Hi all, I've been brewing for a while but have only recently moved to all grain, and have only adjusted my water chemistry in my last brew. I attempted a Grapefruit IPA which has been fermenting for 6 days now, and the samples I've been pulling have been insanely bitter. Sweet upfront, but then a bitterness that creeps up and just keeps going until you wish you never tried it. I'm going to dump it.
The trouble is, there were so many new things in my process (I've never even used grapefruit before in a brew) that I can't isolate any one thing to be certain of the culprit, so I'm hoping some of the experienced brewers here would be able to take a punt.
I'm thinking it could be any one, or a combination of the following:
- I used grapefruit zest, not peel. Perhaps I zested the pithe as well as the outer skin? I know the pithe is something you definitely want to leave behind.
- I've never used Chinook before and have heard that it's got an aggressive bitterness to it? I'd be surprised if this was the sole cause though...
- my mash pH could have been too high. I forgot to get the buffering solutions to calibrate my pH meter so the readings may have been off, but my mash pH was reading 6.5 which is obviously way too high. But I'm thinking that the meter may be to blame here. I last calibrated it about 2 - 3 months ago.
- IBUs could be too high considering I'm using grapefruit?
- the scales I used for measuring salt additions could have been too cheap and inaccurate? I think the water profile I was aiming for was fine, but maybe I missed it due to inaccurate measurements.
Here was the recipe:
Started with RO water, aimed for the 'Hoppy Pale Ale' water profile in Beersmith (added gypsum, epsom salt and CaCl). RA -40ppm as CaCO3, Sulphate:Chloride ratio = 5.3:1
Boil volume: 32L
Mashed in @ 65°C for 90mins
Mashed out @ 75°C for 10mins
42% Golden Promise
60min total boil time
25g Chinook @ 20mins
20g Chinook @ 5mins
50g Cascade @ 5mins
35g Riwaka @ 5mins
30g Chinook @ 0mins (5min whirlpool + 10min rest)
45g Riwaka @ 0mins (5min whirlpool + 10min rest)
55g Cascade @ 0mins (5min whirlpool + 10min rest)
Zest of 1 grapefruit @ 5mins
Pitched x2 packets of US-05 @ 17°C, fermented @ 20°C
Was going to dry hop and add zest of 2 more grapefruits when fermentation is done, but as I'm going to dump it, I won't :-)
Thanks in advance for your help.