !

I don't believe it is isomerized, though.  Maybe they're making them that way now, but when I first tested them for NB they weren't.

You're right Denny - I hadn't read the fine print. Needs to be boiled. Carry on !
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Adjusting bitterness post-fermentation
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 01:52:13 PM »
At NHC last year there as a vendor selling a product that was to be used in the glass to boost hop character and, I seem to recall, bitterness. I do not remember who it was except that it was not Hop Union.
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