Author Topic: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR  (Read 1165 times)

Offline Brewbeerd

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LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« on: January 31, 2015, 04:42:43 PM »
Hey guys, looking for some input here.  So I have been brewing for awhile now but can't seem to get a really big hop flavor out of my IPAs regardless of how much and how late I put in the additions.  Not getting any off flavors and getting good fermentation.  To my knowledge my mash, sparge, and boil processes are being performed correctly. Since I don't know my local water profile I use R/O water w/ 1 TSP of Calcium Chloride,  1 TSP Gypsum per 5 gallons for IPAs, and about 2% Acid malt. Recipe as follows for 6.5 gal batch:

Boil 75 mins

86.6% American 2 Row
5%  Crystal 40
2.2% Acidulated malt
6.2% Dextrose

1oz Warrior 60 mins
.5oz each of Cascade and Centennial at 15 and 10 mins
1oz each of Cascade and Centennial at 5 mins
Flame out 2 oz Cascade, 1oz Amarillo, 1oz Simcoe, 1oz Centennial and let stand for 45 mins w/ occasional stirring.

Chilled and pitched WLP001 from a starter.  OG 1.064 and FG 1.006
Fermented well around 67.
Two weeks in primary, dry hopped w/ 3oz Cascade in primary for another week, then kegged. 

Beer is still young at about 5 weeks right now, but my understanding is to drink IPAs as fresh as possible. I have let other IPAs age up to 12 weeks w/ no real positive change in hop flavor.

For this batch the flavor is clean and crisp with a lot of clean bitterness, just no rich, saturated hop flavor that I'm trying to achieve.  To be honest it almost would be described as bland, as have my other IPAs.  With 13oz of hops I wouldn't expect that.  Wondering if it may be my water?  Doing a test batch of the same recipe soon w/ city water instead of R/O to see but was looking for any ideas from the community.  Thanks!!




Offline duboman

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 04:50:49 PM »
With that amount of hops and your process it quite possibly could be your water preventing you from getting what you are looking for. I know I saw a big improvement in my hoppy beers once I began modifying my water.

You could also try simply dry hopping directly in the keg as well, but I would start with a water report and see where that takes you or do a batch with the R/O, build it up using Bru'n water as a guide and see what happens, my guess is the impact will greatly improve.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 04:54:39 PM »
target 5.4 PH and 250PPM sulfate- made big difference for me.

also, there's hop flavor and hop aroma. late hops and dry hopping providing aroma and not contributing much to IBU/bitterness.
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Offline narvin

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 04:56:39 PM »
Did you buy the hops recently or have you stored them for a while?  Whole leaf or pellet?  Proper storage is important, and I find that leaf hops can be especially unforgiving. 
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2015, 04:59:42 PM »
+1 to 5.4 pH, 250-300 ppm sulfate to bring out hop character. And I would do 1 more thing - wait to do the hop stand until you've cooled to 175-170F. At flameout you'll lose comparatively more essential oils (being at or near boiling temps) than at 175F, and I just like the hop flavor better at that temp. You're using plenty of hops, and these steps will bring them out much better IMO. Good luck !
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Offline Brewbeerd

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 05:10:41 PM »
Great input, thanks guys.   I do use pellet hops and try to get my ingredients no more than a week in advance.  Put hops right in the freezer when I get home.  Always make sure they smell nice and fresh.  And that is a good point about doing the last hop addition at a cooler temp, I'd wondered about that.

As far as the water goes I've been dragging my feet about a water report or adding things to adjust mash pH.  I tried that for awhile using the LHBS pH strips and those things were not very good.  I've never used Bru'n water though I will give that a try.  All good advice, thanks again.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 05:25:02 PM »
Great input, thanks guys.   I do use pellet hops and try to get my ingredients no more than a week in advance.  Put hops right in the freezer when I get home.  Always make sure they smell nice and fresh.  And that is a good point about doing the last hop addition at a cooler temp, I'd wondered about that.

As far as the water goes I've been dragging my feet about a water report or adding things to adjust mash pH.  I tried that for awhile using the LHBS pH strips and those things were not very good.  I've never used Bru'n water though I will give that a try.  All good advice, thanks again.

Well, in the meantime, you could use an extra 1/2 tsp of gypsum while you delve into water chemistry. It helps hop character 'pop'.
Jon H.

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2015, 05:28:31 PM »
BTW, I use RO water from a grocery store machine and use Bru'nwater to estimate my pH, and water additions. Makes a huge difference to control pH.
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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2015, 08:42:07 PM »
One other thing, minimize the O2 exposure when kegging, purge the keg thoroughly when done. I burp at least 3 times with 30 PSI.
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2015, 10:47:05 PM »
A few things that stand out to me are your 45 min flame out stand and dry hopping in primary.

I'd suggest a hop burst at FO/WP. All those hops in and constant stirring for 10-15 min tops. Chill as fast as possible to preserve hop oils 15-30 min max chill time Then pitch. Then dry hop in secondary 3-5 days. Sierra Nevada proved that dry hops in contact w/ yeast in primary will alter your hop aroma.

We've had great results w/ these techniques. Using 3-5 oz in the WP on IPAs.


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Offline mabrungard

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 04:17:14 PM »
Since I don't know my local water profile I use R/O water w/ 1 TSP of Calcium Chloride,  1 TSP Gypsum per 5 gallons for IPAs, and about 2% Acid malt.

Since I can't easily deduce what those additions will mean in terms of ionic content and mash pH, I will just echo the recommendations above to target a room-temperature wort pH of around 5.4 to improve hop perception and bitterness. It definitely matters for these factors.
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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2015, 04:52:37 PM »
I do not know if it is just my water supply, but I did not obtain the results that I wanted from my British IPAs until I treated my strike liquor with a small amount of MgSO4 in addition to CaSO4.  I discovered the fix by accident. I was attempting to increase the sulfate level without increasing the calcium level, so I used MgSO4 in addition to CaSO4.

Caveat: My tap water contains very little dissolved magnesium.


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« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 05:14:17 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline denny

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2015, 04:53:47 PM »
I do not know if it is just my water supply, but I did not obtain the results that I wanted from my British IPAs until I treated my strike liquor with a small amount of MaSO4 in addition to CaSO4.  I discovered the fix by accident. I was attempting to increase the sulfate level without increasing the calcium level, so I used MaSO4 in addition to CaSO4.

Caveat: My tap water contains very little dissolved magnesium.

same here for the same reason.  But isn't it MgSO4?  It was back in the days I was a chemistry major.
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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 05:29:38 PM »
same here for the same reason.  But isn't it MgSO4?  It was back in the days I was a chemistry major.

Yep, I meant to type MgSO4.  I type CaSO4 so often that "aSO4" is ingrained in muscle memory.  I often find myself typing CaSO4 when I meant to type CaCO3.   I would like blame the problem on senility, but I still have a few years to go before I am eligible to apply for Social Security.  :)

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Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2015, 05:30:33 PM »
same here for the same reason.  But isn't it MgSO4?  It was back in the days I was a chemistry major.

Yep, I meant to type MgSO4.  I type CaSO4 so often that "aSO4" is ingrained in muscle memory.  I often find myself typing CaSO4 when I meant to type CaCO3.   I would like blame the problem on senility, but I still have a few years to go before I am eligible to apply for Social Security.  :)

I was just afraid that something had changed in nomenclature!
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