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Too much hops



I made a three-gallon batch of American Pilsner, and used 4.25 lbs of grain with 2 oz of cascade hops for 60 min boil and 1 oz amarillo for 5 min.  The hoppiness is overwhelming, almost nauseating (and I like hops-flavor, too).  The smell is the same way.  BeerSmith said it would have a very low bitterness level (lower than the style-standard)  Any suggestions?

Also, it fermented for one week in a primary fermenter and one week in secondary at around 55-57 degrees, but alcohol level seems low; I didn't do any gravity readings, but one pint feels equivalent to a 12 oz can of Bud Light.


4.25 lb of grain seam rather low for a three gallon batch.  That would explain the low alcohol content.  Having taken gravities would have helped to ensure that you had enough extracted sugars.  As for the hoppy bitterness, 2 oz Cascade seems high, unless you want an Arrogant Bastard style hoppyness.  I don't use 3 oz hops in my 5 gal batches, i normally use at most 1.5 for a good balance of the hop and sweet, with a good alcohol content (usually around 6%).

Try 6-7 lbs grain and reduce the hop bill to no more than 2 oz (1 - 1.25 cascade for 60 and .5 amarillo for 5.)  Give that a try and see what happens.


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Grandmaster Brewer
Aug 25, 2008
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Ditto.  My typical batch size was 3.8 gallons and many styles are do-able with 1 oz or less.  My hoppiest APA used 3 oz and most of that was under five and at flameout, so no bittering.  Only 1 oz bittering > 60 minutes.

And my grist is usually 7.5 to 8.0 pounds, which yields from 1.050 to 1.060, usually. 

I've not done a pilsner, but if you have a style in mind, let me know and I'll post the closest thing I've got in its entirety if that would help. 


Grandmaster Brewer
Mar 14, 2008
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IBU will not dictate how bitter the beer will be. For you to get a feel of how bitter a beer will be you need to look at the Bitterness Ratio (BR). Bitterness Ratio take into account the Specific Gravity (SG) of the beer and the IBU and comes up with the bitterness ratio. I have a IPA that has an IBU of 69 and a BR of 340 and a oatmeal stout that has 18 IBU and a BR of 315. The IPA is not overly hoppy and the Stout is not overly malty. The reason is the IPA has enough malts to balance out the IBU.

Beersmith will help you with the prediction of the beer's character and allow you to adjust to fit your tastes.

What to do with this beer? Don't pitch it... You can make "Black and tan's" with it if you make a milk stout or oatmeal stout. That should ballance it out. Sounds Tasty, right?