Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wild Wet Hop w/ Coffee Brewday

Today was National Coffee Day (I’d never heard of it, either); I found out when I stopped by Press to get some coffee and say hello. And since it was National Coffee Day, I decided it was appropriate to punch this ticket today. Oh, and not surprisingly (well, unless you live in a hole), this brew is another homage to Press Coffee. You’re goddamn right.

129. Wild Wet Hop w/ Coffee
8 lbs. Weyerman Pilsner
2 lbs. MFB Vienna

Mash @ 152° F for 65 minutes w/ 3 ½ gallons of RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.082
Batch sparge @ 166° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.024

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons; brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 6 oz. wild wet hops

w/15 to go: 4 oz. wild wet hops
1 tsp. Irish Moss
8 oz. Turbinado Cane Sugar

w/10 to go: 4 oz. wild wet hops

w/5 to go: 4 oz. wild wet hops
8 oz. Press coffee concentrate (1/3 Ethopian, 2/3 Honduras)

w/0 to go: 4 oz. wild wet hops

Chilled, racked to carboy, & pitched mason jar of Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale from 127. Wild Wet Hop 2012 

Brewed: 9/29/2012
Secondary: 10/13/2012
Bottled: 10/27/2012 w/ 3.0 oz. table sugar; added 2 oz. Press concentrate to the last gallon to make a version with more coffee to compare

OG: 1.052
FG: 1.010

Tasting Notes (12/10/2012): This beer was inspired by Brett from Press asking me to make him an IPA with coffee. Now, while this ain’t really up to IPA hoppy standards, it is certainly an interesting interpretation. Wild Wet Hop w/ Coffee pours a dirty tan/gold—the coffee didn’t add that much color, but it is a bit dark for an almost all pilsner malt beer—with a clean white head that offers decent staying power. The nose is grassy hops, some slight cocoa, musty earth, and hints of jam and berry fruit. Basically, the wild hops are weak enough that the coffee is more prevalent in the nose, although you might not peg the aromas as coffee if you didn’t know that was the source of the cocoa and berry fruit aromas—a couple of people I’ve run this by were surprised when I told them. That is, I think, the beauty of the cold-pressed coffee—the other aromas and flavors are more clearly expressed and in the front of more traditional coffee aromas and flavors. As it warms, more coffee does start to come out, but even then it is restrained. Flavors start with cocoa and biscuit before moving into a grassy and slightly vegetal hop bitterness that is clean and brisk. There is also some jam and dried berry fruit, along with some slight candy sweetness from the malt, before the beer heads into the finish, where the clearest coffee flavor comes across, along with biscuit and more cocoa. There is some lingering alkaline mineral bite on the tongue in the finish as well. The body is light and dry; the carbonation enhances the lightness of the mouthfeel, as does the clean bitterness. I’m not really sure how I’d classify this beer, although I do like it—I like it more than the 128. American Bitter that got coffee in the last gallon—this has more depth and subtlety of flavor. I’ll be interested to try this beer in comparison to the last gallon that got extra coffee—I decided to just focus on this one for now. As well, I’m also looking forward to getting some more coffee concentrate from Brett, and throwing a good chunk of it into a proper IPA to see what that does—I think the cocoa and dark fruit would play well with herbal and resin forward hops. I’d say Nugget, but I already tried that with the Black IPA. Actually, this coffee and a good dose of Millenium would work nicely together. As well, the coffee accentuates the bread and biscuit malt character of the Pilsner and Vienna malts, so that is something to think about as well.

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