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Aroma & Flavor in an IPA

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GreenKrusty101, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. What would make an IPA have lots of aroma, but mediocre flavor?

    My own guess would be lots of dryhopping and not enough at the ~10 min. mark. If the IPA were "over the hill" I would expect the aroma to be gone too.
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (820) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    I'd say that's about right.
  3. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    Hop varieties without a muted or generic flavor (e.g. Falconer's flight)... had that happen to a hop bursted Pale Ale I brewed, amazing aroma, a generic flavor. Surprisingly, I fixed it by dry hopping a second time with some Citra and Amarillo in the keg.
  4. honkey

    honkey Savant (300) Alabama Aug 28, 2010

    Dry hopping can actually provide a lot of flavor. That said, I like the 20 minute additions for flavor. I had a dry hopped stout (with centennial) and it was delicious and smelled great too. The hop flavor did fade quickly, but for about 2 weeks it was one of my favorite beers that I have ever tasted.
  5. To me, the crucial 15min addition adds a lot in the way of mouthfeel (bitter/flavor combo without the oils being totally converted maybe?) and the whirlpool hops add a lot of the juicer flavors.
  6. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (615) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    What hop varieties did you use? I have only hopped with citra and cascade, and citra imparted a lot of flavor and aroma, the cascade not so much when using equal amounts for dryhopping. Maybe if I had doubled the weight of the cascade, and therefor bringing the alpha levels more inline with the aau's of the citra, I would percive the aroma and flavor as equal.
  7. My preferred hop flavor addition is at 15 minutes before the end of boil. While hop aroma is indeed a contributor to the perception of hop flavor I would suggest that you still need an adequate addition for flavor (e.g., 15 minutes before the end of boil).

    GreenKrusty101 and JimmyTango like this.
  8. honkey

    honkey Savant (300) Alabama Aug 28, 2010

    I used Cascade and CTZ (3:1) as a Centennial substitute
  9. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (615) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Oops. I meant the op.
  10. I used a lot of hops...bittered with Chinook to 43 IBUs...14 IBUs Centennial @15 min, 6.5 IBU Citra @ 5 min, 1oz Galaxy, Columbus, and .5 oz Nelson @ KO...DH with Rakau, Citra, Galaxy, Columbus, NS...2-2-2-1-1

    This beer was brewed 9/8/2012. The aroma is still amazing, but the flavor is very ordinary now. I can't figure it out. Best/weirdest IPA I think I've ever brewed.
  11. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (615) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Wow. I was really expecting a much shorter list. Was it always underwhelming? If not I would say she's past her prime, if so then I'm stumped. Either way I don't know how you keep beer around that long. Even my imperial stouts are almost gone, I brewed them in october last year...
  12. Woodie

    Woodie Aficionado (115) California Jan 22, 2011

    By KO do you mean you threw them in at flameout and then instantly started cooling the wort? A lot of breweries whirlpool and those flameout additions really end up steeping for a good 30-40 minutes in the hot (but not boiling) wort. This extended steeping time at the end will really trap everything you want from a late hop addition without driving it off with the boil. A flameout addition followed by an insta-cool isnt providing much of any time for that extraction to occur. Give that a shot and I bet you'll notice a difference (even right out of the primary).

    On the other hand you should also take a look at your water profile. You need that lower chloride, higher sulfate balance to really make that hop character shine. If you aren't doing any water adjustment you should make sure your mash ph is at least falling within an acceptable range.
    mattbk likes this.
  13. No, it was great for several months, but usually after a few months they drop off a cliff (both flavor and aroma)...might have something to do with going to 10 gal batches
  14. You may be on to something...that was my 1st 10 gal batch in Sep...I fogot the Whirfloc because I was a little disoriented on the new system and ended up using some Gelatin later...I may also have forgotten to double my brewing salts. My KO hops always get whirlpooled/steeped @170 for ~ 15 min.
  15. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (615) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    That recipe is really hop heavy in the dh, with next to nothing at 15 and 5. I'm not jamil or anything, but I would guess that the lack of hops during those additions and the abundance of dryhop additions led to the taste falling off before aroma. I think your assumption is right on.
  16. Treb0R

    Treb0R Savant (320) Oregon Dec 12, 2012

    For overall intoxicating hop character,

    1- Dryhopping at 66-68F, 10-14 days with pellets in two or three stages.
    2- Post-boil warm aroma steep below 160 F, 20-60 minutes with pellets.

    For underwhelming hop character,

    1- Not using enough of the right hops in general.
    2- Not using enough hops at every spot - early, middle, late, dryhop.

    *Aroma and Flavor kind of go hand in hand, which is why I'm calling it character.
    JimmyTango likes this.
  17. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (585) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    In addition to the hops comments, the grain bill can also affect perceived hop flavor, especially too much caramel malt (think Green Flash).
  18. Yeah, I think hop flavor has alot to do with the way mouthfeel (oil saturation), bitterness, and aroma come together.
  19. As mediocre as the flavor has been lately...it's still better than most of the commercial IPAs I've bought lately...with few exceptions.

    To skivtjerry... Green Flash used to be my favorite...West Coast and HopHead Red were awesome when fresh, but I rarely get a fresh one anymore.
  20. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (585) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    GF is available here but definitely not fresh. Bottles hand carried back from CO a couple of years ago were no better. Maybe I'd like them if I lived in San Diego...
  21. koopa

    koopa Champion (835) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    25 minutes before the end of the boil is the time I link most to "flavor"
  22. cmac1705

    cmac1705 Savant (255) Florida Apr 30, 2010

    Not to threadjack, but this topic has piqued my interest.

    I've been in the habit of using 3 hop additions for all my hoppy beers: 1 bittering charge, 1 FO charge, and 1 DH.

    I tend to go heavy on the FO and DH additions, but I do wonder if I'm not steeping long enough at FO. It takes me about 30 minutes to get down to pitch temps. Has anyone experimented with hop stands and how that affects final hop character?
  23. I started doing long whirlpools around 2010 (kill the heat and add the hops when the boil subsides), it makes a difference in flavor, you still need dry hops for the big aroma.
  24. mountsnow1010

    mountsnow1010 Savant (360) Vermont Jan 23, 2009

    Does this affect your cold break? Or does the break happen at a much lower temperature than you are whirlpooling at?
  25. The whirlpool starts at just below boiling and ends up just above 180F. The cold break happens at a lower temp -forget how low.