I’m past the half way mark with these beers and they have all turned out well so far. The first two were my favorites (the Azacca and the Expeirmental Pine Fruit saison). The last one, the Lemon Zest, was pretty underwhelming but still made for a good beer. Next year when I plan out this set, I”ll be using a different yeast strain that I have recently learned plays better with hops when compared to Dupont. The strain I’ll be using in upcoming Saison posts is isolated from Brasserie de Blaugies saisons. In order to complete this experiment though, I will stick with the Dupont strain.
This iteration utilizes a hop simply called “Experimental Grapefruit Hop” from Yakima Valley hops. Much like the others, there is very little to go on for this hop, here are the numbers.
Hop #: 07270
Alpha: 18.0 – 20.0 %
Beta: 5.0 %
CoH: 24-25% of alpha acids
Oil: 3..0 – 3.2 ml/100g
Caryophyllene 9.80 %
Seems like this is going to be a really bitter hop. For the purposes of comparison, this will be done the same way the other were, random bittering hop and late addition / dry hopping with the experimental hop. Off to the beer.
Batch # 2014.12
5 Gallon Batch
Brew date: June 14th, 2014
Kegging date: July 1st, 2014
ABV: 5% (estimated)
SRM: 2ish (estimated)
IBU: 45 (calculated)
90% Pilsner (9 pounds)
10% Wheat (1 pound)
Beer was mashed in 4ish gallons of filtered water with pH stabilizer (5.2) added. Beer was mashed at 154 F for 70 minutes. Sparged with 5 gallons of water at 170 F. Vorlaufed both the mash and sparge for at least a gallon.
Wort was brought to a boil quickly and held there for 65 minutes boil, recovered 5.5 gallons out of the side port on the pot with the hop screen in place (this is my new way of doing things). Nothing to report for the boil at all.
1 ounce of Nugget at 60 minutes
2 ounces of Experimental Grapefruit hop at 10 minutes
>2 ounce of Experimental Grapefruit dry-hopped.
This beer received the yeast cake from the Experimental Hop Lemon Zest Saison (the third in the batch of these experimental hop beers). Fermentation took off almost immediately, beer was left in the fermenter for almost three weeks. The gravity at the finish was around 1.005 at the time it was transferred to the keg.
This was a day of new equipment for me. I was using a new pot and a new water filter. I overshot my temperatures throughout this brew so I hope I didn’t mess up my process too much. I was in a rush when I went to dry hop this beer and I spilled the hop pellets, so this beer did not receive all 2 ounces, probably just over 1 ounce. I messed up.
When I set out to do this series of 6 (SIX!) experimental hop saisons, I intentionally picked a base beer that I loved regardless of the hop I used. Pretty happy I had that foresight because … while this beer isn’t bad…the hop only added a slight grassiness and strong bitterness to this beer but no grapefruit….pretty huge disappointment since I love grapefruit and was hoping that this hop would deliver. The grassiness wins out followed by the bitterness. Perhaps it is because I messed up the dry hopping or they were not packaged properly by the distributor but this is not a repeat hop for me at all.
Appearance: Beer is yellow with a nice haze to it, decent carbonation (a little over carbonated in fact) with a thick white head of small bubbles. Decent retention, nice carbonation. It looks great.
Aroma is all yeast…a small amount of grassiness / floral hop character sneaks through but not really. All esters and pepper…the stuff I expect from Dupont.
Beer is light in body but not too dry…in fact wet on the palate. Nice pilsner malt character coming through…mildly sweet. The yeast plays well on the palate giving way to a strong bitterness at the backend of the beer which is pretty short lived. The ester and peppery character of the yeast is the dominant flavor in this beer followed by the backend bitterness. Overall it is a fine beer but no one would describe this as grapefruit or even citrus tasting.
I’ve given this beer to a few people since I first tapped it and the response has been generally good but no one has described it back to me as being especially citrus. One person told me that it really lets the pilsner shine through….partial credit to me I suppose. Two more of these to go…hopefully something interesting still to come.
Possible improvements (for future batches):
This is one of the bottom hops in this experiment, again the beer turned out fine but the hop is just too grassy for me. I’ll likely repeat this entire experiment with next year’s expeirmental hops but use a different yeast. I think the yeast character is drowning out some of the hops. All that said, I don’t hate this beer at all. This just doesn’t taste like grapefruit to me…at all. That is a little disappointing. I truly think that citrus zest and citrus juices are one direction the avalanche that is IPA culture (I contribute to this culture so I’m guilty of it) is headed. I want to play with citrus more and this might be the right time to jump in with both feet.
The next post will be about an IPA I made using Chinook and Cascade hops…in fact there will be a couple of sort of repetitive posts about this IPA and a saison heavily hopped with galaxy in the next month. Other posts coming up are a series of Brett c beer (not 100% Brett) that utilize flowers such as dandelion and hibiscus. I’m planning on doing a few high gravity beers as well, I’m really looking forward to those. Many good things in the pipeline right now, looking forward to them all.
“Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and celebrate the good days.” — Ancient Egyptian saying