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Pale Ale harsh bitterness a week after kegging

 
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Swampale



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 22
Location: Cavan, Ont.


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: Pale Ale harsh bitterness a week after kegging Reply with quote


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*This was originally asked in the Electric Pale Ale recipe thread but it's not the same beer as many of the ingredients are different so I've split this out to avoid confusion* - Kal

I made this beer a few weeks ago. I am getting a harsh bitterness a week after kegging. I don't think it is carb bite as I didn't carb it up as high as my lagers. This is the first time using this water profile. Should I lower the sulphate level? If so, to where? My crush was fine and my sparge was normal as in all my beers.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10341
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampale wrote:
I am getting a harsh bitterness a week after kegging.

What did it taste like at kegging? Was it there at kegging as well or is this new and only showed up a week later?

Quote:
I don't think it is carb bite as I didn't carb it up as high as my lagers. This is the first time using this water profile. Should I lower the sulphate level? If so, to where?

Need some more context here. We have no information and you're looking for suggestions what to change which can't really be done when we don't understand the source of the issue. Some questions:

Did you brew this beer to the recipe or make changes?
What sort of beers have you brewed in the past (what styles)?
Is it the first time you've made this beer?
Is the first time you've made any hop forward beer?
You mentioned it's the first first time using this "hoppy" water profile, what were you using before for hop forward beers like this or this beer?
What is your base water profile?
What water profiles have you used before? For what beers?
What other water adjustments did you do? Use any acid or similar? Was it also the first time?
Is it the first time you've dry hopped?
Are you possibly getting hop bits in your glass?
What's you're fermenting -> brite / dry hopping -> packaging process?

I'm trying to figure out if it's completely normal and it could just be that it's a new to you and you find it harsh because you're not used to it and maybe your water before was completely dulling hop sharpness. What commercial hop forward beers do you enjoy?

The target sulphates (and all other suggested water adjustments) from the recipe are what I use and recommend - it's basically Randy Mosher's recommend profile for hop forward beers but with slightly less sulphate (275 instead of 350). Used by thousands. I don't think it's the issue and I wouldn't start playing with that until you better understand what the issue is (if there is an issue). That said, you can't certainly experiment and do anything you like to the water and beers you make.

Kal

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Swampale



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 22
Location: Cavan, Ont.


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Kal, I don't know where to start. It was fine when I kegged it. I used the orange cap to keg from my carboy to keg with C02. I brew mostly blonde ales and lagers. Yes, this is the first time I have used this water profile. I start with RO water. I haven't brewed a hop forward beer before. I followed this recipe except for the Vienna malt, I didn't have any. 2 row, crystal 40 and a small amount of special III for colour. I use Bru'n water. Yes, it is new to me. I have been looking at this recipe for awhile, but never got down to brewing it. I dry hop all the time and no bits in my glass. I transfer to another keg after dry hopping. I always do research with recipes and this water profile is standard in my opinion. Maybe I am just not used to it yet. Other than that, the beer is good and the hop taste/aroma is even better.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10341
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You recipe isn't the same (you dropped vienna and added Special III). Can you post your entire recipe including percentages?

I'm not sure it matters but I don't know what this means: "I used the orange cap to keg from my carboy to keg with C02."

You say you start with RO water and this is the first time you've used this "hoppy" water adjustment. What water and water adjustment do you normally use for your blonde ales and lagers? Untreated RO? Or something else? Are these blonde ales and lagers mostly lighter coloured beers that are only lightly hopped?

I know you say you carb'ed lower than normal for this beer but it still may be too high for your taste if the beer tasted fine at kegging but 1 week later does not. Increased carbonation can change your perception of hop flavor and bitterness so if you're not used to hoppy beers carbonation will only add to the perceived harshness to someone unfamiliar with the style.

What temperature is the keg at? What pressure (PSI) is the CO2 at?

Do you force carb at higher pressure or do you do the 'set and forget' method (just hook up the gas at serving pressure and wait). Reason I ask is that 1 week isn't usually enough to carb beer this way. Usually takes a good 2 weeks.

Can you pour a pint and post a pic?

EDIT: Missed a question: Can you let me know what commercial hop forward beers do you enjoy? Trying to figure out what experience you have with the style (if you have no experience with the style and you're only used to drinking pale / low hopped lagers it may be normal to find a hoppy beer 'harsh')


Kal

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Last edited by kal on Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Swampale



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 22
Location: Cavan, Ont.


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The orange cap goes on the carboy and you can keg closed and under pressure. I realize the recipe isn't exactly the same but I used what I have on hand. The hops were the same but I scaled down to 5.5 gallons. I dry hopped with Chinook because I didn't have any Citra. I do plan on ordering new ingredients to duplicate your recipe. Yes, all or most of my beers were lighter coloured and lightly hopped. I used your blonde ale recipes along with the water adjustment using RO water with great success. I thought I would try the Electric Pale Ale I have been looking at for awhile now. I set the regulator at 30 for 24 hrs. and go from there. Keg is at 37 F, at least that is what my stc 1000 says it is.

2 row - 95.4%
C 40 - 8 ozs.
Special III - .5 oz.
Escarpment Labs Cali yeast
O.G. - 1.048
F.G. - 1.010
SRM - 6
IBU - 37

I know I didn't follow your recipe exactly, and I am not complaining at all. I am just wondering what I did wrong.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10341
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampale wrote:
The orange cap goes on the carboy and you can keg closed and under pressure.

Careful doing that. If this is a glass carboy you should never do anything under pressure, though the orange cap would probably (hopefully pop off before the glass shatters).

Quote:
I dry hopped with Chinook because I didn't have any Citra.

That's a major change. Completely different flavours which could certainly accentuate it to be sharp or harsh. I don't think I'd use it and probably never use it alone in a dry hop, especially in a Pale Ale. In a strong IPA or DIPA with other dry hops, sure.

See Chinook: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/chinook-hops

Quote: "Chinook is a bittering hop known for it's distinct sharp bitterness. Can also be used as a late addition hop for an intense, spicy, dank and resiny aroma/flavour.

As compared to Citra: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/citra-hops

Quote: "Produces fruity, citrus aroma and flavours, with a heavy aroma of tropical fruits (guava, mango, tropical fruit)."

From the recipe too: "A large portion of the hop goodness comes from the Citra dry hops - they're essential (in our humble opinion)."


Quote:
I thought I would try the Electric Pale Ale I have been looking at for awhile now.

I would wait until you have all the ingredients if you want to make the same beer. You changed just about everything and some things quite a lot (malt bill missing vienna for some of the smoothness, you chose a different yeast that accentuates hop character, and the dry hop change to a sharp/harsh hop ). You didn't really brew the same beer at all, which is of course fine, but it doesn't really belong in this thread. It's a different beer. I'm going to split these posts into a separate thread (edit: done!).

Quote:
I know I didn't follow your recipe exactly, and I am not complaining at all. I am just wondering what I did wrong.

My guess is that you're not liking it because you of what I mentioned above and the fact you've never brewed (or drink?) hoppy beers which is exasperating the recipe changes you made.

If you want something smoother, I'd recommend this recipe (without any substitutions): https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/electric-hop-candy-jr-new-england-style-pale-ale
New England style pale ales and IPAs like this showcase the softer side of hops by embracing their juiciest characteristics while downplaying bitterness which you may not enjoy based on your posts above.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:11 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Swampale



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 22
Location: Cavan, Ont.


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies Kal. Since United Canada Malt has closed operations in Peterborough, I have to drive to Bomanville for my ingredients. I already made a list of ingredients from your recipe and plan on brewing it in a week or so. My carboys are plastic ( better bottle ).
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10341
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampale wrote:
Thanks for the replies Kal. Since United Canada Malt has closed operations in Peterborough, I have to drive to Bomanville for my ingredients.

You can order online too: https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Default.asp?Click=3715

Shipping full sacks is even available, but you can always pick up a few sacks of base malt (domestic 2-row, pilsner, and Maris Otter) once a year in person and order everything else online for reasonable shipping prices.

Cheers!

Kal

_________________
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