Author Topic: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?  (Read 614 times)

Offline alekmager

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my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« on: May 09, 2018, 11:58:25 AM »
Hey new to brewing and i just tested my first attempt at a citra pale ale and it has seemingly no hop flavor or any sort of hop presence. I used an extra ounce of citra lupulin during the boil, and everyone i have talked to in person prior to testing the beer said be prepared for a hoppy beer along with 1 week in secondary dry hopping with mosaic. in total i added 4 ounces of hops to a 5 gallon brew, and the additional ounce in secondary with the hopes of creating a hoppy/dank beer. the additions were at 15, 30, 50, 58 minutes, and i let the wort ferment for 1 1/2 weeks, until when the fermentation stopped. i used 2 cans of LME, and steeped 1 lbs of mixed grains at the beginning of the boil also as i dont have the equipment yet to do anything else, and wasnt aware of DME at the time i purchased the ingredients.

the only things i think that couldve contributed towards this problem are:

- my father spilled some of the yeast as we went to add it (wyeast ale, i cant remember the exact strain, now realize the importance of taking notes)
-instead of adding both cans of LME at the beginning of the boil i added one then and one at 45 mins
-it could potentially just be the recipe

any input is much appreciated, thanks:D

-

Offline mabrungard

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 12:36:09 PM »
I'm curious about the water you used? If it wasn't RO or distilled water, then its possible that the water's alkalinity left the wort's pH too high. That can dull the malt flavors.

If the water didn't have much sulfate in it, that can reduce the perception of hops and bittering in the beer. Sulfate helps dry the beer's finish so that hop flavor and bitterness can be experienced.

4 oz of hops should have been apparent. The only other thing that I can think of that could affect hop perception is the beer's OG. If it was higher than about 1.070, you're getting into the range where malt overwhelms hop. That is the reason that DIPA tends to use simple sugars to boost gravity. Simple sugars ferment out completely, where as more malt keeps making the beer 'more malty'.
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Offline 802Chris

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 01:23:45 PM »
Serious question... Did it taste like beer?

I want to make sure to eliminate a bunch of extraneous problems right off the bat. After which we can troubleshoot, like Martin said, other specific variables.

Also you said two cans of LME, do you remember what size (maybe 2.5 lbs each?)

Can you tell us what amount of hops went in at which time, and are you counting the times from the beginning of the boil, or backwards from the end?

Offline jjw5015

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 02:08:20 PM »
You were light on the hops in your recipe. They were also added too much in the boil, which results in more bitterness and the aroma being driven off. For what you were going for, you probably should've put a tiny bit at the beginning of the boil, then the rest at the end of boil, whirlpool, and dryhop. I would double your amount of hops.

Offline kramerog

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 02:15:17 PM »
Did you do a full boil, e.g., boiled all the wort or did you boil some of the wort and diluted in the fermenter?

One issue is that the hops in the middle of the boil are somewhat wasted in that they don't provide a lot of bitterness or flavor relative to hops added earlier or later.  A better practice is to add all the flavor hops/lupulin after turning off the heat on the boil and let the hops/lupulin steep for 20-60 minutes. 


Offline alekmager

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 12:56:06 PM »
I'm curious about the water you used? If it wasn't RO or distilled water, then its possible that the water's alkalinity left the wort's pH too high. That can dull the malt flavors.

If the water didn't have much sulfate in it, that can reduce the perception of hops and bittering in the beer. Sulfate helps dry the beer's finish so that hop flavor and bitterness can be experienced.

4 oz of hops should have been apparent. The only other thing that I can think of that could affect hop perception is the beer's OG. If it was higher than about 1.070, you're getting into the range where malt overwhelms hop. That is the reason that DIPA tends to use simple sugars to boost gravity. Simple sugars ferment out completely, where as more malt keeps making the beer 'more malty'.

I unfortunately didnt take record of the pH. I used tap water from my home, its well driven (im on a farm so i think its pretty good water) but i intend to get my water tested after reading this and and a few other things. next time im going to try and use distilled with the same recipe and see if theres a difference. The OG was 1.054 so i dont think that was it, it finished at 1.012 so its a pretty high pale i think its around 6% if my math is right.

Offline alekmager

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 01:02:05 PM »
Serious question... Did it taste like beer?

I want to make sure to eliminate a bunch of extraneous problems right off the bat. After which we can troubleshoot, like Martin said, other specific variables.

Also you said two cans of LME, do you remember what size (maybe 2.5 lbs each?)

Can you tell us what amount of hops went in at which time, and are you counting the times from the beginning of the boil, or backwards from the end?

Haha yes it tasted like beer, just a bit more malty than hoppy. I tried it again last night with a fresh palate and it does have some hop presence just not as much as i think it should have, again im new to this so i could be wrong but i do have a pretty good knowledge on aroma/flavor profiling from friends who brew for a living. the cans i used were 3.3 lbs. Im counting times from the beginning of the boil to the end, and each addition was 1 oz at a time. thanks for the help!

Offline alekmager

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 01:05:24 PM »
You were light on the hops in your recipe. They were also added too much in the boil, which results in more bitterness and the aroma being driven off. For what you were going for, you probably should've put a tiny bit at the beginning of the boil, then the rest at the end of boil, whirlpool, and dryhop. I would double your amount of hops.

i was following a recipe i was given from my friend and have tasted his final product which came out distinctly more hoppy in flavor/aroma, so i feel confident it wasnt the amount as i used an extra 2 oz of hops. I havent looked into whirlpooling though although some other people have suggested the same, what is that process like?

Offline alekmager

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 01:11:29 PM »
Did you do a full boil, e.g., boiled all the wort or did you boil some of the wort and diluted in the fermenter?

One issue is that the hops in the middle of the boil are somewhat wasted in that they don't provide a lot of bitterness or flavor relative to hops added earlier or later.  A better practice is to add all the flavor hops/lupulin after turning off the heat on the boil and let the hops/lupulin steep for 20-60 minutes.

Initially started with 2.5 gallons in the boil, and topped off to 5 gallons in the fermenter. Bittering goes in earlier right and flavor towards the end? That makes sense if so. Are you saying after the hour to turn off the heat and then add the flavor hops? I am still new to this so i have been wickedly concerned about contamination and wonder if that would give an opportunity to contaminate? Would you turn the heat off, add the flavor hops, steep, and then chill?

Offline jjw5015

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2018, 01:38:25 PM »
You were light on the hops in your recipe. They were also added too much in the boil, which results in more bitterness and the aroma being driven off. For what you were going for, you probably should've put a tiny bit at the beginning of the boil, then the rest at the end of boil, whirlpool, and dryhop. I would double your amount of hops.

i was following a recipe i was given from my friend and have tasted his final product which came out distinctly more hoppy in flavor/aroma, so i feel confident it wasnt the amount as i used an extra 2 oz of hops. I havent looked into whirlpooling though although some other people have suggested the same, what is that process like?

Whirlpooling or hopstanding, would be adding the hops to steep once the burner is turned off. There are different techniques as far as temperature levels, but for this discussion we'll keep it simple and just say, "post boil". This will maximize your flavor and aroma, while also still imparting bitterness. Most of my IPA's I now brew don't get any hops until the whirlpool. Don't worry about contamination from hops, that's not a thing, otherwise nobody would dryhop.

Offline alekmager

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 01:44:45 PM »
You were light on the hops in your recipe. They were also added too much in the boil, which results in more bitterness and the aroma being driven off. For what you were going for, you probably should've put a tiny bit at the beginning of the boil, then the rest at the end of boil, whirlpool, and dryhop. I would double your amount of hops.

i was following a recipe i was given from my friend and have tasted his final product which came out distinctly more hoppy in flavor/aroma, so i feel confident it wasnt the amount as i used an extra 2 oz of hops. I havent looked into whirlpooling though although some other people have suggested the same, what is that process like?

Whirlpooling or hopstanding, would be adding the hops to steep once the burner is turned off. There are different techniques as far as temperature levels, but for this discussion we'll keep it simple and just say, "post boil". This will maximize your flavor and aroma, while also still imparting bitterness. Most of my IPA's I now brew don't get any hops until the whirlpool. Don't worry about contamination from hops, that's not a thing, otherwise nobody would dryhop.

when you whirlpool, since its prior to the ferment, any oxygen that would be introduced would be blown off right? I appreciate the information, and will give it a try next time! The beauty of the brew art is that theres so much to it and everyday i find myself learning something new! Thanks again for the information!

Offline jjw5015

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2018, 03:46:12 PM »
You were light on the hops in your recipe. They were also added too much in the boil, which results in more bitterness and the aroma being driven off. For what you were going for, you probably should've put a tiny bit at the beginning of the boil, then the rest at the end of boil, whirlpool, and dryhop. I would double your amount of hops.

i was following a recipe i was given from my friend and have tasted his final product which came out distinctly more hoppy in flavor/aroma, so i feel confident it wasnt the amount as i used an extra 2 oz of hops. I havent looked into whirlpooling though although some other people have suggested the same, what is that process like?

Whirlpooling or hopstanding, would be adding the hops to steep once the burner is turned off. There are different techniques as far as temperature levels, but for this discussion we'll keep it simple and just say, "post boil". This will maximize your flavor and aroma, while also still imparting bitterness. Most of my IPA's I now brew don't get any hops until the whirlpool. Don't worry about contamination from hops, that's not a thing, otherwise nobody would dryhop.

when you whirlpool, since its prior to the ferment, any oxygen that would be introduced would be blown off right? I appreciate the information, and will give it a try next time! The beauty of the brew art is that theres so much to it and everyday i find myself learning something new! Thanks again for the information!

Correct. Pre-ferment oxygen is good.

Offline skyler

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 09:15:50 PM »
A few things from my experience:

- extract beers come out maltier
- a smack pack of a certain yeast strains will produce maltier beer
- a really hoppy beer would have 3-4 oz of hops at the end of the boil and another 3-4 oz dry
- post-fermentation oxidation can make beer less hoppy

My recommendations:

- use more hops at flameout and dry
- use US-05 dry yeast for most American-style ales until you're ready to build yeast starters
- switch to all-grain as soon as you feel comfortable
- brewing maltier beers like brown ales and blond ales first can help you get used to the process without spending a ton of money on hops

Offline Steve L

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Re: my beer has no hop flavor, any idea why?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2018, 04:15:31 PM »
I'm curious about the water you used? If it wasn't RO or distilled water, then its possible that the water's alkalinity left the wort's pH too high. That can dull the malt flavors.

If the water didn't have much sulfate in it, that can reduce the perception of hops and bittering in the beer. Sulfate helps dry the beer's finish so that hop flavor and bitterness can be experienced.

4 oz of hops should have been apparent. The only other thing that I can think of that could affect hop perception is the beer's OG. If it was higher than about 1.070, you're getting into the range where malt overwhelms hop. That is the reason that DIPA tends to use simple sugars to boost gravity. Simple sugars ferment out completely, where as more malt keeps making the beer 'more malty'.
Completely agree here. I have based all of my pale ale recipes on the lower end of the PH scale, most often 5.2 - 5.3 ish and build from distilled while kicking up the sulfate, even if it's only a bit to say 100 ppm. With these tweaks, a decent size whirlpool addition can be hoppy enough to skip the dry hop all together. ;)
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