From the HBD Archive
From: abvax!!bwc@cwjcc.INS.CWRU.Edu (Barry Cunningham)
Subject: RE: Pellets compared to Leaf Hops
Date: 1990-04-04 12:46:59 GMT

In HB Digest #391 David Ingalls writes:

> I brewed up a batch of pale ale a few weeks back.
> 1 oz. Northern Brewer hops for first 30 minutes of boil
> 1 oz. Cascade hops for second 30 minutes of boil
> 1 oz. Cascade hops for final 30 minutes of boil
> It's now been in the bottle for a week and I've tasted it. The resulting
> beer is very bitter. It isn't so bitter that it's undrinkable but you
> probably wouldn't want it to be any more bitter.

Depending of course on the alpha acid contents of the hops you used, I would
expect this beer to be quite bitter when it is young. The 1 1/2 hour boil
will get more bitterness out of the hops. Cutting back the boil to one hour
or just using a little bit less hops will reduce the bitterness.

Your brewing technique, which you did not specify, may also significantly
affect bitterness. In particular, forced cooling to get a good cold break
and racking the wort off the trub (particularly if you have a lot of goop
from pelletized hops) before fermentation gets going should reduce the
bitterness from the trub considerably. However, you should pay careful
attention to the temperature when doing this to avoid infections (see Dave
Miller's book The Complete Book of Homebrewing).

The good news is that it should mellow considerably with age. I think you
will find it much improved after 3 months in the bottle, if you can hold out
that long. At least try to set a six pack aside.

-- Barry Cunningham

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