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Odd Flavor

Last weekend i brewed an amber ale using my homegrown cascade hops. This was my first time using whole dried hops. Not knowing the alpha acid amount, i used about 4.6 oz. split between a 10 min. & 2 min. addition. It smelled great, looked great, but tasted not so great when i sampled. It has a strong & odd flavor i’ve never experienced using pellets. Maybe i used too much, but it didn’t seem overly “hoppy” tasting. I’m hoping it smooths out after fermenting & conditioning. Any thoughts or replies from you experienced whole hop brewers is appreciated. Thanks.

Mine taste kind of grass and herbs. Believe it or not I have had better results using my homegrown hops for bittering additions than late additions.

I agree with dmtaylo, but I’ve had the most luck with using my homegrown hops to keg hop with. Recently used an ounce of homegrown centennial hops in the keg with a double ipa. Put them in a hop bag, weigh it down with some marbles, and let it sit while carbonating. Has to be one of the best smelling/ tasting beers I’ve made yet.

You’re gonna have to define “odd” for me.

I would say bitter & grassy, almost a burnt flavor when sampled. Definitely not a pleasant, hoppy flavor i was looking for. It was alot floating in the kettle, so maybe i over did it. I guess time will tell. Will bottle in a week or so. Thanks.

Is it possible that your hops were picked too early or not dried properly?

The hops all seemed dry to the touch and a few had browning on the edges. There were, however, quite a few that were small in size. The plant was put in summer of 2012, so this was the first full season. Ended up with only 4.6 oz. after drying on a screen for 5 days. The cones were not very potent smelling unless i crushed them between fingers. Anyway, they all went in & i’m hoping for a pleasant finish on this one!

bitter and grassy are not too odd, some people I know actually like this taste. But I don’t have a personal preference for this either

If the cones are smaller than you expected, I suspect you weren’t watering enough. It got dry toward the end of the season, right? Especially if they’re in an exposed area, dry, hot winds can easily dry the cones before they’ve made good oils. Irrigating is almost required and can help prevent this. When did you pick them?

I believe the cones were harvested the first week of September. They were quite dry & some were very large, but the majority were small. I did water occasionally & never used mulch. Would that be beneficial? The plants are on the end of my shed & don’t get sun all day either. I think i’ll come up with a different setup that gets sun all day. I did try a couple bottles last sunday & it tastes pretty decent. Not overly hoppy & no real strong off flavors so it should be good with a little more time. :cheers:

how do you know it was from hops?

Good point. I don’t know, but this was the first time i used whole hops & never noticed those flavors before. Out of 30 batches, this one was quite different “before” fermentation, but ended up pretty tasty after all. No big deal i guess. I’m looking forward to the next growing season with some structural & technique changes i pick up from you guys. Thanks.

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