Ideas on reducing a lingering bitter aftertaste?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by sbaclimber, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    I would consider myself a hop-head and I like bitter beers. So, when I decided to start brewing hoppy IPAs, I was pretty excited to discover that the tap water around here should give me properly bitter beers with little or no treatment:


    The good news is, after brewing a number of (attempts at) IPAs, I can verify that the brews have turned out with a good level of bitterness for the calculated IBUs.
    The not-quite-so-good news is, even though I like a bitter beer, I don't really like a strong long-lasting bitter aftertaste that leaves me with a chalky taste in my mouth a half hour after finishing a beer. ....and exactly that is what I have been getting with any of my brews that have had more than 50 IBUs. Under 50 (40-50ish, I haven't done anything under 40 yet), there is still a long bitter aftertaste, but it is at an acceptable level.

    What I would really like to do, is brew higher IBU IPAs (70-100+) without the killer chalky aftertaste. I have even bought some calcium chloride, and am going to try adding 2-3 grams:


    Does anyone think this will help, or am I just wasting my time with the idea?
    Does anyone have any other ideas for reducing a lingering bitter aftertaste, but not much of the actual overall bitterness of a beer?
     

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  2. Altbier bitte

    Altbier bitte New Member

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    I guess I'd have to taste the beer, but it sounds like you're talking about more than the bitter finish you would normally get from a hoppy beer. Otherwise, yeah, you can play with water chemistry, but the finish pretty much goes with the bitter. Personally, I like a finish that sticks until I brush my teeth, but that's just me. It doesn't normally taste chalky though.
    I think the first thing I would do is replace some of the tap water with distilled water. I wouldn't play with the chloride, if it were me. Have you been checking your mash/boil ph?
    It sounds like you might just need to cut your late hop additions back some - the lingering finish is part of the deal. One thing you might look at is the bittering hop variety. Some people say that hops with high cohumulone levels (say over 30%) make harsher bittering hops. What variety have you been using?
     
  3. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, I'll have to be honest and say I have never really bothered checking my mash/boil pH too exactly. I did some rough tests (pH strips) during a couple of brews, and the values seemed *about* right, so I haven't thought much more about it.
    I played around with the distilled water idea in the H2O Chem. Cal., but it kept telling me, that I would have to replace 97% of the water with distilled in order to get rid of the "highly bitter" rating... :shock:
    Which is why Calcium Chloride seemed like the next best option.
    As far as late hop additions... I only add 15g (~1/2 oz) at 15-20mins of something between 4% and 9% AA (Smaragd, Perle, Tettnanger, Saphir), and another 10g for a 2 week dry hop.

    The tip about the Co-Humulone is quite interesting though! I have been using Magnum and Nugget. Neither is over 30%, but both are borderline. I'll have to see if I can my hands on some Merkur. Sounds good, and has less Co-Humulone:
     

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