Author Topic: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days  (Read 2399 times)

Offline narvin

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The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« on: June 06, 2017, 03:45:39 PM »
I don't mean that I drank 20 pints a day, or invited my friends over and they enthusiastically "helped" me drink it all. 

This was the first batch where I dry hopped at the end of primary fermentation.  8 ounces per carboy went in on day 4 with ~5 points left to ferment.  Most of the IBUs came from a whirlpool charge, with only a tiny bittering addition.  10 days later I kegged, using my standard routine of pushing out sanitizer (iodiphor) with CO2.  Pushing out of the fermenter was also done completely under CO2 pressure.  It tasted great warm and flat from the keg... wonderful hop flavors.

On day 3, with just a hint of carbonation, it was amazing.  The full flavor came out.  Hop oil biotransformations were REAL!  I couldn't get enough of it.  Every last drop was delicious (and I think I had more than a couple glasses of it).  The next day I hurt (too much of a good thing), but a day later was Friday and I couldn't wait to get home and drink some more.  Well... they were gone.  All of the amazing flavors.  It was a standard, decent IPA at this point, but nothing like it was before.  This was a split batch with a friend, and he confirmed that his keg had also lost the majority of it's fresh hop flavor and aroma.

I can only conclude that force carbonation was the culprit.  Not even the transfer, but the carbonation process itself.  We know that whatever CO2 we get as homebrewers is not 100% pure.  The beer was incredible until it started to absorb CO2, and then it fell off a cliff.  Again, it's still a good IPA, and if I never tasted it before carbonation completed I wouldn't have known its potential.  But all of the fresh hop flavors have completely transformed to a more bitter, dull, and harsh flavor.

This is probably what I was used to in the past, even from some commercial breweries, so I never questioned it.  But at this point I don't think I'll force carb any of my beers ever again.  I'm looking into doing some tests on a split batch with force carbing with ascorbic acid and sulfites vs spunding with keg hops.  I'd rather not bother with hops in the keg but if it's the best solution, it will be worth it.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 03:53:27 PM »
That's interesting. I guess I'm not sure what the sulfites and ascorbic acid is supposed to accomplish that you don't get by pushing sanitizer out with CO2. Would you mind explaining your thought process behind that?

Also, is it possible that the temperature change may be behind it? Did you crash before dry hopping and kegging? Any chance the hop oils bound to some particles that dropped out?

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Offline narvin

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 04:02:03 PM »
That's interesting. I guess I'm not sure what the sulfites and ascorbic acid is supposed to accomplish that you don't get by pushing sanitizer out with CO2. Would you mind explaining your thought process behind that?

Also, is it possible that the temperature change may be behind it? Did you crash before dry hopping and kegging? Any chance the hop oils bound to some particles that dropped out?

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The idea is that the CO2 we buy as food/beverage grade is only 99% pure (or so... would have to look up the specifics).  Even if a fraction of that 1% is air, that is a significant dissolved oxygen to add when you're carbing to 2.5 volumes.
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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 04:03:05 PM »
I don't mean that I drank 20 pints a day, or invited my friends over and they enthusiastically "helped" me drink it all. 

This was the first batch where I dry hopped at the end of primary fermentation.  8 ounces per carboy went in on day 4 with ~5 points left to ferment.  Most of the IBUs came from a whirlpool charge, with only a tiny bittering addition.  10 days later I kegged, using my standard routine of pushing out sanitizer (iodiphor) with CO2.  Pushing out of the fermenter was also done completely under CO2 pressure.  It tasted great warm and flat from the keg... wonderful hop flavors.

On day 3, with just a hint of carbonation, it was amazing.  The full flavor came out.  Hop oil biotransformations were REAL!  I couldn't get enough of it.  Every last drop was delicious (and I think I had more than a couple glasses of it).  The next day I hurt (too much of a good thing), but a day later was Friday and I couldn't wait to get home and drink some more.  Well... they were gone.  All of the amazing flavors.  It was a standard, decent IPA at this point, but nothing like it was before.  This was a split batch with a friend, and he confirmed that his keg had also lost the majority of it's fresh hop flavor and aroma.

I can only conclude that force carbonation was the culprit.  Not even the transfer, but the carbonation process itself.  We know that whatever CO2 we get as homebrewers is not 100% pure.  The beer was incredible until it started to absorb CO2, and then it fell off a cliff.  Again, it's still a good IPA, and if I never tasted it before carbonation completed I wouldn't have known its potential.  But all of the fresh hop flavors have completely transformed to a more bitter, dull, and harsh flavor.

This is probably what I was used to in the past, even from some commercial breweries, so I never questioned it.  But at this point I don't think I'll force carb any of my beers ever again.  I'm looking into doing some tests on a split batch with force carbing with ascorbic acid and sulfites vs spunding with keg hops.  I'd rather not bother with hops in the keg but if it's the best solution, it will be worth it.

This chart is from another recent thread called "CO2 Education" and shows that 99.9% Food Grade CO2 has an O2 content of 30 ppm:




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Offline narvin

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2017, 04:04:20 PM »
On day 3, the beer was already cold.  It's possible that a large amount of oils/yeast bound to hops dropped to the bottom by then and were consumed.  However:

1) Even the very last pint was amazing that night.
2) 2 days later, it seems likely that more would have dropped to the bottom and would have been pulled by the diptube in the first pint.
3) The beer is still quite cloudy now.
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Offline narvin

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2017, 04:05:32 PM »
I'm also not sure that what I'm getting is food grade, or that the filling of the bottle hasn't created some increased O2 content.  Of course, I always ask if it's beverage grade, and they say yes wherever I buy it, but...
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 04:15:35 PM »
Sounds familiar.

1.  I intend to try a very light sulfite /ascorbic mixture to help with this. The dose that is just imperceptible is the amount I want to find.

2. I keg hop, and I spunded the last IPA I made. So obviously the CO2 tank only served to push out the beer. Had the longest lasting hop character of any beer I've ever made. Downside was the extra yeast in the keg. You really need to twist the keg and pump out the yeast a couple times to get a fairly clear pour.

3. Keg hopping just rocks. The aromas are trapped and stick around longer by comparison IMO.
Jon H.

Offline narvin

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 04:17:03 PM »
Assuming that the best CO2 you can get is 30 ppm, this is 30 mg/L.  If your beer happens to be around 1 volume of CO2 (a swag) before carbing to 2.5, you'd be adding 1.5 volumes, so that would end up being 45 ppm in your final beer I'd think.

I know that theoretically this could be significant, but the effect was stark when experienced.  Has anyone tried measuring the DO content of deoxygenated water that was then carbonated?  Might be interesting to see and could be accomplished with a soda bottle and carboy cap.  It's possible that much of the CO2 sold from welding shops as beverage grade is anything but.
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 04:25:05 PM »
"With forced carbonation you get more total O2 than with spunded carbonation. Say you have 0.8 volumes of residual CO2 at kegging. If you want to carb to 2.5 volumes, you need to add 1.7 volumes (or 1.7 * 5 = 8.5 gal) of CO2 to the beer. If you force carb, that 1.7 volumes comes from the tank. If you spund, that 1.7 volumes (8.5 gal) is generated by yeast eating residual sugar (0 DO.) Then it's going to take 5 * (14.7 psi + 11 psi) / 14.7 psi = 8.74 gal to serve the keg (11 psi @ 37.5˚F gives 2.5 volumes.) So spunding and serving will expose the beer to 8.74 gal of CO2, and force carbing and serving will expose the beer to 17.24 gal of CO2, almost twice as much. The O2 exposure will also be almost twice as much.

 As the beer is consumed, more O2 is added to the headspace, increasing the partial pressure, and allowing more dissolution. "

Of course there are commercial packaging antioxidants available. (full disclosure, I didn't have much success with them).
http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ANTIOXINSB.pdf

Sorry for your loss Narvin, that sucks!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 04:28:33 PM by The Beerery »
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Offline narvin

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 04:36:56 PM »
Sounds familiar.

1.  I intend to try a very light sulfite /ascorbic mixture to help with this. The dose that is just imperceptible is the amount I want to find.




After reading this in Handbook of Brewing I was planning on trying a 60:40 blend of ascorbic acid and potassium metabisulfite.  Sodium erythorbate seems to be a direct substitute for AA used for cost.

The other option is to add priming soultion, wait an hour or so for yeast to wake up, and transfer as I did to the keg.  The benefit here is that I like to keep all the dry hop crap out of the keg.  I might try both ways to compare the results.
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Offline narvin

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 04:38:24 PM »

Sorry for your loss Narvin, that sucks!

It's a learning experience.  And it's better to have loved and lost, right?
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2017, 04:58:14 PM »

Sorry for your loss Narvin, that sucks!

It's a learning experience.  And it's better to have loved and lost, right?

Oh for sure.  I just know that exact feeling. I had my heart shattered so many times while dialing this stuff in. 


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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2017, 05:00:21 PM »
Sounds familiar.

1.  I intend to try a very light sulfite /ascorbic mixture to help with this. The dose that is just imperceptible is the amount I want to find.




After reading this in Handbook of Brewing I was planning on trying a 60:40 blend of ascorbic acid and potassium metabisulfite.  Sodium erythorbate seems to be a direct substitute for AA used for cost.

The other option is to add priming soultion, wait an hour or so for yeast to wake up, and transfer as I did to the keg.  The benefit here is that I like to keep all the dry hop crap out of the keg.  I might try both ways to compare the results.


I have a similar mixture in mind. As for the amount of it, less is more at first for me. As for keg hopping, FWIW I don't throw them in loose. The 5 gallon paint strainer bags contain particles well and give the hops room to circulate and dissolve.
Jon H.

Offline yso191

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 05:00:52 PM »
 First, I would love to see your recipe of this best IPA ever.
 Second, I've had the same experience and wondered what was going on. This is an interesting Avenue to investigate.
 I really want to continue kegging but at low pressure my corny kegs don't seal so I can't do a secondary fermentation or keg condition of my beers.   Now I'm wondering if all new kegs are in order.
Steve
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Offline erockrph

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Re: The best IPA I ever made was gone in 2 days
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 05:07:54 PM »
This is interesting. I've had a similar experience on a recent Mexican lager. Into the keg, the aromas and flavors were so intense that it was jarring. It was almost like spreading creamed corn and Saaz on toast. After a couple of days on gas, those flavors mellowed right out into one of my favorite lagers I've ever brewed. While the end result was desirable in my beer, I can see how it would be a problem in an IPA.
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