Hop Harvest 2011 – Fresh Hop Brewing!

Its been a good season for hops over at ALBC West and the hops are taking over the house like the Krakken climbing up my deck from below. Well, its time to fight the beast back and pick its flowers fresh into the kettle. For some reason, most years hop harvest ales are brewed from the leftover bits of the summer’s brew.  Mine looks something like this

fresh hops at full boil

Lupin Kracken Must DIE Red Ale
the grist of misfit parts:
4# Marris Otter
2# Pilsner
.75# Crystal 60
.25# Crystal 40
.15# Midnight Wheat
Rest at 155

the hop assault
.5oz Columbus FWH
3# Fresh Chinook 20min
2oz Centennial pellets 0min

Wyeast Slappy Pak 1098 British Ale

 

This brew was racked into a keg. At that time, due to laziness and partly due to the flavor when i tasted it, i did not give it the douse of homegrown dry hopping. This one was a deep red-orange from the color malts I added. The hop flavor was very apparent, citrus-pine hit the tongue immediately while the malty backbone helped it slide down. It is next in line to go on tap.

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Mad Matt’s Hop Harvest 2011 at ALBC East – The land of misfit toys.

I’ve been on a brewing hiatus for the last few summer months. My brain did a hard reset after last winter and spring brewing sessions. After many months of research on my brewing water, experiments and brewing almost every weekend, my brew-mojo was stolen. But its slowly coming back. And what better way to kick off the end of the summer than a fresh hop brewing session! My centennial was ready to be picked, so like Jman, I grabbed some misfit grain I had in small amounts and threw it in the mash. I don’t know what to even call this, IPA? It doesn’t matter. Thanks to Jayne Evyl for being my hop maiden and picking the majority of the cones off the bines.

ALBC EAST - little e-brew kettle that could

Misfit Toys – Fresh Hop Ale – OG 1.057 FG 1.017 – Final batch size 4 Gal – mash 154F – Boil 60 min

3 ml HopShot Hop Extract – 60 min
10 oz Fresh Picked Centennial – 10 min
10 oz Fresh Picked Centennial – 5 min
3lb 10 oz Marris Otter
5oz Carapils
1lb 12oz Vienna
2lb Gambrinus ESB Pale Malt
2lb Biscuit Malt
6oz Caramel 40L

Just Look at the Cones!

Just Look at the Cones!

Yeast: WLP 022 Essex Ale

Final thoughts / tasting: This recipe turned out pretty well, it finished on the sweet side due to all the specialty malt. Color was dark orange / to light red and was fairly clear thanks to the english yeast strain. I’m not even sure what I was thinking when I added all that Biscuit. But it seemed to not be overpowering. I would have liked more hop aroma in the final beer, I could have dry hopped but decided to forgo that and see what flavor aroma I would get with kettle additions alone. The malt profile was fairly sweet, with some grainy biscuit flavor. The hop flavor was pretty strong and combined with the sweet residual sugars tasted like hop candy. Bitterness was very low, and I think that could have been a bit more assertive with additional bittering, or an adjustment to my water profile. But at the same time, I kind of like the sweet hop candy flavor that comes through. It was less grassy than I expected from using all that fresh hops. I think one benefit to using the fresh hops is that there are some aromas and flavors that I have not had before in other centennial hopped beers.

I think if you have the opportunity to use fresh hops in a beer, go for it! Its well worth the added hassle of harvesting and brewing on the same day. \m/

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