I made my first ever batch of home brew and made the Northern Brewer Extra Pale Ale extract kit. It’s finished and tried it this week. It turned out great but has a stronger hop character than commercial EPA’s that I’ve had. I was wondering if anyone else who has made this kit had the same result or if there could be something I did that cause the hops to be stronger than expected.
Which commercial beers are you comparing it to?
Because it is very fresh, the hop characters may be a little more pronounced than any commercial offering.
^^ That’s true. The grassy flavors of the hops will meld into the overall flavor as it conditions in the bottles and the bitterness will come through.
You’ll enjoy tasting the way the flavors change over time. Try not to drink them all so you can taste them. It is like a pot of chili, or soup, where they often taste good but taste even better the next day.
When you buy beer off a shelf, it’s probably 5 or 6 months old and has had time to mellow. So it’s a freshness thing. If you like yours more mellow, let it sit for a few months. The hardest thing might be patience! Or just enjoy it all now as best you can, and consider using a little less hops next time you brew.
Thanks guys. I think my batch tastes great, the hoppiness is not a bad thing. Just was a little surprised.
You will be even more surprised in the coming weeks when the flavors change and develop like mentioned. That has been one of the most unsuspected benefits of my beers; that week by week they can be different.
That too was my first batch over a year ago. Now, I’m a huge hop head so it actually wasn’t hoppy enough for me. What I learned is the major way to increase or decrease your hoppyness is the time and amount boiled. Maybe roll back your last hop addition by 15-30mins next time you brew this beer. Take notes, and see how it changes your beer.
In mine, I dry hopped in a secondary to make it closer to the EPAs I know and love (Summit!)
This has quickly become one of my favorite things about home brewing, especially since I really like balanced beers, and time is proving to be the great ingredient equalizer. I like to taste the wort pre-pitch, the beer upon transfer to secondary, pre-primer on bottling day, after 1-week of bottle conditioning, and then take note of how it continues to change as I work my way through a batch.
Of course, it’s hard not to burn through it if it tastes good at the 1 week mark. I meant to save a sixer of my Caribou Slobber (1st batch), but I only managed to save one