Author Topic: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough  (Read 540 times)

Offline Uvolnit

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I recently brewed and the bottled beer is ready for drinking.  I tasted the first one today and the clarity and carbonation is great and based on my knowledge and research of hopping schedules this should be an amazing tasting and aromatic brew, but it seems much less potent than I expected.  Below is the extract, steeping grains, and hop schedule.  I'm slightly disappointed in the result.  It's delicious and has a great mouthfeel but has much less hop flavor and aroma as expected.  Is there any reason it will take time to develop the flavors?  From what I know the hop aroma and flavor is best right away.  I did cold crash in my below-freezing temp garage for 7 days and used gelatin at 2 days in.  Any chance of the cold crashing and gelatin of pulling out some of the hop oils?

Extract:
1# golden DME
12 oz Lt. pils DME (rest used for yeast starter)
3.3# Lt. pils LME
3.3# Golden LME

Steeping grains:
1# munich 10L
4 oz caramel 80L
4 oz carapils

Hops (all "fresh", bought in nitrogen vacuum packs and kept refrigerated until brew day):
60 min - 1oz chinook
30 min - .5oz chinook
10 min - .5oz ekuanot, .5oz comet
5 min - .5 comet, .5 ekuanot
0 min - .5 chinook, 1 comet, 1 ekuanot (whirlpooled while cooling with wort chiller for about 20 mins)
Dry hop - 1 chinook, 1 comet, 1 ekuanot (dry hopped loose at about 69° for 7 days before cold crashing)

Yeast:
1L starter of YLP001

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 06:38:51 AM »
There are so many things it could be, plus I can't really say what your expectations were, and I haven't tasted the beer. But im certain it will not gain hop flavor or aroma with time.

If you could detail your exact process from start to finish we probably can help you preserve hop flavor and aroma in your next batch.

Offline ethinson

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 11:52:06 AM »
What are your predicted IBUs based on that recipe? I've not used those hops before so don't know what to expect.

I've had a hoppy beer turn out very low bitterness and flavor, and it took me a while to trace back, but right after the hotbreak I had turned the heat down a little to calm the boil a bit.  And then I walked away.... with a 60 minute addition and then a 10 minute it was a long time before I needed to do anything again.  I'm pretty sure I turned the heat down to low and killed my boil. My 100 (theoretical, closer to 75 in reality) IBU CDA ended up at around 40 (I was able to test it with ASBC extraction).
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Offline beermikester

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 01:59:19 PM »
I've used both Ekuanot and Comet in beers before, and I've gotten good flavor and aroma from both.  I don't think it is your hop choice.  And based on your hopping schedule, I would have expected a lot of both hop flavor and hop aroma.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the age of the hops.  Any chance they were old or not stored properly?  Even if stored in the freezer, hops loose a certain percentage of both hop bitterness and essential oils over time.


Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 02:02:54 PM »
There's a lot of Munich and crystal in that recipe. It might be too malty for your expectations.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 03:31:07 PM »
My suspicion is oxidation.  Oxidation hits hop character first and hardest.  Need to know more about your process to be sure.

Having said that carbonation and temperature also play a big role in the perception of hop character and can be adjusted now to improve your beer.

Offline Richard

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 04:01:33 PM »
Water chemistry can also affect perception of hop flavor and bitterness. My IPAs really started to pop once I began raising the sulfate and sulfate-to-chloride ratio in my water. I don't use gelatin but some people say it can take out hop oils along with haze. Cold crashing by itself should be just fine (pun intended).

Offline Adam

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 10:05:10 PM »
Water chemistry can also affect perception of hop flavor and bitterness. My IPAs really started to pop once I began raising the sulfate and sulfate-to-chloride ratio in my water. I don't use gelatin but some people say it can take out hop oils along with haze. Cold crashing by itself should be just fine (pun intended).

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Offline Uvolnit

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 12:21:19 AM »
There are so many things it could be, plus I can't really say what your expectations were, and I haven't tasted the beer. But im certain it will not gain hop flavor or aroma with time.

If you could detail your exact process from start to finish we probably can help you preserve hop flavor and aroma in your next batch.

I'm not sure how in depth you want me to detail my process.  30 min steeping grains, 60 mins boil, insert cleaned wort chiller at 15 mins, at 0 mins turn on wort chiller and insert whirlpool hops and create whirlpool every few minutes (with stainless steel spoon that I keep in the pot starting at the end of boil to keep sanitized), cool to about 75F, rack to primary, pitch yeast starter, place in about 65F room for a few days, move to about 68F room for a few days, use wine stealer to check gravity the next few days, rack to secondary and pitch dry hop pellets for 7 days, move secondary to cold garage to cold crash for 7 days, rack to bottling bucket, let bottles sit at warmest room temp for at least 2 weeks before putting in fridge to drink when cold.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 03:24:58 AM by Uvolnit »

Offline Uvolnit

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 12:27:39 AM »
What are your predicted IBUs based on that recipe? I've not used those hops before so don't know what to expect.

I've had a hoppy beer turn out very low bitterness and flavor, and it took me a while to trace back, but right after the hotbreak I had turned the heat down a little to calm the boil a bit.  And then I walked away.... with a 60 minute addition and then a 10 minute it was a long time before I needed to do anything again.  I'm pretty sure I turned the heat down to low and killed my boil. My 100 (theoretical, closer to 75 in reality) IBU CDA ended up at around 40 (I was able to test it with ASBC extraction).

I didn't have a predicted IBU, I just knew with those amounts of Chinook at bittering addition times it would be in the right range for a normal American IPA.  I just wanted something between about 40 and 70 IBUs.

I always stay around my boil and it for sure was boiling the entire time.  Good point to think about though.

Offline Uvolnit

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 12:33:48 AM »
I've used both Ekuanot and Comet in beers before, and I've gotten good flavor and aroma from both.  I don't think it is your hop choice.  And based on your hopping schedule, I would have expected a lot of both hop flavor and hop aroma.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the age of the hops.  Any chance they were old or not stored properly?  Even if stored in the freezer, hops loose a certain percentage of both hop bitterness and essential oils over time.

This could be a potential cause.  I did buy the Comet and Chinook hops from a new local home brew store and the 1oz hop bags were small clear ziploc-like bags, not vacuum or nitrogen packed.  I kept them in my mini beer fridge for about a week until brew day and could smell them highly when I'd open the fridge to get a beer.  I told them at the store about that and they said they had plans to vacuum pack in the future.  I'm wondering how much oxygen got into those bags and how much acids and whatever else "died" in the hops.  Also to note, these hops had much less aroma when I opened them to put in the boil compared to the Ekuanot hops I bought at an online dealer which come in the original 1oz YCHHops packages.  These Ekuanot packets smelled deliciously awesome. 

My suspicion is oxidation.  Oxidation hits hop character first and hardest.  Need to know more about your process to be sure.

Having said that carbonation and temperature also play a big role in the perception of hop character and can be adjusted now to improve your beer.

Carbonation could be a definite issue here.  The bottles are just over 2 weeks for bottle carbonation so likely aren't finished.  When I poured the 1 last night it had a small head but not many rising bubbles.  I will wait a few more days to try the next one.  This would definitely affect the aroma.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 12:34:13 AM »
Good details! I would probably suspect that minor oxidation from transfers is what is diminishing your hop flavor/aroma. Getting and keeping bright hop flavor and aroma can be a somewhat tricky ordeal, depending on how serious you want to get. You might try eliminating the secondary and just dry hop in primary. Thats an easy thing to do that might reduce a little o2 exposure. Or when you transfer to your dry hopping secondary purge it first with co2, and use a secondary vessel that is shaped to limit head space, like a carboy when full to the neck has just that little circle of exposure but a bucket is wide at the top.

If that doesn't get you there you can explore things like closed transfer, kegging, spunding, etc.

Offline yso191

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 01:15:41 AM »
This is one of the things I would like the hop industry to do: post the oil profile on the hop bag.  At least they should post total oils if not the fraction.  They do this for commercial brewers.

The point is that one season differs from another as does each growing region and even between blocks on a grower's field.  For example Amarillo total oil ranges from 1 - 2.3 mL/100g.  That's quite a span that would be important information to have.  Most people would also be surprised at how great the difference is between one lot of a particular variety and another right next to it - let alone 50 or 100 miles away - or on the other side of the planet!

This is getting much easier.  Until recently it was very time consuming to actually distill the hops to get total oils.  Now they can toss a sample into an instrument and 5 minutes later they have the full picture: alpha, beta, the Hop Storage Index (HSI) total oils and the oil fraction.  A QR code on the package is all that would be needed to be able to access the info on the internet.

*Deep Sigh*  Probably not happening in the next year or three.  Still it is important to remember.  That may be the entire reason for subdued hop flavor and aroma; maybe it was a year for light oils.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 01:34:23 AM »
This is one of the things I would like the hop industry to do: post the oil profile on the hop bag.  At least they should post total oils if not the fraction.  They do this for commercial brewers.

+1. We get the short end of the stick when it comes to documentation on our ingredients, for both malt and hops. Usually the data was out there at some point in time, just wasn't passed down the vendor chain.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Hopped IPA with generous amount of hops and doesn't seem tasty enough
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 01:39:39 AM »
This is one of the things I would like the hop industry to do: post the oil profile on the hop bag.  At least they should post total oils if not the fraction.  They do this for commercial brewers.

The point is that one season differs from another as does each growing region and even between blocks on a grower's field.  For example Amarillo total oil ranges from 1 - 2.3 mL/100g.  That's quite a span that would be important information to have.  Most people would also be surprised at how great the difference is between one lot of a particular variety and another right next to it - let alone 50 or 100 miles away - or on the other side of the planet!

This is getting much easier.  Until recently it was very time consuming to actually distill the hops to get total oils.  Now they can toss a sample into an instrument and 5 minutes later they have the full picture: alpha, beta, the Hop Storage Index (HSI) total oils and the oil fraction.  A QR code on the package is all that would be needed to be able to access the info on the internet.

*Deep Sigh*  Probably not happening in the next year or three.  Still it is important to remember.  That may be the entire reason for subdued hop flavor and aroma; maybe it was a year for light oils.

I like that idea!  Then it just has to work.  Weyermann puts a QR and a URL for lot analysis on every bag of malt, but all I ever get from it lately is a 404 error.  Somebody has to maintain the system, and that might be an impediment to implementing it.
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