Well, I did it. I’m finally here. I set out at the beginning of the year to brew a series of hoppy saisons using a bunch of experimental hops from Yakima Valley Hops and I did it, this is the sixth (SIXTH!!!) in this series. Six beers that used the same yeast, the same grain bill, the same hop schedule for 6 different experimental hops. I’ve learend a lot about these hops and about brewing this year (never stop learning) and I have my experience with these 6 beers to thank.
I’m going to write a summary post about these six beers so I won’t go into here what I liked and didn’t like about these hops and which ones I’d use again. This post is just the final write up on this before I drastically change the way I do these beers. If you missed the previous 5, here is a link to those if you care to read about the previous rounds.
The last hop in the series doesn’t even get the respect of a name, this is hop ADHA871. What are the particulars of this strain of hops?
AA Range: 13.4%
Total Oil: N/A
Characteristics: Floral, citrus, strong mint, herbal, mellow spice, sage, slight lemon.
Other Notes: Should be a contender for some saisons.
A saison you say? Well, apparently I’m in luck!
Batch # 2014.29
5 Gallon Batch
Brew date: November 17, 2014
Kegging date: December 8th, 2014
ABV: 5.9% (estimated)
SRM: 5 (estimated)
IBU: 55 (estimated)
An oldie but a goodie
Beer was mashed with about 4 gallons of water at 152 F for 60 minutes. pH stabilizer added (pH 5.2). Sparged with about 5 gallons of water, the recovered volume was brought up to about 9 gallons. Wort was vorlaufed for both the mash and sparge. Well behaved.
Wort was brought to a boil quickly and held there for 60 minutes. Nothing to report on the boil, pretty standard. I hit my volume (right on 5 gallons). Wort was chilled in about 40 minutes with an immersion wort chiller. Transferred to fermenter by side port on pot.
1 oucne nugget at beginning of boil
2 ounces of ADHA871 at 10 minutes
2 ounces of ADHA871 dry hopping
This is the same hop schedule for all of these.
Beer received a portion of the yeast cake from the last experimental hop ADHA 484. The fermentation started out within 12 hours and lasted for a week. The beer was allowed to rest for several days before gravity readings were taken and transferred to a keg.
Due to restriction on space and fermenters, I put this in a bottling bucket. The lid wasn’t on tightly at the beginning (hard to secure the lid for some reason) but the fermentation finished quite quickly. I possibly could have let it sit for another week so the beer would have dropped clear but it had reached the final gravity so I transferred it. At transfer the beer was really cloudy, cold crashing for several days helped but I imagine this beer will continue to clarify over the coming weeks.
Well, this is 100% accidental but this is probably the perfect hop for Dupont yeast. Beer is yellow and hazy with a nice big, stiff, white head of small bubbles, nice lacing, good retention.
Aroma is yeasty, spicy, pepper. Hops shine through with floral, spice, a little green apple, earth. A little cut grass, not much. Very nice, level of aroma on this is about a 5.
Beer is light in body, moderately bitter. Nice backbone and connectivity. Hops are earthy, sweet, floral, overall mild. Finishes with a thin back end on the palate and a mild bitterness, no aftertaste. I bled off the carbonation from the initial pours, it was clearly over carbed. After it settled down, the carbonation accented the hop character a little. This ended up on the low end for a saison, probably just north of 2 volumes. Overall, a nice beer. The more I drink it the more of the hop flower character comes out. The spiciness / esters of the yeast really play well with this beer.
Yeah, nailed it. This is a great hop for this beer. Probably because it is so subtle and somehow nicely complements the yeast character. I’d definitely use this again in place of any mild hop.
Possible improvements (for future batches):
So this set of six experimental hop beers is done but this experiment is far from over. I wanted to get through the first 6 of these before I changed the set up. I ordered 6 more experimental hop batches from Yakima Valley Hops recently and five are whole leaf hops, since that’s a pretty big change (all of these were pellet hops) I decided it was time to change the way I did this beer altogether. The next five experimental hop saisons will be different with how much hop is used, how the hops are used, the grain bill will be different and the yeast will be different. I am going to go into this in more detail in my summary post about these hops and the future of this experiment. Otherwise, I think this beer turned out fine and I will have no problem sharing this or drinking it while I rewatch TNG after the kids go to bed.
I’m in a blog purge right now. There are 6 more recipes scheduled to be posted in the next 4 weeks. Clearing out the docket for winter. I have a few cool beers coming up, most excited about a wet hop saison made with hops from my post about going to a hop farm for harvest. My stout is carbing up after almost two months in the barrel…really excited about that. I’m going to make a series of witbiers for the blog and AND AND my first lager (FINALLY!). Bavarian Helles is my maiden voyage into lagers. We will see how that goes.
Authors note: I hope you all enjoyed these “single” hop saisons with the experimentals. I got the most feedback on these posts overall. I’m writing a summary post that will be up in a couple of weeks about all 6 varieties. For 2015, I’m going to do 6 more and those will be single hop saisons with a tweaked grain recipe and a slightly different yeast. I love hearing feedback so leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions on how the next six of these can be better.
“Across the troubled maelstrom of time, people always need a beer.” ― Ellen Kushner