Ideas on reducing a lingering bitter aftertaste?

sbaclimber

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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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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?
 
Altbier bitte said:
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?
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:
Pedigree: Cross between Hallertauer Magnum and 81/8/13
Brewing Usage: Bittering
Aroma: Strong with earthy, floral and spicy tones
Alpha Acids: 12.0 — 15.0%
Beta Acids: 3.5 — 7.0%
Co-Humulone: 16 — 20% of alpha acids
Total Oil: 2.2 — 2.8 mls/100g
General Trade Perception: High alpha variety with high bitter value, good aroma, strong storage stability and low co-humulone
Possible Substitutions: German Magnum, German Taurus, German Tradition
Typical Beer Styles: German and American Lagers
Additional Information: Strong resistance to powdery mildew
 
I'm still dialing in some of the hoppier beers,, but it sounds like you need to ignore the IBU number and do less bittering and more flavor hops. I went too conservative on my last Pale Ale, but I wasn't far off. Have you played with a NEIPA with the low IBU, late addition hops? That sounds like what you want.
 
I have hard well water, they say just to add distilled water to adjust but I just add salt to my strike water and it softens the taste of an ipa, you can also mash at a higher temp to compensate
 
High pH in the finish beer can lead to excessive bitterness. If you have a high alkaline water the pH can get too high in the beer. pH needs to be checked in the mash and in the boil. The pitch pH should be 5.1-5.2 in hoppy beers. The finish pH in the beer should land around 4.3-4.4.

Try brewing the same beer with RO or distilled water and see if the bitterness drops.

Another test is to pour your beer and add a drop of lactic acid in it and taste it, add another drop and taste again. The bitterness will drop as the acid is added if you have a pH problem. Eventually, you will start tasting the acid, so you can take it too far.
 
Nothing in your water screams "chalky" to me. But your calculated mash pH is high. What percentage of your grist is crystal malts or dark roasted grains? If you are brewing a very pale color beer, odds are that your mash pH is too high. This can be cured by adding just 5% more crystal malts which could include Carapils or Crystal 20 if you want to still keep the color light and not too caramelly. Or if color isn't a problem, add a few percent roasted barley or chocolate malt, since all of these malts are acidic and will help bring the pH down. Otherwise I don't see any problems with your water, and I really don't think adding calcium chloride is going to do very much for you. Regarding adjusting "the ratio" of sulfate to chloride, that's a bunch of crap IMO, because what really matters is the total amounts of each, not the ratio... and your amounts either way will be very reasonable and not a problem.
 

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