Will be modifying a recipe and while I know the alpha % of the bittering hops and this being the first time I'm altering a recipe I'm wondering during the boiling process have I added enough bittering hops or do I need more.

Can I assume that 30 minutes into a 60 minute boil the wort should be twice as bitter at the end of the boil?

Lets say I haven't added enough bittering hops, what can I do? What if I've added to much?

I"m trying to find out if I can use any guidelines while the boil is going on.

The recipe is the northern brewer dead ringer (all-grain) with cascade hops (10% alpha).

1 Answer 1


Bitterness is not linear throughout the boil, so you cannot assume that it will be twice as bitter after 60 minutes vs. 30 minutes. I'm also not sure that you're going to get a great sense of the bitterness in the partially-boiled wort vs. the finished beer, but I don't have a really compelling argument as to why not.

But I'm not understanding something about your question. If you have a recipe that adds A amount of B AA% hops at time C to achieve a computed IBU value D … why not use those parameters to figure out what you need to do for your modified recipe? If you want more IBUs, then adjust. If you're using different hops with a different AA%, then adjust.

At least from what I've seen from other brewers, this is something you adjust brew-to-brew, not within a brew itself.

  • 2
    The perception of bitterness will be affected by the sweetness of the wort. It will taste considerably less bitter than the finished beer. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 0:58
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    I respectfully disagree with that statement Tobias. Theoretically you should be correct, but almost every wort sample I've tasted was like bitter orange marmalade. I think wort can have hop particles in suspension, which is why it can taste so bitter.
    – GHP
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 13:31
  • I'm just trying to see what options I have during the boil, which doesn't seem like much. I have the recipe in beersmith and adjusted it for the new hops, this is just the first time I've done this and I'm also just curious. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 15:20
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    I don't think it's so much hop particles in suspension as that as the beer ferments, interaction between the yeast and hops "tames" the bitterness.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 18:34

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