American Pale Ale w/ Homegrown Hops

IMG_1067I brewed this beer over the summer when my hops were ready for harvesting. Threw together a quick recipe for an American Pale ale that used them. Last year I used 6 oz of them in a batch and really didn’t notice any detectable hop character from it. This year the hops are bigger, slightly more aromatic, and in larger quantity.

  • 6.5 lb Marris Otter
  • 0.15 lb Amber malt
  • 0.25 oz Columbus @ 60 min
  • 2.5 oz homegrown Cascade @ 20, 18.5, 16, 14.5, 13, 11.5, 10, 8.5 minutes
  • WLP001

// Mash-in 152 for 60 min, raise to 168. Sparge w/ 1 gal to collect around 2 gallons 1.065 wort. Boil 60 minutes. Add ice to chill down to 70. Got around 2.5 gallons f 1.052. Let sit for 30 minutes – super clear wort with lots of coagulated trub but it only settled to about halfway down the pot, so I wound up just pouring the whole thing into the fermenter. Pitch yeast (no starter) and oxygenate for 45s pure O2. Brewed 8/23/15. //

The hops basically occupied the entire kettle – it looked like hop soup with a little big of wort holding it together. Surprisingly it wasn’t that difficult to remove them before chilling – just used a slotted spoon and a regular spoon to scoop and squeeze a few oz at a time. There were a few stragglers but not many.

Rigorous fermentation after 8 hours, pretty much done after 3 days but I let it go for another 2. Nice citrusy aroma coming from the airlock.

8/29/15  Most of the yeast has dropped out. Gravity at 1012.  Tastes like a slightly hoppy golden ale – very bright and lively flavor with a great balance of malt and hops. Was expecting a little more hop flavor/aroma but it’s very appropriate where it us. Little lingering bitterness but overall very refreshing.

THE VERDICT

A clean, crisp, golden beer that was well balanced. Despite using a whopping 20 oz of hops, the amount of hop flavor and aroma was still pretty subdued! Unreal. There was a moderate bitterness, but nothing extreme. This beer was supposed to be all about the hops, but I actually wound up really liking the malt bill – simple, but with just enough flavor to provide a hint of toast. It let the subtle hops peek through. This would be a good grist for any American Pale Ale. The beer did have an incredibly fluffy white head, too. Let’s hope next year’s hops are even stronger!

IMG_1106

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Filed under All-grain, Experimental, Hoppy, Pale Ale

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