My Cascade hop bine just before harvest
Oh my god. I can still smell hops…even though I brewed well over 14 hours ago, I’ve had a shower and all of the clothes I brewed in are in the wash (even my socks reeked of hops). How could this be?
Well. Yesterday evening I cut down my bine and harvested 360g of fresh Cascade hops.
It’d be a shame not to use them now, wouldn’t it?
360g of fresh hop goodness. I could have just poured milk on them and had them for breakfast
Now how to use those in a recipe? I’d no idea what the Alpha Acid content of those fresh hops were, so I just blind guessed at 7%.
Cascade in a packet (2013 harvest) are 9.1% – and Beer Engine reminded me the last lot I used were somewhere around 6%, so 7% seemed a good enough punt for me.
According to Jason King on a recently viewed episode of Chop and Brew (http://chopandbrew.com/episodes/chop-brew-episode-14-brewing-with-freshwet-hops/) the human tongue can’t really discern a change in International Bittering Units of +/-10, so as I was also going to really only use them for very late boil additions and not bittering I guessed I’d probably be OK.
I picked up all of my ingredients from Archie at Hops and Vines in Witney (http://www.hopsandvineshomebrew.co.uk/). Archie has only just bought the business from Mike – who has decided to retire.
If you’re up Witney way you can’t go far wrong than drop in and stock up on some bits and bobs. Archie also stocks hops and malt from Rob at The Malt Miller, so you know it’s all quality gear. I’ll do a more thorough write-up in future.
The recipe, just below, was fairly easy to put together and was really just a user-upper of things I had left over (bar the Maris Otter and Cascade dry hops from Archie).
I included the Palm Sugar as I wanted to try and up the ABV on the smaller malt bill and was also looking to dry out the body – which, combined with the US-05 yeast should do the job admirably.
I fiddled about with the hop quantities to make the recipe work. Bear with me here… In theory you need 5x the weight of fresh hops for the equivalent dry, so I took my 360g and divided it by 5 – giving me the figure of 72 (rounded up to 70, dead) So in dry hop terms I had 70g to play with (no, I got lost too…), so I split that between the ten and five minute additions 30g/40g(ish) – again, in dry hop terms. In wet that turned out to be 150g/210g. My maths is probably all shot to shit there, but it worked out after a fashion, so I’m happy.
I did also have to steep the palm sugar blocks (which look like something out of Amsterdam) in warmish water until they dissolved before adding the resulting gorgeous liquor straight to the boil…
It’s just sugar, officer, honestly…
So once the Braumeister had finished it’s new mash schedule of:
67C Maltose Rest
We got the usual magnificent-looking wort:
Look at it, just look at it. That’s a seriously clear wort…
I then sparged the now-lifted malt-pipe with 3.5Litres of water, giving me a pre-boil volume of 27L, the sugar solution was then added and the Braumeister set to “boil”.
Once the boil was on, I added the dry Cascade hops for the bittering charge – 40 or so IBU means that it should be smooth enough but with a touch bitter on the back-end. The last ten minutes meant the adding of Irish Moss and the immersion chiller – plus a dose of flavour hops, again Cascade.
Then we got five minutes from the end. Boom – 150g of fresh hop goodness with a backup of 5g of dried:
Anyone for Brussels Sprouts?
These soon soaked up the wort and got to work spreading the Humulone joys:
Five minutes later it was time for flame-out. The boil was stopped, the next 20og(ish) of fresh hops went in and the the chiller went on until we hit 80C. Chilling was then stopped and I left the whole thing covered for a nice half-hour hop-stand. That should really extract the aromas.
After the hop stand I ran the lot out into the fermenter. See how the hops have soaked up the wort, realeased their goodness and sunk to the bottom of the boiler. They look a bit like ghosts now:
I ended up with nearly 22L of 1051 wort that should ferment out to 1009 with a bit of luck, giving me something like 5.5% ABV. I’ll let you know how it goes… I’ve still got 20g of Dry cascade for dry-hopping…as if it’ll need it!