I have brewed this recipe multiple times and has always turned out great, well balanced with bitterness, flavor and aroma. This time it is showing low IBU's even though I used same hop schedule and amounts. IBU calculation shows 72 but tastes like a beer with 35 IBU's. Centennial for bittering 60 min (1.6 oz.), Amarillo and Citra (.25 oz each at 20 and 5 minutes), then Cascade (2 oz.), Citra (.5 oz.), Amarillo (.5 oz.) and Centennial (.4 oz) at whirlpool

Total 6 oz hops to 5.5 gallon batch 1.062 OG finished at 1.012

What can I do to increase hop presence before serving this Friday evening? Any suggestions appreciated!!

2 Answers 2


IBU perception can vary a lot but what you're estimating is about half the IBU making this IPA more like a Pale Ale.

If everything was "the same" for this brew. I'd say you had old hops.

When repeating recipes it's important to record Alpha Acid % of your hops, so they can be adjusted in future batches.

Also the age of the hops has a big effect too. There are hop calculators to help compensate for the effective AA fall off from age.

You can actually back bitter at the cost of some dilution. Boil a couple cups of water with your desired hops in a bag. 45 minutes will give max bitter, any longer isn't needed.

Side note: I've made hop soda this way in a coffee maker, 2oz hops for 12 cups. Then added this to 4gal of water and 1 cup sugar to corney keg and carbonated. This method seems to bitter about as much as a 15minute addition will, but that's just an estimate.

  • excellent suggestion to backbitter by boiling hops in water!
    – ritterasdf
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 14:25

Your finishing gravity always that high? Seems a bit high given the OG and the residual sugars could affect perceived bitterness.

If the beer is finished, there is no way to add real bitterness. You could dry-hop with a couple OZ of Citra & Amarillo but it will only add aroma.

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