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IPAs have a short life

I bottle a Dead Ringer on 1/30/2017. I refrigerated all the remaining bottles a few weeks ago when I noticed the hop flavor and aroma was diminishing. I started drinking these a little faster. Came back from a couple of weeks in Georgia day before yesterday. Had a bottle. It was bad. Had another and it was just as bad. Started thinking I should just grimace and bear it to finish the last six.

Decided this morning to dump the remaining six. Even though I took the time to brew the beer my tongue could no longer tolerate the taste.

How were they bad. Mine will lose some hop punch but they usually still are a good pale ale. I’ll generally bottle these for when I just want a cold one. Was there an underlying problem that was being covered up?

The clean hop flavor that I enjoy was gone. There could possibly some oxidation issues with the two bottles I had. Maybe I should try one more today before dumping.

Maybe there is some truth in the dry hops adding oxidation. That’s kind of why I stopped adding whole cones

There are a couple of commercial craft Pale Ales / IPAs that I don’t enjoy when they start to get close to their “best by” date. (For example if the “best by” date is 5/15/17, I won’t buy it after 4/14/17). So, for me, one part of this is that “modern ‘IPAs’” don’t age well.

@flars, Did you brew the Dead Ringer extract/grains kit “as is”? or did you adjust the timings on the LME & hop additions?

That may be the problem. I’m going to investigate the consequences of dry hopping before FG is reached.

I’ve implemented a number of control measures in my brewing process to reduce or eliminate oxygen contact in my brewing. This included hot-side and cold-side improvements. The hot-side improvements are difficult for most brewers to impliment, but cold-side improvements are critical for producing beers with long life.

Pretty much every operation after the beer is fermented, has to be without ANY oxygen or air contact. That means that all transfers have to be made with completely CO2 purged vessels and no open contact with any air. Its a tough requirement, but it can be done. There is a presentation from the 2016 AHA Convention that highlights how to accomplish this. AHA members can review that presentation on the AHA site (another reason to be an AHA member!).

The oxygen reduction measures have made a big difference in the longevity of my beers and their flavor. It is definitely worth it.

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This is why I dry hop in the keg under pressure. My IPAs generally remain pretty fresh for at least a month.

I’ve been purging the keg then racking with my auto siphon but am considering attaching a liquid QD to the end of the auto siphon and siphoning in through the liquid post to a sealed purged keg to minimize even more opportunity for oxidation.

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I think keggers have alot of tools to prevent origination. I’ve transferred to the keg before terminal gravity to let the yeast scrub the o2 that purging doesn’t take care of. After which you can serve or in the case of IPA push to another merged keg with pellets. Bottlers have a harder time. I think if I were bottling IPAs I would make smaller limited release batches. This is probably why most good NEIPA is limited release they most definitely are drank fresh

I currently do this…just have to pull the PRV…and make sure to release keg pressure before attaching to the liquid post :grinning:

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Well then, how does oxygen fit into your wort before you pitch yeast? This where it all gets very shady for me to understand… I have been doing my best to get the oxygen out at every step post boil… Am I anal about it… well, not overly… Sneezles61

Bad? I don’t do IPAs, but do brew several Pale Ales and Ambers with IBUs in the neighborhood of 40-60. I really believe they hold up pretty well over a period of at least 6 months. I try to be careful with my racking and bottling technique, and I do use the O2 scavenging caps.
Or maybe it’s just that I don’t mind a slight loss in IBU, as long as the flavor characteristics are still there.
Or maybe I’m full of poop… :wink:


If we’re just talking loss of hop presence that in my opinion can vary depending on the hop schedule. Aroma from FO/WP hops for instance seem to have the shortest shelf life for me.

If you’re boiling hops even for 20-30 minutes for flavor in a PA, the flavor and lmiited aroma will be more stable over time. Later hops additions or post boil hops won’t have the long term stability in my experience.

Sounds like @flars is dealing with something else though. The IPAs I’ve had that had lost hops flavor and aroma were drinkable PAs for the most part. I’ll dump an oxidized or skunked beer in a heart beat though.

I didn’t dump any beers. Turns out the remainder of the bottles on that frig shelf were Caribou Slobber. I have another IPA. Plan to save a few bottles to age as long as the Dead Ringer had aged for flavor comparison.

For the love of God, don’t throw out the Caribou Slobber😂

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The solution to the short life of an IPA’s aroma and developing an off taste came to me at lunch time yesterday. Don’t eat a bagel with salami, mustard, and onion a couple hours before drinking the IPA.


I find a salami onion mustard bagel pairs better with a light lager or cream ale

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