Home-Brewed Fresh Hop Cascade Pale Ale (Braumeister Version)

20141001_121644My 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?

20141001_150912

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.

 

FreshHopCascade

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…

 

20141001_132152It’s just sugar, officer, honestly…

 

So once the Braumeister had finished it’s new mash schedule of:

38C  Dough-in
67C  Maltose Rest
78C Mash-out

We got the usual magnificent-looking wort:

20141001_152728Look 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:

20141001_204021

Anyone for Brussels Sprouts?

These soon soaked up the wort and got to work spreading the Humulone joys:

20141001_204057

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.

 

20141001_204542

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:

 

20141001_213206

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!

Summer Storm Ale (A Hop Back Summer Lightning Clone) in a Braumeister – Tasting Notes

20140714_193518

If you remember, a few weeks back I put this Hop Back Summer Lightning clone together (https://yeastismybitch.com/2014/06/05/summer-storm-ale-a-hop-back-summer-lightning-clone-in-a-braumeister/) as I knew we’d be having a couple of parties (the boys’ first and third birthdays and my fortieth – yes, I do look and feel that old)

Well, this beer appears to have been a minor hit…in fact the Hob Goblin and London Pride bottles that I’d bought as back-up for both events were UNTOUCHED; Yes, that’s right, they all preferred to drink my Summer Storm beer – which might have been purely out of politeness – but everyone had seconds (and thirds and some of them, fourths) so it must have been OK…

Summer Storm arrives in a glass a pleasant light-brass colour and sports a jolly head that sits around for a bit and never really retires.  It has a mineral and malty aroma with a hint of East Kent Golding Hops – but not nearly as much as I’d imagined there’d be after stuffing a WHOLE PACKET into it, either way it’s an enticing aroma and is clean and not the faintest bit “home-brewey”

The mouth feel is pretty good, being neither too heavy or too light and the taste is of a nice light malt character with a residual sweetness that fades to a satisfying bitterness.  The after-taste is surprisingly enduring and is of solid English hops.

I’m very happy with how this one turned out, but I think it could probably do with a more discernible ale-y yeast character…something like Windsor or Nottingham; but other than that minor quibble, it worked a treat.  I’d definitely brew this one again, people liked it and so do I…

Summer Storm Ale (A Hop Back Summer Lightning Clone) in a Braumeister

We’ve got a party coming up in a few weeks, there’s going to be a few people there who like their beer and I intend to serve them up something that’s befitting of the season…if not the weather.

As Hop Back Summer Lightning is THE summer beer that all others aspire to, I decided to work up a clone recipe.

Looking at other clones of HBSL, they all seem to be a bit light-handed with the East Kent Goldings hops and fairly hefty on the alcohol.  Because I don’t want a party full of slavering maniacs, I’ve dialled the gravity back a bit to 4.5% from the 5% of the original, and I’ve pumped the hops right up to make up for it. A WHOLE PACK in fact. God, it makes me feel alive to write that…

I used Chinook for bittering because I happened to have an opened pack in the freezer.  Normally I would have used some of a fresh pack of Target or Challenger, but I’m too tight-fisted for that.

Here’s the recipe:

Summer Storm Ale

I’m using US-05 yeast again because I love it a bit too much and it’ll rip through this wort like a chainsaw through a turd – probably finishing up at around 1009 or so and giving me those extra few points to 4.5%.

Of course US-05 is such a clean-living beast that it won’t over-power the whole thing with farty esters – meaning that even the rubbish-lager-loving dimbos* can enjoy it too.

(*not that we’ve invited any…)

I’ll let you all know how it turns out.  I must write up the notes about the HxPA too, mustn’t I?  Bad Jon.

(PS: I used whole hops too and managed not to bung the Braumeister up.  A simple sheet of fine-ish stainless steel mesh between the element and the tap hole saved me a ton of grief.  I’ll post some pictures when I remember.)

Homebrewed Thornbridge Kipling Clone (Braumeister Version) – Tasting

So here it is…the tasting of the Kipling clone (https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/11/12/homebrewed-thornbridge-kipling-clone-braumeister-version/)

Well.  I’m happy with it, but not uber-happy with it.  It’s a little more hazy in appearance than I’d like, and a good bit darker than the original, but it does have a very nice head to it, though, being all lacy, lasting and attractive-looking.

The aroma is sexy and inviting: over-ripe mandarin oranges, tropical fruit juice and malt, some subdued lemony citrus.  Quite lovely, really.  I will be using Nelson Sauvin again, mos’ def’.

Upon tasting, a light citrus hoppiness floods in accompanied by a reasonable malt body and a nice level of alcohol. Bitter but not over bitter. Very tasty…

All that and an aftertaste of piney citrus and that signature mandarin orange flavor…

From the corny keg, the beer was excellent; in bottles it seems to be lacking a bit in body, I reckon that the us05 was a bit too attenuative…so in future I can either mash a touch higher or I can use an alternative yeast.  Or, I may fool around a bit with Vienna and Munich malts, I just feel that the beer could be so much more satisfying in the body department…I’d dearly love to have a house staple malt bill that I can use to showcase different hop varieties and combinations.

One thing I will be doing is chopping down on the Torrified wheat.  This beer suffers terribly with chill haze, and I think the wheat is the culprit.  I’ll also be looking to lengthen out the protein rest a bit and always remembering the Irish moss ten minutes before the end of the boil…