First off…Its been way over a month since the last complete update. That I regret. This site is something I love to write and spend time on but the lull in writing can be attributed to family, job, and just basically, lack of anything worth talking about brew-wise…to a point. However my apologies, I’m sure you understand.
Since 1/6/12 I have only had one brew session in which I used New Zealand hops exclusively, but so far it has not had the same “pop” that the citra pale ale had. Partly, all that’s available this time of year are pellet hops. I was able to have a taste of the brew last week and it’s definitely hoppy but again its missing that wonderful aroma that NZ grown hops are known for and this I believe is where whole hops, (raw hops,flower hops, fresh hops or whatever you want to call them) tend to excel.
- Pellet compared to whole hops
I have had a few pellet versus whole hop discussions with some of my brew colleagues. So it’s up for discussion with any brewer that likes a good argument! I prefer whole hops in terms of flavor and aroma. I believe pellets are good in the boil as a bitter addition but lack the fresh flavor and aroma due to the heavy processing. That is not to say that you can’t get aroma or flavor from smart use of the pellet form, but ask your self this question: which gives off better aroma in your hands: pellets or whole hops?
I’m sure everyone has seen the Sam Adams commercial where Jim Koch takes a handful of whole hops, rubs them together in his hands, leans back and takes a big whiff! There is a reason commercial brewers use whole hops exclusively (Sierra Nevada ), the aroma is just phenomenal. When hop producers press the hops into pellets, the aromatic lupilin glands are compromised. To release the best aroma from whole hops you simply rub them in your hands, exactly the same way Jim Koch does in the commercial. Consider all of the lost lupiln when the hops are run through the pellet pressing machine. Anyone who grows their own hops (me) will tell you that hops smell best (and freshest) right off of the vine.
The downside to whole hops are poor storage-ability. The fact that pellets are compressed, makes them less susceptible to oxygen and also less likely to stale. My rule (opinion) is when possible, use whole hops for flavor and aroma. The beer just seems to “come alive” when unprocessed hops are used and has a fresh hop taste that cannot be matched in any other way.
- Cold temps
When I tried the first sample from the fermenter, it was at 36 F and it lacked the hoppy flavor and aroma I was looking for. Being at a cold temp can definitely affect any aroma that would and did show up in the sample, as there was not much to speak of at the time. Some beers just taste better and release more flavor and aroma when warmed up. I’ve also read that dry hop additions at colder temps will release aroma and flavor at a much more slower pace as opposed to room temp dry hopping. Not sure why this is, but I can attest that in the past I have dry hopped at ale temps (mid to high 60’s F), and had excellent results.
Fast forward 2 weeks later. The hop profile is better now after sitting on the pellet hops for an extended period. The fruitiness of the New Zealand hops have really made this brew more complex and their different subtleties round out the finish. With a little carbonation this one is great and probably wont last. It does have a familiar West Coast U.S. hop flavor but takes a small twist in the finish that is very different. It is very drinkable and retains a lacing in the glass until the last drop is gone. I was able to score these hops on www.rebelbrewer.com and on a side note is a great homebrew shop and ship really fast. Enjoy and cheers!
Tasman Bay Pale
Style: American/New Zealand Pale Ale
Batch Size: 6.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.30 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 6.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 32.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 81.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
12 lbs Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM) Grain 92.31 %
8.0 oz Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
8.0 oz Victory Malt (biscuit) (Briess) (28.0 SRM)Grain 3.85 %
0.50 oz PACIFIC GEM [15.40 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
0.50 ozRakau [11.40 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
0.55 oz Warrior [13.70 %] (60 min) Hops 20.8 IBU
0.15 oz PACIFIC GEM [15.40 %] (60 min) Hops 6.4 IBU
0.30 oz PACIFIC GEM [15.40 %] (5 min) Hops 2.5 IBU
0.50 ozRakau [11.40 %] (5 min) Hops 3.1 IBU
1 tube WLP001 Calif Ale (White Labs) Yeast-Ale w/Starter
Total Grain Weight: 13.00 lb
The 5 minute additions should be added in the LAST 5 minutes continually until the end of the boil
- Building the Perfect American Pale Ale (beaconhillsbrewhouse.wordpress.com)
- Fresh Hop (Great Divide Brewing co.) | TheBEERSgoneBAD #105 (thebeersgonebad.com)
- Update: Building the Perfect American Pale Ale…built. (beaconhillsbrewhouse.wordpress.com)
- The Road to Nelson…. (cornishtim.wordpress.com)
- Dry hopping Laurel IPA (52beers.wordpress.com)
- Working on developing a ‘house’ pale ale (52beers.wordpress.com)