Can Dry Hopping Create Off-Flavors?

I recently made a double ipa which I did a double dry hop by adding simcoe, centennial, and columbus at two separate times (1st dry hop in primary and 2nd in secondary). The beer tasted great when I took a gravity sample before adding my dry hops but after I kegged the beer I noticed a strong harsh almost metallic bitterness (this ‘off-flavor’ was also in bottled beers of the double ipa which did not come in contact with the keg). Therefore, I wanted to know if dry hops could add an off-flavor to a beer? I know it is typically only aroma but I cannot think of any other reasons to why this ‘off-flavor’ came about. Also for doing a double dry hop method, I really think the aroma is pretty weak for almost six ounces of hops.

I have a feeling it may be the strong pine notes from the simcoe but it is really a harsh taste which has mellowed slightly. Perhaps I am not a huge fan of simcoe but this flavor is makes the beer undrinkable. Could it be I might just need to condition the beer longer before drinking? I know some double ipa’s take a few months before being ready. If conditioning will help the flavor go away, would it go away quicker in the chest freezer at 40 degrees or in the basement at 60 degrees?


Yes, although mettallic-bitter are not the off flavors that I think of. I have experienced more grassy or woody off-flavors. In any case, they do tend to go away with time as the contributing compounds drop out of suspension. In my experience, dry hopping smooths out more quickly at 60F than at 40F, but part of it is that you don’t want to be stirring up the sediment (yes, even in the keg) and so you might be better served just leaving it on tap. If after 2 weeks, it’s not any better, then it’s probably not from the dry hops.

I think that both carbonation and water chemistry can really accentuate that “metallic” bitterness you’re getting. I get that from quite a few commercial brews (I actually like it in certain beers, but that’s certainly just my taste).

Some hops give this as well, but I associate it more with bittering hops than dry hops (a lot of the commercial beers I get this from are bittered with Nugget, but I’m sure other varieties can also give this flavor). I don’t think it is likely that the dry hops are causing this. The one time I went way overboard on the dry hops, I got a dirty/muddy hop character (mainly from hop debris making it into the bottles from the sheer volume of hop mass). In that case, I lagered the bottles for about 4-6 weeks and the muddiness cleared up nicely.

Based on your description of the off flavor, I doubt it’s from the hops.

I did adjust my water by adding half a teaspoon of gypsum to the mash and boil kettle, perhaps this greater sulfate to chloride ratio created the stronger flavor which I perceive as an off-flavor?

However, I did the same additions to a Rye Ale and the hop flavor is very good. Maybe I am not a fan of the simcoe flavor because the flavor does have a slight pine taste.

Thanks for the advice!

I get the metallic taste from CTZ.

Ok it was the first time I had used large amounts of CTZ and simcoe in a batch so perhaps it is the CTZ flavor.

I added a little calcium chloride to a sample of my double ipa and it greatly reduced the harsh taste of bitterness. Also I found out my water is very low in chloride (10ppm) so my gypsum additions made my beer overly bitter. Therefore, I boiled about a pint of water, added the calcium chloride, cooled the water, then added it to the keg of double ipa. The beer is now drinkable and I am glad I did not dump it which allowed me to experiment.

Just wanted to share if this could help another fellow brewer; cheers!