My NE IPA is too bitter.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Havalina, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Havalina

    Havalina Initiate (116) Jan 25, 2017 Denmark
    Beer Trader

    Newer brewer here with a Grandfather and a fermentation fridge.

    Im trying to nail the NE IPA game.. but they end up too bitter for my taste… last one consisted of Citra, Nelson and Mosaic.

    50% of the hops was added during "flame off" in a whirlpool.. the hops had 30minutes contact with the wort before cooling(took about 20-30 minutes).

    The last 50% of the hops was added 4 days prior to bottling.

    I did not use hop socks and because i was in a bit of a hurry i didn’t have time to cold crash so that the hops settled in the bottom of the fermenter bucket.

    I siphoned the beer (below the hops on top) into my bottling bucked and bottled from there.

    The beer tasted good, but i think the bitterness is killing some of the finer tropical notes.

    I tried a DIPA from Trillium today and it was not as bitter as my beer. (my beer was not a DIPA though and ran in at 5.6% ABV)

    Am i doing something wrong or can i tweak something? :slight_smile:

    Any tips is appreciated.
  2. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (689) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Some aroma hops can have fairly high AA (IBUs)...try cooling the wort down to < 170*F before adding the bulk of your hops...or wait and see if the bitterness fades a little.
  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,594) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Tell us your recipe, especially timing of hop additions. Are you using a recipe calculator that predicts IBUs? To my palate, I taste little bitterness in late addition and whirlpool hops, so if it were my recipe, I would focus on reducing ibus on 60 min addition hops. Your mileage may vary.

    You said you didn't use hop bags. Hop bags are known to cut back on measured IBUs. Presumably they reduce the amount of hop particulate in your beer too. Going with that presumption, I think it is plausible that hop particles might add some bitterness. With time, these particles may settle. Similarly, iso-alpha acid bitterness may fade with time. Unfortunately, NE IPAs are typically consumed young to capitalize on aromatics, so allowing time for bitterness to fade may be counter-productive to the aroma you seek.
    GormBrewhouse and Mothergoose03 like this.
  4. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (493) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Those are all high alpha acid hops, and the exposure time at near boiling conditions was the culprit.
  5. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,029) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I bet he used like six oz too.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  6. Havalina

    Havalina Initiate (116) Jan 25, 2017 Denmark
    Beer Trader

    Great input you all!

    Thank you :-)

    I used around 5oz at flameout(still High temperature)

    No hops during boil.

    So i guess i need to cool the wort a bit before adding whirlpool hops?
    SFACRKnight, ECCS and GormBrewhouse like this.
  7. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (190) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    Could it be water? I've brewed beers that were too bitter before getting my chloride sulfate ratio balanced out. I think too much magnesium can make it bitter too...
    telejunkie likes this.
  8. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Aspirant (268) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Yep, more time exposing hops to boiling wort lends to more bitterness.use low ibu hops for boiling/bittering then add hops as recommended. Personally, I get all the aroma I want with dry hopping.
  9. Havalina

    Havalina Initiate (116) Jan 25, 2017 Denmark
    Beer Trader

    Right now im only adding a tiny bit of lactic acid to soften the water a bit(the water in Denmark is clean but quite hard)...
    Was considering trying to do a batch with bottled spring water only.. but i dont know if that even makes sense :slight_smile:
  10. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (367) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    Yeah, it could be your water. Water profile seems to be pretty important for this style. I would use distilled or RO water and build your profile. You need to have your Cl levels up to about 125, and SO4 to be in the 50-75 range. Have you looked at the Averagely Perfect NE IPA in the recipes folder? That is a solid recipe.
  11. Havalina

    Havalina Initiate (116) Jan 25, 2017 Denmark
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for pointing me to the "Averagely Perfect NE IPA" recipe :slight_smile:

    It has quite some things for me to try.

    15 minutes whirlpool at around 75 (celcius)
    Leaving out Mosaic in the whirlpool

    Adding hops during fermentation AND as a dry hop :slight_smile:

    .... However could hops added too early give an "off flavour? I have heard that the hops shouldn't have more than 5 days of contact with the beer.
  12. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (689) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    I think they meant 2 different additions (remove fermentation hops when adding 2nd dry hop)
  13. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Defender (611) May 29, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Could it be a bitter astringency from residual hop debris on the palate?

    Non-cold-crashed beer 4 days after dry hop will have a lot of hop particulate in suspension. On the palate this can come off rather bitter and harsh.

    I would say to try two things next time. Hop stand at a cooler temperature and cold condition before bottling.

  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,029) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    You guys are all high. A 30 min hopstand above 180 and another 20-30 minutes of chilling and you guys are lamenting about water chemistry? With five oz of high aa hops? Serious?
    MarkGP, jmdrpi, hopfenunmaltz and 4 others like this.
  15. telejunkie

    telejunkie Disciple (316) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    liking chavinparty's advice to look at your water...having dealt with hard water for years trying to brew a Weihenstephaner clone and never figuring out why the beers aways turned out so incredibly bitter...despite adding almost no bittering hops, the only reasonable explanation was the very hard water. Using a good water calculator like MpH found on here on BA can help with that. I use like 1-2 tsp 85% phosphoric acid per 5 gallons brewing water for beers like IPAs to help get my alkalinity & pH down. I understand that a lot of flameout hops are going to provide bitterness, but don't find it the same as the sharp, chalky flavors that highly alkaline water (with lower much calcium than burton water) provides.
  16. telejunkie

    telejunkie Disciple (316) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

  17. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,029) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

  18. machalel

    machalel Aspirant (282) Jan 19, 2012 Australia

    Doing a rough calc (someone correct me if wrong)...

    2.5oz of those hops split evenly in 5 Gal of ~1.060 wort, and a hopback/whirlpool with 10% efficiency, gives an estimated 45 IBU...

    It's going to taste bitter
  19. jcmmvp

    jcmmvp Initiate (105) Feb 24, 2017 Sweden

    Are you sure you are not confusing the bitterness with some kind of hopburn?
  20. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,029) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    He used 5 oz at FO, double those numbers.
  21. machalel

    machalel Aspirant (282) Jan 19, 2012 Australia

    oops misread... Well yeah... definitely going to be bitter then!
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  22. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,029) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Since he hasn't sent me a bottle I can't say. :grinning:
  23. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Defender (611) May 29, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I have a feeling that this would be a different beer after a good cold crash. All that hop particulate in suspension into the bottle...
    Tebuken and chavinparty like this.
  24. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Meyvn (1,250) Jul 10, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    I'd agree with this ^^ as a potential culprit. I was surprised how much smoother my IPAs came in when I increased the distilled water component of my water profile. Not always what I want, but in the case of a NE IPA, it was.
  25. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,277) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Epsom Salts translated to German is Bittersalz. Too much magnesium tastes bitter. One thing to consider.

    I have made beers that have plenty of bitterness with additions just after flame out. These were usually cream Ales with 4oz of Mt. Hood/5 gallons, at about 5% AA. If you use more hops at flame out with AA>10 AA, you will get plenty of bitterness.
    telejunkie likes this.
  26. Havalina

    Havalina Initiate (116) Jan 25, 2017 Denmark
    Beer Trader

    Hehe i get the picture.

    I dont think im ready for water modifications but its clear to me that i need to do quite some things differently:

    So would 15 minutes at 167 Fahrenheit and cutting on the hops be the right way?
    or should this be even less? :slight_smile:

    Im using a fridge for fermentation(with a STC1000) whats my best bet concerning cold crashing? adding hops, wait 2 days, set temperature to the lowest possible and then keg my beer after 3 days?(hopefully that would be enough to make the beer cold enough to settle) :slight_smile:
  27. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (689) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Don't...especially for a NEIPA...keg/lager the beer and remove any trub/sludge with a picnic faucet after ~ a week or two...imho
    SFACRKnight and chavinparty like this.
  28. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,029) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    @Havalina just start your hopstand or whirlpool additions after chilling below 180 and see where that gets you. I usually use a big BIAB bag for my hop additions and pull it after my hop stand of 30 minutes. YMMV
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  29. Havalina

    Havalina Initiate (116) Jan 25, 2017 Denmark
    Beer Trader

    cool :-) i dont have a BIAB bag at hand...i have hop socks... but i guess the sock will limit the contact with the wort.
  30. Acrebrewer

    Acrebrewer Initiate (105) Jul 10, 2017 Massachusetts

    Ive encountered the same problem in both of my Bissel brothers clones. The most recent Reciprocal. I used 2 oz each vic secret, stella and summer. One batch at 15 min and 1 batch at 140°F. No hop bsg for either. Then after getting my response from Noah Bissell i used 4 oz vic secret and 2 oz stella, i batch at 4 days primary no hop bag. Then the same amount in a hop bsg for 3 days after racking to dry hop bucket. Ive been cold crashing for 2.5 days, still slightly bitter. Will it go away? Really frustrated, i want a juice bomb. Not bitter.
  31. MLage

    MLage Initiate (117) Sep 5, 2016 Brazil

    Just did a NEIPA at the Grainfather. This time only whirlpool hops and dropped the temp to 150 before throwing the hops. Just a hint of bitterness.
  32. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,029) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Wait til it gets carbonated and see if it goe s away.
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
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