American/English Bitter (with homegrown Cascade hops)

6 oz of home-grown Cascade

6 oz of home-grown Cascade

This beer used the 3rd runnings from my Imperial Pumpkin ale‘s mash. Also, my Cascade hops were ripe, so I picked a whopping 6 oz of cones and used them all in this batch. Their aroma was very subtle, but if you really dig your nose in you could smell some grapefruit and pine. As a rough approximation, I assumed that they’re around 2% alpha acid, so i used that in calculating the IBUs to get around 40 or so.

  • 3rd runnings from Imperial Pumpkin ale
  • 4 lb Dark Munich (Weyermann)
  • 1 lb Crystal 40 (Briess)
  • 1 oz Kent Goldings (7.2%aa, 60 min)
  • 1 oz homegrown Cascade @ 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 min.
  • WYeast London Ale

// Hold the new mash at around 150 for 30 minutes after adding the grains to the already-sparged mash. Added 7 gallons and sparged to collect 6.5 gallons of 1029 wort. Boil 60 minutes and collect 5 gallons of 1036 wort. Brewed 9/6/14. //

Water profile: 2.1 g gypsum 2.8 g CaCl2 into the mash.

Ready to be boiled!

Ready to be boiled!

I picked the hops the day before brewing, and put them in the freezer overnight. When I pulled them out the next morning, they had a weird musty smell to them, and they were also wet compared to the day prior. Way less appetizing them when they came straight off the vine. I went ahead and used them anyway. The boil smelled OK, but I felt like I was still smelling the musty thing from earlier throughout the boil.

UPDATE (9/14/14): Fermentation stopped and yeast has pretty much dropped out. Awesome English yeast esters, which seems to have more than the Wyeast ESB. Great toasted malt flavor up front with a moderate level of bitterness in the middle through the finish. I really like the malt flavor, even though it’s basically a watered down version of the mash that came before it. But, it you consider it as a mix of 1/2 base mild malt, 1/2 base dark munich, equal parts crystal 40 and some special roast, and a dash of chocolate malt, then I really like that combination in a beer like this.

THE VERDICT

This beer went through some weird phases throughout its lifecycle. The malt and hop flavors seemed to fade in and out each week that it was on tap. It was pretty thin (the cold temperature + carbonation really emphasized that) as  expected from the low starting and finishing gravity, but it honestly did taste like the “leftovers” of a batch rather than having its own personality. Maybe it’s in my head since I know it was the dregs of the mash, but regardless it was pretty puny.  My homegrown hops were barely a factor, but it was cool to say that they all got used in a batch. The flavor of the goldings bittering hops actually shined through the most in the end even though they were boiled for 60 minutes. Next time it would be good to just dry-hop the hell out of a beer like this, since I couldn’t really count on the malts for flavor.

IMG_0346

3rd Runnings

 

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Filed under All-grain, Amber

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