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What, if anything, besides Hops makes beer bitter?

Hey all,

Got about 6 batches under my belt, and after the first two, I am making beer I like to drink. I was especially pleased with my take on Denny’s Rye IPA. However, there is a recurring theme in my beers, and that is bitterness. I have been doing All grain since my third batch, and have been following my recipes exactly. All are 60 minute boils, no 90’s, and I dough in at 120, then keep it at 148-152 for my mashing. I have a well, and the previous owner had an analysis done, with these results;

Ph - 6.4 (before Neutralizing) 5.5 after.
Hardness - .7 GpG as calcium = soft water
Iron - .1 ppm
Dissolved solids - 1 GpG as calcium
Stability index - 12.3 = aggressive water

I am going to flush and refill my neutralizer this weekend, and try a batch of brown ale and see how that tastes, but I’m not sure if the water is my problem.

Thoughts? Advice?



On the input side of the house, I have 2 inline sediment filters, and a water neutralizer(NOT a softener).

There’s not enough info there to really say. Go to and look at the info you get with test W-6. That’s what you need to know.

As always, Thank you very much Denny!

De nada

I just looked at Ward’s. They actually have 3 tests for Homebrewers, W5, W6, and Beer test. The beer test adds Iron and Phosphorous results compared to the W6. Oddly enough, there is no difference listed between W5 and W6.

Would the water be adding my bitterness anyway? Going back to my subject for this post, is there a procedural or ingredient factor that could contribute? Still curious if maybe I am doing something wrong that is leaching bitter compounds from the grain for example. I don’t think so, but I’m still learning.

There are a number of water oarameters that could be influencing the perception of bitterness. I have a well, also, and get test w-6. Unless you have other problems you need to test for, W-6 gives you all the water info you need for brewing.

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