Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cascade Fresh Hop Brewday

The actual name of this beer should probably be Smith Hop, since the Cascade hops I am using were the lovely gift of my nextdoor neighbors, the Smiths. I’ll just thank my lucky stars they are too busy to make use of them, and brew away. Oh, the deliciousness!

130. Cascade Fresh Hop
8 lbs. Rahr 2-row
1 lb. MFB Vienna
1lb. Breiss White Wheat

Mash @ 151° F for 65 minutes w/ 3 ½ gallons of RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.080
Batch sparge @ 166° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 gallons @ 1.022

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 6 ¾ gallons; brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 4.75 oz. fresh Cascade

w/20 to go: 3 oz. fresh Cascade

w/15 to go: 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/10 to go: 2 oz. fresh Cascade

w/5 to go: 2 oz. fresh Cascade

w/0 to go: 3 oz. fresh Cascade

Chilled, racked to carboy, & pitched Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

Brewed: 10/7/2012
Secondary: 10/13/2012 @ 1.012
Bottled: 11/14/2012 w/ 3.0 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.048
FG: 1.008

Tasting Notes: Cascade Fresh Hop pours a hazy dirty straw; while it has the same grain as 131. The Last Fresh Wild Hop (and pretty much the same process with the exception of the hops used), this one is certainly hazier in the glass. The head is creamy, white, and profuse, with good retention and offering some lacing on the glass. The nose is a mix of spicy floral and fruit hop aromas in the front, with grass and hay coming in after that; when I first had this beer, there was a distinct berry note in the front—strawberry, in fact—that has faded. There is none of the classic grapefruit you’d expect to find in Cascade; the fruitiness might hit lemon, but barely. Still, the hop aromas in the nose are subtle and beguiling. I get a touch of candy sweetness in the nose as well, and this reappears in the flavors of the front of the beer, which starts with light cracker and candy malt sweetness. The hop flavor comes in on the heels of the sweetness, starting with a resin spiciness mixed with grass that is clean and brisk, and leads into the gentle bitterness of the middle. There is also some hay and pine in the middle along with a touch of bread crust from the malt, while the finish is clean and crisp. I get a touch of floral hop flavor and candy malt, along with a gentle, even hop bitterness. The gentle, creamy carbonation rounds the beer on the palate—it is smooth and even, and the lighter body allows subtlety to play across the tongue. All in all, this is certainly the best of the fresh hop beers I made this year, and it also does have some actual bitterness from the hops—the only other one that had any actual hop bitterness was the aforementioned 131. The Last Wild Fresh Hop, and that was because I used commercial Willamette for bittering. As well, the MFB Vienna was a good call as a replacement for any caramel or crystal malt; there is a touch of sweetness, but nothing big enough to impinge upon the delicate components of the fresh hops. I might try pushing it a bit next time—something like Dingemans Cara 20, but I also like the pared-down body here—it serves more as a backdrop for the fresh hops. I’ll have to expand my fresh hop operations next year. My secret plan: a fresh hop saison. Not that that would actually surprise anyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment