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Bitter beer

MRMARTINSALES

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Hi,

I have recently brewed a beer and it has turned out to be quite bitter even though I kept the ibu low and added hops late on for aroma. Does the ferocity of the boil have an effect and will the speed of wort cooling effect it? I just can't work it out as it should be low bitterness and high aroma.

Thanks
 

jomebrew

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A recipe would help.  A more vigorous boil doesn't affect the isomerization of hop bittering not does the speed of cooling.  Generally speaking after 60 minutes, the bulk of the isomerization will have happened.

IBU to GU ratio is something to watch for.  This is a good article http://beersmith.com/blog/2009/09/26/balancing-your-beer-with-the-bitterness-ratio/ . 

Also, make sure the alpha acids on the hops you  use match those in the recipe to ensure the estimates are correct.

When you have exhausted all avenues, keep lowering the bitterness until you like it.  Then use that as your own IBU model.
 

MRMARTINSALES

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hi,

this is the recipe (attached), any help as to why it is coming out bitter would be appreciated as surely it should be more sweet than bitter?
 

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Oddball

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Did you hit your OG and FG? If there are less sugars to begin with or it overattenuated, that could affect the sweetness of the final product. Also, as has been stated, were the alpha acids of what you added the same as what the recipe called for?
 

MRMARTINSALES

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thanks for the reply. the alpha acids are correct yes and the gravities were there or there abouts. to you professionals. does the recipe look ok generally?
 

Oginme

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Your calculated bitterness is somewhere around 25 IBU for a gravity of around 1.041.  This would put your BU:GU ratio around 0.61 which should not be a terribly bitter beer.

That being said, if your FG is pretty low this would accentuate the bitterness.  Likewise, if your water is high in sulfates, the beer will finish with sharp and dry, again accentuating the bitterness. 

How fast you cool the wort is also a big factor.  If you are cooling fast, your perceived bitterness will be lower because the isomerization of the hop oils is halted upon cooling below around 170F or so.  Dry hopping can add to increased perception of bitterness, but I don't see a great amount of hops going in which would tip the balance.

The last thing that might be occurring is the extraction of tannins from the grains.  What was your mash out temperature and mash pH reading when you separated the wort from the grains?  Tannins can leave a mouth drying, almost puckering sensation at the finish when present

So that leaves potentially miss weighing some of the early hops (it is possible), taking a very long time to chill the wort (if this is part of your process), or one of the packages of hops was grossly miss marked (pretty unlikely).  Maybe someone will come up with something that I missed if these fall far from the mark.
 

BOB357

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MRMARTINSALES said:
Hi,

I have recently brewed a beer and it has turned out to be quite bitter even though I kept the ibu low and added hops late on for aroma. Does the ferocity of the boil have an effect and will the speed of wort cooling effect it? I just can't work it out as it should be low bitterness and high aroma.

Thanks

When you say, "quite bitter", what are you comparing it to? If you're used to drinking Coors Light or Milk Stouts this would be quite bitter in my opinion.  Another question, Are the AA%s default in Beersmith or have you adjusted them to reflect the actual values of the hops you used?
 
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