Author Topic: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?  (Read 4460 times)

Offline Kinetic

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2014, 12:50:52 PM »
Pitching the entire 1.6L starter won't ruin your hop flavors or make your beer taste bad.  Sometimes I chill and decant.  Sometimes I pitch the whole starter.  Muted hop flavors or off flavors have not been a problem when I pitch the whole starter. 

Yes, oxygen exposure can be detrimental to your beer.  However, if transferring to a non-purged secondary for dry hopping totally ruins hop flavor and aroma, then it wouldn't have been possible for me to make plenty of beers with big hop flavor and aroma.  My hoppy beers probably wouldn't age well, but who wants to age an IPA?  The batch is gone in less than two months.       

Offline bhanson

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2014, 02:33:25 PM »
The combination of the fact that your gravity ended up significantly lower than target, blandness, and a relatively high amount of crystal/carapils leads me to mash problems, likely related to water.  I'd examine your crush, but check the water, and almost certainly add some gypsum. 
Best of luck.

Offline denny

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2014, 03:49:12 PM »
I appreciate all the input, thank you. I will take everything into account. All hops were Hop Union but mail ordered. I did not decant the starter. Secondary was not CO2 purged but was a very gentle transfer. And also used gelatin on the previous batch(s) but will be skipping that in the future. No point to crystal clear beer that doesn't taste very good. Was worried about the beer being young but I've had this similar flavor issue in IPAs aged for 12+ weeks, and previous batch aged at about 5 weeks and was very good. Regarding decanting the starter of oxygenated wort, wouldn't any oxygen introduced prior to pitching be scrubbed out during fermentation?  I will post an update after letting this age for awhile and when the RO batch turns out.  Thanks!

The problem is not so much oxygen in the starter wort as that the starer wort has already become oxidized and can impart that flavor to your finished beer.  That said, I think it's pretty unlikely that caused your problem.  THAT said, I always decant my starters before pitching.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2014, 04:10:29 PM »

The problem is not so much oxygen in the starter wort as that the starer wort has already become oxidized and can impart that flavor to your finished beer.  That said, I think it's pretty unlikely that caused your problem.  THAT said, I always decant my starters before pitching.

+1
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Offline Kinetic

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2014, 05:08:20 PM »
Unhopped beers seldom develop an oxidized flavor, which suggests a likely role for the iso-alpha acids as precursors of staling compounds (Hashimoto et al., 1979).  Hashimoto is an authority on the subject.

I don't add hops to my starter.   

     

Offline Kinetic

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2014, 06:15:18 PM »
It's worth noting the book Yeast suggests chilling and decanting when the starter is larger than 5% of the volume of the wort.  For a 5.5gal batch, this would be anything larger than a 1L starter. 

Of course, these are guide lines and not rules.  My general practice is nothing larger than 1.5L in a 5.5gal-6.0gal batch.  I've broken my own rule a few times with a 2L starter dumped into the wort.  They were big Belgians and honestly made very good beers that had no oxidation flavors or aromas.

I'm definitely not saying there is anything wrong with chilling and decanting.  I do it whenever it is convenient. 

Offline denny

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2014, 06:57:45 PM »
Unhopped beers seldom develop an oxidized flavor

     

My starters have.
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Offline denny

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2014, 06:58:29 PM »
It's worth noting the book Yeast suggests chilling and decanting when the starter is larger than 5% of the volume of the wort.  For a 5.5gal batch, this would be anything larger than a 1L starter. 

Of course, these are guide lines and not rules.  My general practice is nothing larger than 1.5L in a 5.5gal-6.0gal batch.  I've broken my own rule a few times with a 2L starter dumped into the wort.  They were big Belgians and honestly made very good beers that had no oxidation flavors or aromas.

I'm definitely not saying there is anything wrong with chilling and decanting.  I do it whenever it is convenient.

I almost always make 2-3 qt. starters.  So I always decant.
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Offline Kinetic

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2014, 07:30:37 PM »
Unhopped beers seldom develop an oxidized flavor

     

My starters have.

Even IF they did, the primary fermentation would take care of it according to Bamforth.  His advice for a beer that has been aged for a long time and has clear signs of oxidation like a barleywine that sat in a secondary for a year or more is to pitch some active yeast to clean up the oxidized compounds. 

This is something a primary fermentation can easily do for a small starter that might have been oxidized.  Keep in mind, scientific observation says it isn't likely to happen with a non-hopped beer that has been aged a lot longer than a starter.  I whiff all of my starters and none of them have ever smelled like sherry or card board.  I don't bother tasting them and wouldn't expect them to taste like a good beer. 

Since you typically make large starters, it makes sense to chill and decant.  However, it doesn't make sense to claim all starters are oxidized.  Active yeast consume whatever oxygen is available to them.  The starter may not taste or smell good, but it doesn't matter.  Pitching a reasonably sized complete starter fermented at a reasonable temperature isn't responsible for a bad beer. 

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2014, 07:49:11 PM »
Even IF they did, the primary fermentation would take care of it according to Bamforth.  His advice for a beer that has been aged for a long time and has clear signs of oxidation like a barleywine that sat in a secondary for a year or more is to pitch some active yeast to clean up the oxidized compounds. 

This is something a primary fermentation can easily do for a small starter that might have been oxidized.  Keep in mind, scientific observation says it isn't likely to happen with a non-hopped beer that has been aged a lot longer than a starter.  I whiff all of my starters and none of them have ever smelled like sherry or card board.  I don't bother tasting them and wouldn't expect them to taste like a good beer. 

Since you typically make large starters, it makes sense to chill and decant.  However, it doesn't make sense to claim all starters are oxidized.  Active yeast consume whatever oxygen is available to them.  The starter may not taste or smell good, but it doesn't matter.  Pitching a reasonably sized complete starter fermented at a reasonable temperature isn't responsible for a bad beer.

But if the starter is already oxidized, there is no more oxygen to be scavenged during fermentation and the damage has been done.  Obviously, I haven't tasted every starter I or every other homebrewer has done.  But the ones I've tasted have all tasted oxidized to me.  That's why I recommend the safe course of action.  And whether it's oxidation or something else, as you mention, starters taste bad.  I don't want that in my beer.
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Offline Kinetic

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2014, 08:47:46 PM »
Even IF they did, the primary fermentation would take care of it according to Bamforth.  His advice for a beer that has been aged for a long time and has clear signs of oxidation like a barleywine that sat in a secondary for a year or more is to pitch some active yeast to clean up the oxidized compounds. 

This is something a primary fermentation can easily do for a small starter that might have been oxidized.  Keep in mind, scientific observation says it isn't likely to happen with a non-hopped beer that has been aged a lot longer than a starter.  I whiff all of my starters and none of them have ever smelled like sherry or card board.  I don't bother tasting them and wouldn't expect them to taste like a good beer. 

Since you typically make large starters, it makes sense to chill and decant.  However, it doesn't make sense to claim all starters are oxidized.  Active yeast consume whatever oxygen is available to them.  The starter may not taste or smell good, but it doesn't matter.  Pitching a reasonably sized complete starter fermented at a reasonable temperature isn't responsible for a bad beer.

But if the starter is already oxidized, there is no more oxygen to be scavenged during fermentation and the damage has been done.  Obviously, I haven't tasted every starter I or every other homebrewer has done.  But the ones I've tasted have all tasted oxidized to me.  That's why I recommend the safe course of action.  And whether it's oxidation or something else, as you mention, starters taste bad.  I don't want that in my beer.

Sorry but, you've completely ignored scientific observation from verified legends in Brewing Science and replaced it with superstition.  The primary fermentation will consume and convert compounds that have allegedly been oxidized in the starter that aren't even likely to have been oxidized in the first place.  The yeast in the starter will consume most or all of the oxygen available.           

Using the "it doesn't taste good in it's current concentration, so I refuse to put it in my beer" mantra makes no sense.  Mix up a tsp of gypsum and drink it with a glass of water.  Does it taste good?  No, but you don't hesitate to put it in your batch of beer. 

I can understand why you want to argue this topic.  You are quite sure your practice is THE way to make beer.  You have likely made thousands of posts on the topic in a similar manner and really hate to admit being wrong in prolific retrospect.  Most of the time you give very solid advice based on plenty of brewing experience and a very good understanding of how to brew. 

However, this is a time where you are more concerned about protecting your reputation than actually accepting something science has determined which contradicts your personal experience.   

Some people take your advice without questioning it.  Others do some research and try something contrary to your advice and determine there is more than one way to make a tasty beer. 

Very good beer can be made with either practice.  Use whatever method makes sense to you and produces the results you desire.  Like I said earlier, I use both methods.  I can't say one is significantly better than the other in any regard beyond timing and waste.   

YMMV

Offline denny

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2014, 08:56:07 PM »
I can understand why you want to argue this topic.  You are quite sure your practice is THE way to make beer.  You have likely made thousands of posts on the topic in a similar manner and really hate to admit being wrong in prolific retrospect.  Most of the time you give very solid advice based on plenty of brewing experience and a very good understanding of how to brew. 

However, this is a time where you are more concerned about protecting your reputation than actually accepting something science has determined which contradicts your personal experience.   

Some people take your advice without questioning it.  Others do some research and try something contrary to your advice and determine there is more than one way to make a tasty beer. 

wow...just wow....
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline jeffy

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2014, 09:39:53 PM »
I can understand why you want to argue this topic.  You are quite sure your practice is THE way to make beer.  You have likely made thousands of posts on the topic in a similar manner and really hate to admit being wrong in prolific retrospect.  Most of the time you give very solid advice based on plenty of brewing experience and a very good understanding of how to brew. 

However, this is a time where you are more concerned about protecting your reputation than actually accepting something science has determined which contradicts your personal experience.   

Some people take your advice without questioning it.  Others do some research and try something contrary to your advice and determine there is more than one way to make a tasty beer. 

wow...just wow....

This is the closest I've seen Denny to being speechless.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline fmader

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2014, 09:48:31 PM »
I'm going to chime in with some non-scientific feedback and apologize to the OP. Why would you want to dump a half a gallon of crappy starter wort into a beer that has taken 5-6 hours out of your weekend to craft? It doesn't take much extra effort. Toss the starter into the fridge before you go to bed the night before the brew day. When it comes time to pitch the yeast, decant and pitch. The only exception to this is if your starter wasn't complete in time. In that case, I'd just wait until it was done to pitch.

To the original poster, somebody stated earlier about mixing hops. This brings up a good point. Most single-hopped IPA's tend to be one dimensional. I have brewed a single-hopped Citra APA. It was good, but it didn't have that bite to it. I'd say at least 80% of my IPA's have some Centennial in them. Cents mesh well with any hop IMO. Citra is a strong enough hop that it won't be over powered by Centennials, but instead, it will be enhanced. Maybe next time you brew this, use a 2-1 ration of Citra in Centennial. I also don't like it as a bittering addition. Some others have noted that too. My go to bittering hop for an IPA is Columbus. You get a nice mango/pineapple flavor and aroma with using Citra as a late addition.

Also noted, I'd eliminate the carapils, and maybe even cut back on the caramels. I don't typically use vienna, but I do use munich. Maybe try 90% Two-Row, 5% munich or vienna and 5% C 40.
Frank

Offline denny

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Re: Bland IPA w/ lots of late hops?!?
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2014, 09:58:54 PM »
I can understand why you want to argue this topic.  You are quite sure your practice is THE way to make beer.  You have likely made thousands of posts on the topic in a similar manner and really hate to admit being wrong in prolific retrospect.  Most of the time you give very solid advice based on plenty of brewing experience and a very good understanding of how to brew. 

However, this is a time where you are more concerned about protecting your reputation than actually accepting something science has determined which contradicts your personal experience.   

Some people take your advice without questioning it.  Others do some research and try something contrary to your advice and determine there is more than one way to make a tasty beer. 

wow...just wow....

This is the closest I've seen Denny to being speechless.

It's the only way I can respond to a personal, insulting attack.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell