I hope no one is upset that this post isn’t about a Galaxy saison… I know I’m not. This is my ongoing experiment trying different “experimental” varieties of hops I get from Yakima Valley Hops, my favorite hop dealer. In case you are new to this blog, this is the FIFTH! of a series of 6 posts for 2014 about experimental hops. The first several were Azacca, Experimental Pine Fruit, Experimental Lemon Zest, and Experimental Grapefruit…this series of beers have been so much fun for me…I’m down to the last two, these two hops don’t have names, just numbers (all of these can be found under the subheading “experimental hops“). This hop is ADHA484. Pretty descriptive. Here are the stats:
AA Range: 11 – 12%
Total Oil: N/A
Characteristics: Cedar, wood, bubblegum, spice.
Other Notes: Intriguing descriptors here. Sounds appropriate for English beers, or oak-aged beers.
Cedar, wood, bubblegum, and spice? OK, this one sounds weird. This gets the same treatment as the others. Brewing / fermenting details below.
Batch # 2014.22
5 Gallon Batch
Brew date: September 12th, 2014
Kegging date: October 3rd, 2014
ABV: 5.5% (estimated)
SRM: 2 (estimated)
IBU: 60 (estimated)
Beer was mashed in about 4 gallons of filtered tap water with a pH stabilizer added. The mash temperature was 150 F and the mash went for about an hour. The wort was vorlaufed for about half a gallon but it was pretty clear. About 5 gallons of sparge water was heating and added to the grain bed by scooping it out of the pot and adding it to the top of the grain. The sparge was vorlaufed for about half a gallon and about 8.5 gallons was collected altogether.
Wort was brought to a full boil in about 15 minutes after the sparge, it was an energetic and vigorous boil the entire time. This new burner is so aggressive I am constantly boiling too much off. I’ll have to solve this soon.
1 ounce of Nugget at 60 minutes
2 ounces of ADHA 484 hop at 10 minutes
2 ounce of ADHA 484 dry-hopped in hop bag in the keg.
Wort received a portion of the yeast cake from the Brown saison that used the Dupont yeast blend. I let this fermentation go longer than I normally would have and a small pellicle formed on the surface of beer. I know that my house blend contains low amounts of Brettanomyces clausenii…I did that intentionally but these beers are suppose to be “low mash” beers so I am a little surprised / frustrated that I let the Brett come through. The day after I noticed the pellicle, I kegged the beer. It went on draft a week later.
Nothing noteworthy about the brew day. A little short on volume but that is my mantra these days, I am always a little short. Kegged and dry hopped in the keg on October 2nd, 2014. Hops were added to the keg in a bag like the previous 4 of these experimental hop beers. SOP for this beer at this point. I carbonated this beer in the keg with table sugar due to some drama with a leak in my kegorator system that I’m tracking down.
Haven’t had one of these in a while so I’m quite excited. Beer is yellow with a slight haze, moderate to mild carbonation, decent retention, nice lacing, moderate to low carbonation.
Aroma is fruity, like pears, apples, berries, sweet…a little alcohol sneaks through somehow. Mildly grassy, the Dupont yeast is coming through too. Smells fine.
Beer is light, clean, nice finish, quite fruity in the body and more bitter on the end than expected. The bitterness lingers for a while, finish is slightly dry but not overly. Easy drinking beer, the hops are really subtle overall, which is a shame since that’s the point of this beer but I think the hops in general are just….really low. They aren’t popping to the top of the beer but I still like this beer. This is just a light Dupont style saison with an interesting hop flavor mixed in.
I hope that the upcoming Experimental Hop saisons can focus more on the hop as the primary flavor component. I bought 5 more experimental hops by the way, so there are AT LEAST six more of these style posts coming up. I love these beers. Even though a small pellicle formed on the surface of this beer, there is no detectable Brett character at all…I guess I caught it in time. I won’t neglect the next one, things just got busy for a few weeks.
Possible improvements (for future batches):
Well, these experimental hop beers are basically just one offs but I can discuss in general how I’d like to do next year’s differently. Well, I guess I should say first that I didn’t like how the Brett pellicle formed on this one…so Iguess I should time the fermentation better for the last one of these..other than that, this was a one off and I think it turned out about as good as it could have for the direct comparison portion.
Next year I am investing in a setup that will make dry hopping of these beers a little easier on me and will maximize the hop usage. I’m going to put the dip tube inside a sieve so the hops can just be in the keg without any danger of clogging the tube to maximize their exposure to the beer and so they don’t clump up in the bag…should be a better setup. I’ll write more about that when I get it up and running. Next year’s hops are whole leaf so allowing the leaf to soak in the beer outside of a bag will definitely be better than the way I’m doing it now.
Well, to state the obvious, there is one more of these coming up and I will get that done probably in early November. That last hop is ADHA 871 which is described as floral, citrus, strong mint, herbal, mellow spice, sage, and slight lemon. Sounds good to me. Other than that one that is about a month off, I brewed a Motueka Abbey ale that is fermenting out right now…going into bottles. It is a beer I brewed years ago and it turned out well. Doing it again, also another Galaxy, another Brown saison…and using a couple of new hops Mandarina Bavaria and Wakatu coming up as well, really excited for those. There is also a variation on the Belgo Rye IPA I posted a couple of weeks ago that uses 20% rye currently carbonating in bottles. Bottom line, lots of beers to come.
“I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety. “ — King Henry V, Shakespeare