Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Smith Hop Fresh Hop Brewday

Round two of the fresh hop madness. These hops were the lovely gift of my neighbors, the Smiths—you all remember them from last year, correct?—who again weren’t going to use them. Insanity! But their loss is my fresh hop gain! I was told that these are all Cascade, but I do like the name Smith Hop so much better. I also left enough on the vine that I can go pick an ounce or so for dry-wet hopping in the secondary. Is that even a term? It is now!

155. Smith Hop Fresh Hop
5 lbs. Rahr Pale 
3 lbs. Dingemanns Pale
1 lb. MFB Vienna
1 lb. Breiss White Wheat

Mash @ 151° F for 60 minutes w/ 3 ½ gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.080
Batch sparge @ 169° 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: 2 oz. Sonnet Golding leaf 4.1% AA

w/20 to go: 3 oz. fresh Smith hops

w/10 to go: 3 oz. fresh Smith hops

w/5 to go: 3 oz. fresh Smith hops

w/0 to go: 3 ¼ oz. fresh Smith hops 

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled, & pitched mason jar of WLP510 Bastogne

Primary: 8/14/2013 @ 64° F
Secondary: 8/28/2013 @ 1.010; 8/31/2013 dry hopped w/ 4 oz. fresh Smith hops
Bottled: 9/7/2013 w 3.0 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.008

Tasting Notes (10/2/2013): Smith Hop pours a hazy dull gold with a white head that offers decent retention and some lacing. In the nose, there is apple, pear, grape, and candy, along with a spicy, grassy hop bitterness that carries faint hints of both lemon and lemon zest. As it warms, there is more of the earthiness and gaminess I associate with fresh hops beers. Flavors open with soft bread crust and Belgian candy, sliding into lemon, pear, grape, and spicy grassiness from the hops. There is some bitterness in the middle, although restrained, giving way to bread and spiciness in the lead up to the bite of the carbonation, followed by a gentle lingering spicy bitterness that ends with the vegetal chlorophyll gaminess I expect in a fresh hop beer. The body is medium light with hints of gumminess, while the carbonation is bright and cleansing. The hop presence doesn’t come across as distinctly Cascade—it is more delicate and nuanced than over-the-top, and the grape aroma and flavor is an odd yet addition . It is, however, very reminiscent of the fresh hop beer I madewith Smith Cascades last year, which leads me to conclude that as a fresh hop, Cascade provides more subtlety than I would be normally expected. The Bastogne yeast is a moderate match to the beer—I’m guessing the apple and pear is a yeast ester contribution, at least in part—it is noticeable but not intrusive in relation to the hops. As well, these particular Cascades offer more flavor and presence than the Cascades from the first Fresh Hop w/ Cascade of the season, although could also be influenced by the more expressive yeast strain used in that particular beer, the one Elli referred to as my “novelty yeast” for a fresh hop beer. Still, I’ve been rapidly working my way through both of these beers; I’m looking forward to comparing them with the Fresh Hop w/Brewer’s Gold I made that features a more traditionally neutral yeast (Wyeast 1272).

This beer was the Fresh Hop King of Ohio 2013 winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment