Author Topic: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?  (Read 1877 times)

Offline syncopadence

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2015, 11:53:24 PM »
Also get a diary and write everything down, if you are using a friend or online recipe  ask for the method, most would be delighted someone I'd making a copy of their brew. Ps go get a book called How to brew. It's a Newbys dream come true it tells you everything. It's not a slight. buy the best information you will get when your new. It'll save you money and help you. I've only been brewing since 2013. But already made 11 brews. The last 3 all grain. So far my beers been well received and I've been told I should don't full time.

Yeah I think I'm going to start keeping a log of my recipes and exactly what I'm doing; so far I haven't.  I'll look into that book, but I've also been using one called "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing".  I've found tons of useful info in there, although some of it seems a bit outdated (published in 1991 I think).  With the help of everyone on here, the book, and a free trial of Beersmith I've been drawing up a recipe for an Oatmeal Brown Ale that looks like it's going to be good.

Offline syncopadence

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2015, 11:58:58 PM »
I would add the nibs and cinnamon at flame out and leave in for the first week of fermentation. Boiling will remove all the flavour and aromatic qualitys, think of it like your dry hopping.

I was wondering about that.  So just put the ingredients in a muslin sack and take it out after a week?  Does opening the fermenter early disturb it at all?

Offline bboy9000

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2015, 02:02:15 AM »
I would transfer to secondary (something I rarely do) then add the nibs and cinnamon for a few days.  Just make sure fermentation is finished when you transfer.
Brian
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Offline syncopadence

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2015, 04:39:25 AM »
I would transfer to secondary (something I rarely do) then add the nibs and cinnamon for a few days.  Just make sure fermentation is finished when you transfer.
Would it be bad to add it to the primary? I don't have a secondary at the moment. But if it's ok for primary, at what point would you add it?

Offline isac777

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2015, 05:36:36 AM »
I would suggest writing down all your recipes for easiest duplication and w a stout I would skip a 60 min addition. Even some new "research" shows IPAs don't need a 60 min addition

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2015, 11:56:58 AM »
I would transfer to secondary (something I rarely do) then add the nibs and cinnamon for a few days.  Just make sure fermentation is finished when you transfer.
Would it be bad to add it to the primary? I don't have a secondary at the moment. But if it's ok for primary, at what point would you add it?

that's fine. just make sure it's mostly/all the way done before you add them. it won't mess anything up to open the fermenter during active fermentation but the active evolution of co2 will scrub delicate volatiles out and those are your aromatics.
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Offline one_seat

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2015, 08:47:18 AM »
I'm a big fan of first wort hops and flame out hops I feel like they impart the flavor and aroma I want from my hops without too much bitterness but like others say different hops impart different bitterness and flavors. I tend to do a fwt, 10 min, and 5 min and if I want a good aroma I add some at flame out. I've had good results sticking to that schedule.

Offline JT

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2015, 10:34:04 AM »
Have you ever taken pH readings of your mash and/or looked into your water content?

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2015, 12:34:16 PM »
I have found that the selection of the bittering calculation method also has a profound effect. It seems that most recipes and the IBU ranges presented in BJCP are most accurately duplicated when using the Rager equation (for me). I've studied the Tinseth equation and I know it more accurately models bittering contributions. But the more accurate Tinseth equation actually causes me to over-bitter my worts. So, consider that if your beers are more bitter than expected.

Another important aspect that can profoundly affect bitterness and its perception is water. If the water has too much alkalinity and the wort pH doesn't drop into a proper range, the bittering from the hops can be higher than expected and rough tasting. Don't ignore your water!
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Offline euge

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2015, 03:23:49 PM »
It may be that there is nothing wrong at all.

I can see a beer tasting too bitter just from the freshness aspect. Your average beer drinker is unused to how a beer tastes at 1,2,3 and 4 weeks out even, and perception of an acutely amplified hop character such as bitterness and/or flavor can be surprising and even unwelcome.

The good news is that hop bitterness fades and mellows fairly quickly and our personal taste changes as well.
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Offline markpotts

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Re: Should I use a hop steeper? Why is my beer so bitter?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2015, 04:02:11 PM »
Another important aspect that can profoundly affect bitterness and its perception is water. If the water has too much alkalinity and the wort pH doesn't drop into a proper range, the bittering from the hops can be higher than expected and rough tasting. Don't ignore your water!

This cannot be understated IMO.
I struggled during the first 12 months of my all grain brewing with beers that were harshly bitter, even when making traditional English styles that have very modest hopping rates compared to American style IPA's and such.
Once I got an understanding of alkalinity and mash pH my beers were transformed.....quite literally.
Yorkshire, England