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I'm 3 days into fermenting my IPA in a Fermentasaurus under pressure (if it makes a difference) and I've just taken a hydrometer reading, all better than expected. The beer looks beautiful and hazy, smells great and tastes mostly delicious already.

However, there's a sharp, bitter afterflavor on it. Is this normal while it's fermenting for another few weeks, does that mellow out after a while?

The reason I'm asking is because I am ready to start dry hopping but I don't want to over-hop this beer if it's going to keep it's sharp hop burn already.

Recipe:

Malts (5.7 kg)

  • 5 kg (74.1%) — Pale Ale — Grain — 6.5 EBC
  • 700 g (10.4%) — Thomas Fawcett Pale Malt, Maris Otter — Grain — 5.9 EBC

Other (1.05 kg)

  • 700 g (10.4%) — Flaked Oats — Adjunct — 4.3 EBC
  • 350 g (5.2%) — Brown Sugar, Light — Sugar — 15.8 EBC

Hops (335 g)

  • 15 g (25 IBU) — Columbus 15% — Boil — 75 min
  • 60 g (25 IBU) — Citra 11% — Boil — 10 min
  • 20 g (12 IBU) — Columbus 15% — Boil — 10 min
  • 60 g — Citra 11% — Boil — 0 min
  • 40 g — Centennial 10% — Boil — 0 min
  • 20 g — Columbus 15% — Boil — 0 min
  • 60 g — Citra 11% — Dry Hop — 3 days
  • 40 g — Centennial 10% — Dry Hop — 3 days
  • 20 g — Columbus 15% — Dry Hop — 3 days

Yeast

  • 2 pkg — White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale
  • 1
    So is it a sharp bitter flavor? Maybe you could help us by showing us the recipe??? Typically dry hopping won't add any bitterness to your beer so you are probably safe to go ahead there. I think it is pretty difficult to "over hop" using post boil additions. Anyway the more information you can give us the better we can help. Also I've had some "overly bitter" IPAs that after a couple of weeks turned out to be really good. "Conditioning" happens and can allow a beer to kind-of find its happy place. – K4 Nerd Apr 27 at 22:22
  • Added the recipe! – Jacob Apr 28 at 6:28
  • A sharp bitter flavor yes. Good to hear dry hopping should not add bitterness. From the recipe also note I made a mistake and the 0 min hop additions were only in there for about a minute, I took them out while cooling the wort. OG was at 1.060 and it's down to 1.005 now and the gravity is leveling out. Krausen is mostly gone so I think fermentation is not very active any more now. – Jacob Apr 28 at 6:32
  • How much sulfate (gypsum, epsom) did you add? How hard is your water? – dmtaylor Apr 28 at 11:53
  • I actually know nothing about my water composition. The water in Denmark is really nice, that's all I know! 😉 – Jacob Apr 28 at 13:34
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If it's still fermenting, you're likely just experiencing the hops still in suspension. After fermentation is complete, a LOT of this material and the associated bitterness will drop out of suspension. In other words, it is very normal for a beer, of ANY style, to taste very bitter after just 3 days of fermentation, then to have it all mellow out after the fermentation is complete, and especially later after a couple weeks of conditioning in the bottle or keg.

Personally I don't think you'll need to add any more hops, as the existing hop charges are pretty high already. I might suggest splitting the batch if possible, adding more dry hops to part of the batch but not the other, then after the beer is finished and carbonated, see if you can taste the difference. I'm not sure I could.

| improve this answer | |
  • Cool! A friend of mine suggested that a sharp bitter could also be yeast that is still floating around. This aligns well will the amount of sediment I found in the glass during sampling and combined with hops floating around this could definitely be the cause. I don't have a second fermenter so I can't do fun experiments at the moment, maybe next time! 👍 – Jacob Apr 28 at 13:37
  • I don't get bitterness from yeast in suspension, but I do get tartness from yeast. – dmtaylor Apr 28 at 22:38

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