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I made a coopers classic IPA beer kit with a hop tea (about 5min boil), tin of light malt extract and 500g of light spray malt. I forgot to add water to the airlock in the first 4 days of fermentation (hoping that was ok though, it was inside and the kit yeast looked pretty happy after hydrating it). Fermentation was kept stable at about 19 degrees Celsius.

Anyway, I just tasted the beer going into the keg and it tasted surprisingly bitter, couldn't taste much else. Wondering if the best shot at mellowing it out would be to let it rest at room temperature, or if it's better to let it mature while chilled and carbonated?

  • Update: After two weeks in the keg it mellowed out a lot, and after another 2-3 in the fridge (about 5 weeks total) it turned out really quite good. It was a fairly bitter IPA (perhaps I overdid the hops), but still in the style and enjoyable to drink. – Tim May 7 '16 at 5:44
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Dry airlock - You may be ok, it's not an ideal scenerio, but the dry air lock alone may have been enough to protect the beer for a couple days. Cross fingers.

Super bitter - check your recipe, double check hop addition times and amounts, type (pellet, whole). If the recipe doesn't call for aging, some over hopping may have happened. Time will most definitely mellow hop aroma, flavors, bitters... Unfortunately in that order too.

Alpha Acids - something often overlooked by homebrewers. No two hop harvests are the same. On your hop packaging there is an AA value, adjust your recipie accordingly to your ingredients, not the default AA. Most programs or recipe apps make this easy by updating the hop characters. Also AA fade with age, calculate that too.

Warm or cold - Room temp seems to accelerate the melding effects of aging. While slower, an IPA may be easier to catch at that right stage of enjoyment if it's cold. Buddy of mine had a brew he nicknamed hop oil, to him it was undrinkable over bitter etc. After 2 months cold conditioning it was an excellent example of a West coast ipa and won a gold.

  • Thanks for the comprehensive advice! I'll try chilling it for a month and see if it's improved – Tim Jan 6 '16 at 20:47
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Did you use pellets instead of leaves? If so, you need to adjust the amount downwards. My experience is that there is not a one to one relation between pellets and leaves.

Erlo

  • Yes it was pellets, and I didn't use scales. Perhaps I did overdo the hops, I guess time will tell. – Tim Jan 6 '16 at 20:44

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