Why is my beer too bitter.?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Dirty Horse, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Dirty Horse

    Dirty Horse New Member

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    I recently made a 6% ipa and only used 6g magnum(13%) for 60 mins then added more hops (30g) with 10 mins to go then more in whirlpool under 70 degrees, plus 30g in dry hop for 5 days.

    The beer has come out exceptionally bitter at first taste but quickly calms down and actually tastes great when the initial bitterness has gone.

    6g of magnum shouldn't cause this much bitterness in a 21l batch.

    When mashing I realised I hadn't sorted my water additions, so in a rush I chucked in some unmeasured gypsum and calcium chloride and I suspect this is what has caused the bitterness.

    I suspect it's this and not over hopping as it's not a lingering bitter aftertaste (I have made these before!) it's a very astringent almost metallic flavour, that you do get used to, but is ruining an otherwise fine beer.

    Does anyone know what will have caused this or if it's likely to fade?
     
  2. Johnwk

    Johnwk Member

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    #2 Johnwk, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    I have read that adding too much gypsum can give the beer a sharp, almost mineral bitterness. I think that adding more than about 15 grams will be noticeable.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's the salts. I often find that hoppy beers do what you describe. The first sips are tongue rippers then they settle down. Too much gypsum gets harsh to me. And it doesn't get better.
     
  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    If your water is hard ( total hardness of +75ppm) your bitterness will become astringent. When you brew hoppy beers and you want a bitterness that is smooth, it's important to reduce the hardness of the water (mostly bicarbonates). Adding mineral salts probably didn't help much either, but it's not the end of the world.

    If you get your water tested for mineral content and you find it is hard, you can blend it with RO water and use a water calculator to get you calcium/sulfate/chloride levels right.
     
  5. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    fwiw, it wasn't the calcium chloride. That will actually reduce / balance out some of the bitter...
     
  6. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Astringency is different to bitterness , sparge temp and mash temp pH have a small impact or it could be an infection
     
  7. woods

    woods New Member

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    What was your sparge water temp 168\170? If it goes over 175 your going to pull tanins taste from over temp also if you squeezed your grains it will produce the same effect. If you don't know this taste place a tea bag that is wet\used and squeeze it against the roof of your mouth you will get a overdose of tanins. you will remember this taste. Trying to stir off over temp with a spoon can cause this if you have allready started to sparge.
     
  8. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

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    YMMV, but I've never had squeezing produce astringency. Additionally, a few people have done some (admittedly small) studies and people couldn't differentiate between beers where the grain bag was squeezed or not. I squeeze the hell out of mine to get all that sugary goodness out! High sparge temps will do it though.
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Second the bag squeeze thing cant detect any astringent flavours from a well squeezed bag.
     
  10. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    It’s doubtful that astringency like what was describe by Dirty House is grain derived. The astringency from grain is more subtle, the source is most likely hop derived. I have tasted beers that were harshly bitter, most likely source was very hard water. It’s very simple to correct in the next brew and I’m willing to bet the bitterness will Improve.

    The second strike against the grain theory is decoction mash. The grain is boil during a decoction and doesn’t produce any astringency providing the pH was maintained. pH makes a bigger impact than temperature.
     
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  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Also another twist in the astringency department it seems the average human pallet find it rather hard to detect this comming from the last flavour exbeeriment from brulosophy where the spiked beers with astringent flavour the majority of tasters couldnt detect it....
     
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