IPA tastes of lager

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #315998, May 27, 2020.

Tags:
  1. Noshybabs

    Noshybabs New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello everyone,

    All of my IPA's have a very lager like taste and it really detracts from the hop flavours I am aiming for. I have tried stripping back my recipies to just:

    Maris Otter
    Single hop (bitter/mid/finish)
    Safale US-05 or M44 US WEST COAST YEAST

    and its the same. Hoppy lager, I love IPA, i am not crazy about lager. Hoppy or otherwise.

    I don't understand enough about the process to fix this. Can someone with a better brain than me please help?
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    What do you mean by lager? An IPA should be pretty clean like a lager. By that I mean the yeast character is low, a good lager has almost no yeast character except a very slight sulfur note. IPA's should be fairly clean and have a fruity/citrus character from the hops backed up by a fairly big malt component and still finish dry, no sulfur.

    So what's missing? Fruitiness? Citrus? Malt? Maybe you need to tweek your recipe. Can you post it?
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,400
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    This is a pure WAG: You're getting oxygen into the fermented beer somewhere and it's killing the hop flavor. That somewhere could be during a transfer to secondary, packaging, or just in general sloshing the finished beer around. And it's exactly why I have shied away from brewing Pale Ales and IPAs until my process reached the point I could control most of the opportunities for air to get to the fermented beer.
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,442
    Likes Received:
    9,512
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Change the yeast up to S05 I know this can throw some peach flavours.
    Ferment a little warmer to encourage more esters from the yeast maybe push it up around 19c-20c. Change the grain bill up a bit add a percentage of wheat/oats add some victory biscuit malts.
    A recipie would be good to see.
     
  5. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Canada
    What do you mean by hoppy? I like both east and west coast but tend to lean more towards the sharply bitter west coast IPA's rather than the more fruity east coasts versions. Is it possible you are not using enough hops at each stage? Or perhaps the AA's on the hops is not high enough for what your looking for. How about a dry hop addition?

    If your water does not have any SO4 in it because your using RO water you may not get the bitterness you want. I'm still fine tuning my recipes and trying to find my perfect brew but I try to remember: sharply bitter means high sulpher (SO4) and low Chlorides (Cl) and a large 60 minute hop addition along with the other additions. Fruity IPA's (what I call a NEIPA) the opposite, High Cl, low SO4 with no 60 minute addition and a large late addition and whirlpool/hop stand.
     
    Brewer #315998 likes this.
  6. Noshybabs

    Noshybabs New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    OK some great feedback. It tastes like cheap lager. Something Carlsberg or Fosters, The WAG comment is interesting. I dont know what WAG is but i have read somewhere that some popular brands are oxidised and perhaps this is whats happening.

    Also do the lagers i mentioned taste of sulphur? maybe thats why all my beers have it. its always the same water?

    My most recent recipie is as follows:

    2KG Marris otter

    1.5g Citra @ 60mins
    1.5g Simce @ 60mins
    1.5g Citra @ 40mins
    1.5g Simce @ 40mins
    3g Citra @ 15mins
    3g Simce @ 15mins

    That made 9 Litres with start @ 1.052.

    M44 yeast

    After a week bottled it @ 1.013

    The only time this was exposed to air after fermentation is when it eas being bottled.
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Sort of confusing...Lager beers famously don't have much of a particular flavor owing to the yeast contributing less esters to the flavor profile. US-05 can be pretty clean, but I've never made a beer with it that I would remotely classify as a Lager flavor.
    Add crystal malts (C-40 and Victory do a very nice job) to the recipe to make for a stronger "malt backbone" and more complex flavors. Ferment no lower than 68F to produce the best ester profile from the yeast. Don't use any noble hops and stick with plenty of distinctive classic American hops (Centennial, for instance). Use Gypsum to push the bitterness/hoppiness forward.
    Based on your most previous post, I think you just have a lighter beer than you want. Go big...shoot for 1.065 OG and add a reasonable percentage of Crystal/toasted/roasted malts to boost the flavor. Keep the IBUs in line with the OG - 65 or so in this case - and try some Centennial in the mix for classic NW IPA flavor.
     
    Trialben likes this.
  8. Noshybabs

    Noshybabs New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    #8 Noshybabs, May 28, 2020
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    Its doesn't have a lack of flavour, it tastes very strongly of something like Carlsberg or Fosters . The Hops are there but they end up playing second fiddle to this lager flavour.

    This is a consistent flavour over all the malts/hops i have tried.


    If i was drinking it too young, what would that taste like?
     
  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    #9 HighVoltageMan!, May 28, 2020
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    With those hops, the beer should be an "in your face" IPA, but the majority of your hops are boiled too long. Also, the gravity is too low for an IPA, JA is right it should be 1.065 to 1.075, but boiling those hops that long should make it an unbalanced beer. Way too bitter for the amount of malt character, kind of an overly bittered, watered down IPA. Hoppy doesn't mean tongue splitting bitterness.

    So without tasting it, we're all kind of guessing what's causing the beer to be so bland. I'm not convinced it's an oxidation problem, that makes the beer sweet and the beer tastes old and flabby, like a IPA from the liquor store that sat a room temperature for 3 months, yuck. Your hops may be old or of poor quality, I have had some hops that just plain suck, not very much aroma and low in flavor. But looking at your recipe, it appears to me that the hops are added to the boil too early, all those hops should be late additions, 5 to 0 minutes.

    I would suggest to boast the hop flavor and aroma to bitter with Magnum to 30-40 IBU's and save all the Citra and Simcoe for the flame out or even better, a 20 minute whirlpool at 175F. Then dry hop with 1.5 ounces of either hop (or both). Simcoe and Citra hops are too nice to be used as a bittering hop, boiling hops will reduce the hop flavor/aroma. The flame out or whirlpool addition will bring the bitterness up to 55-70 IBU's.

    Personally, I rarely add any hops to the boil when I make an IPA or Pale Ale, I add them to at 175F for 20 minutes and they turn out awesome.

    Sulphur in beer is very subtle, blends into the background, adds to the complexity of the malt and makes the beer crisp on the finish. A lot of people miss it and it's very common in German lagers.

    Don't fret water at this point, you got work on flavor and aroma. Water modifications affect more the bitterness character than the hop flavor. Higher sulfates sharpen bitterness and have a small affect on drying the beer out. I have brewed some great IPA's/PA's with a chloride to sulfate ratio of 1:1. Case and point are NEIPA's that have a higher chloride content to soften the bitterness. The last point would be to use soft water for brewing to keep the bitterness smooth. A high finish pH will make the bitterness sharp and harsh.

    Sorry, this is a little like drinking from a fire hose, but it will get better the more you brew these styles. Practice make perfect.
     
    ^Tony^ likes this.
  10. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Canada
    Based on the recipe you posted you may need more hops. I can easily put twice that much hops in and not call it too bitter. I have a nice little session IPA I have been working on perfecting: 6.5 gallons (24 Ltr) that uses 6 oz (168 g) of hop pellets or about 7 g per litre. Your recipe is about 1.3 g per litre. If I were you I would double or even triple the amount your using for your IPA...but hops taste is definitely a personal thing.

    You may want to test your water. Your tap water may be out of balance for an IPA style. If you can't test it you could buy some reverse osmosis (RO) water at the store. RO water should have almost zero minerals so you will need to add brew salts to adapt it. Try using spring water. I have never used spring water but lots of folks say it should have a balanced profile with enough minerals in it to be generally acceptable to use for any style. Are you using campden tabs to clear the chlorine out before you brew?

    If the flavor you are getting is happening for all your brews no matter the style you should consider what ALL of them have in common. IMHO: Usually the water, your cleaning methods, or your brewing technique. Bleach or iodine based cleaner or even OxiClean can leave a little residue so if you are using some while your bottling/brewing and the rinse is not clean enough then it could effect flavor.

    When I first started brewing I used extracts. The combination of my tap water and the extracts (no matter the beer style) gave everything a sharp overly sweet flavor. Once I switched to brew salted RO water that problem disappeared.
     
    Brewer #315998 likes this.
  11. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Canada
    If i was drinking it too young, what would that taste like?[/QUOTE]
    I missed the "too young part". I have cracked a fresh IPA brew after a week in bottle conditioning. It is flat but still tastes like an IPA should. Heck, even at bottle time it still tastes hoppy like an IPA should taste. I don't think that's it.
     
  12. Noshybabs

    Noshybabs New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I haven't tried campden tablets but you would think the chlorine would boil off? Ill get some & give it a shot.

    I read about people spending a lot of money on water test kits and find myself wondering about aquarium test kits? Admittedly I haven't looked at what's being measured in too much detail.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,400
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I think you're looking in the wrong place with water. There's something else going on. I still think oxidation but it could be other factors. Water is so low on the listing of primary factors I'd troubleshoot other things first.
     
    Noshybabs and HighVoltageMan! like this.
  14. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Canada
    No doubt some chlorine would boil off but if your getting wonky flavors then probably not enough. I heard you can also leave a bunch of water around uncovered for a day or so for the chlorine to "evaporate" out but I think that is way to much guessing and "might have" and messing around for me.

    Depending on where you live and what you want, they are expensive or cheap. I bought one because my local water profile published by the city varied so much and had soooo much information it was hard to parse. I couldn't find and aquarium tester which tested for all the ions so abandon that pretty fast. I ended up ordering one from LaMotte Brew Labs via Amazon from a distributor here in Canada. It was about $120 Canadian I think. You can also send a sample of your water in for testing for a small fee. I did not because I had a feeling my water changed according to season even before I started this adventure and didn't want to be stuck sending in a sample every month or so.

    Best $120 I spent (until I bought a stainless steel fermenter!!) It changed my water use practices and absolutely changed my beers in a good way. I've used the kit 4 times since I bought it last year. Once to determine my tap water sucks and once again a few months later to confirm it (the concentration of ions changes according to seasonal weather like spring melt or lots of summer rain, etc. and I don't have the ability to filter my own water like i would need). Then I used the kit 2 more times to confirm my RO water supplier was actually providing RO water - they are. I still think it was a great investment..for me anyway.

    If $120 is too much for a new one, see if you can find a used one off an online market place. Or borrow one. I never did it myself but apparently you can call some city water utility companies and request an updated report but if you use well water your SOL. I found my municipal water reports on line easily enough but, as I said, there was WAY too much information for me to sort through and I am not a chemist so it was tedious to research it and the effects it had on my brewing.

    And last but not least, the micro breweries in my region are fabulous and often share information like water reports if they have it. But once again, that info is for their water table and equipment and not mine so I did not ask in this case. If you live near a brewery it might be worth a call.
     
  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,442
    Likes Received:
    9,512
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    As @HighVoltageMan! Pointed at it just looks like you bittered all them wonderfull flavour hops by adding them early in the boil and then when it came to the back end of the boil you didn't add enough flavour aroma hops.

    My advice brew again exactly as is but push all of them boil hops to the end of the boil or whirlpool. Use maybe 10-15g of magnum for your 60min addition. Then dry hop a few days after yeast pitch with another heafty hop load and it will be that far from lager you won't believe it's the same recipie:).

    Oh and ferment your yeast at the upper end of the temp limit
     
    Hawkbox and HighVoltageMan! like this.
  16. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Canada
    :D I seem to post then see your post right after. I agree with you in that it is very likely more than one problem happening at once.
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,746
    Likes Received:
    2,980
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Chloramine will not boil off and it's pretty common. I'm interpreting the "fosters" flavour to mean horse piss, so a campden tablet would be a really easy first step.
     
    Trialben, ^Tony^ and Noshybabs like this.
  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,746
    Likes Received:
    2,980
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Yeah magnum or CTZ would make for a good bittering charge, then just toss the rest of it in with like 5 minutes left and call it a day if you brew like me. ;)
     
    Trialben likes this.
  19. Noshybabs

    Noshybabs New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thanks for all the help everyone. Brew day is Saturday so I'm going to nip to my local brew shop and get some Camden tablets, and a few other bits and bobs.

    One last question. I have tried to dry hop but I found it's a great way to introduce unwanted oxygen into your beer. It seems to me that the smaller the batch of beer the easier it is to oxidize (less volume, more surface area etc)

    How would you dry hop 4 litres of beer in a demijohn?
     
  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,442
    Likes Received:
    9,512
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Mitigation is dry hop at or just after high krausen.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white