Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: erockrph on September 26, 2012, 11:56:20 PM

Title: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on September 26, 2012, 11:56:20 PM
I recently did a bunch of single-hopped Pale Ales to test out some hop varieties that I've been sitting on for a while. I thought I'd share my tasting notes, since a lot of these hops are either fairly new, or at least relatively uncommon in my travels. If anyone else has tasting notes from single-hopped beers of their own that may be useful, feel free to add them as well.

Here's my base recipe that I used for all of these batches. It's just a fairly basic extract low-gravity APA. The goal was to maximize hop flavor and aroma. Refer to the notes at bottom for details on how I handled the hop additions.

Tasting notes will be posted separately as replies when I taste each batch.

HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: Extract Pale Ale (Base Recipe)

Brew Method: Extract
Style Name: American Pale Ale
Boil Time: 15 min
Batch Size: 0.8 gallons
Boil Size: 1 gallons
Efficiency: 70%

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.046
Final Gravity: 1.014
ABV (standard): 4.17%
IBU (tinseth): 41.46
SRM (morey): 4.97

FERMENTABLES:
0.5 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Extra Light (53.3%)
0.375 lb - Liquid Malt Extract - Munich (40%)
0.0625 lb - Maltodextrin (6.7%)

HOPS:
0.2 oz - Hop Shot (AA 12.8), Type: Pellet, Use: First Wort
0.25 oz - Hop Shot (AA 12.8) for 0 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil
0.5 oz - Hop Shot (AA 12.8) for 7 days, Type: Pellet, Use: Dry Hop

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
0.5 each - Whirlfloc, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil
0.5 g - Gypsum, Time: 15 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash
2 drops - FermCap-S, Time: 15 min, Type: Other, Use: Boil

YEAST:
Wyeast - London ESB Ale 1968

NOTES:
Make starter & pitch measured amount of slurry. (15mL)

Begin bringing water to boil. Add extract, Fermcap and gypsum. Add "FWH" as temp hits 120-140F. At boil, add whirlfloc.

For Munich LME - 1/2 cup = 6oz.

For Maltodextrin - 6 TBSP = 1.5 oz

(Target 40-45 IBU's from FWH addition calculated as a 20-minute add. Flameout addition = 1/4 oz. Dry Hop w/ 1/2 oz for 10 days)
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on September 27, 2012, 12:08:48 AM
The first batch I'm tasting was brewed with Summit. These were 15.5% AA and came from AHS. The pellets themselves smelled dank, with herbal/grassy notes and a distinct onion aroma. There was a rather indistinct citrus note behind the dankness, but onion and dank were the main aroma from the hops themselves.

I was surprised by the aroma of the finished beer. There was a huge blast of tangerines with some grapefruit. There is a bit of dankness/spiciness in the nose, but it is way in the back behind the citrus.

The flavor profile is a different story altogether. It's like eating onion rings. It's not overpowering, and I like the taste in general, just not in a beer (especially not in a session beer). I think it's the malty Munich flavor that combines with a savory/spicy onion-garlic note that really reminds me of breaded onion rings. I think I picked up something that reminds me of aged parmesan or asiago as well.

So my thoughts on Summit are, maybe it's only suitable in small quantities, or maybe it's better suited for dry-hopping only. Maybe it would be OK paired with another hop. I just know that while I like the flavors that I'm getting in this beer, I just don't like them in beer.

On the other hand, this beer will likely be awesome to cook with.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on September 27, 2012, 12:22:03 AM
The second batch I'm tasting was brewed with Motueka. These are 7.2% AA from Rebel Brewer. My aroma notes on the pellets themselves was herbal/citrus (noble-like with a citrus kick). I had a note that I really liked the aroma of these pellets and had them earmarked for use in a Pils based on what I was smelling.

The finished beer had aromas of lime and lemongrass. It's citrus, but not explosive, C-hop type citrus. It's definitely softer and more complex, almost like a sweet citrus.

On the palate I still pick up the lime, but it's relatively soft with some faint herbal/floral flavors. Again, it's citrus, but not the typical C-hop grapefruit/passionfruit bitter/juicy citrus. Because it's a bit less assertive of a hop, I got more of the malt flavor coming through.

I don't think Motueka could take the lead role in a hop-bomb, but it would definitely be nice as a supporting note. It's mellow enough where you could use it in place of noble hops in a lager. The flavor is distinct enough where it would probably throw a Pils out of style, but it would definitely make for a refreshing summertime brew. I'm thinking it could also be nice in a hoppy saison, an American wheat or maybe even a wit.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: deepsouth on September 27, 2012, 12:29:32 AM
i'm tuned in.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: dimik on September 27, 2012, 01:44:13 AM
Hehehe Summit is like that... only thing I can suggest is cooler fermentation otherwise I always end up with onion beers.

Keep them coming, this is really cool.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: thebigbaker on September 27, 2012, 01:57:15 AM
I'm in too.  Very interesting thread and looking forward to future results. 
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on September 27, 2012, 03:42:44 AM
Next brew was brewed solely with Hop Shot hop extract. I had no real way to gauge the oil content of the extract, so I simply used 40 IBU's worth as FWH, the rest of the syringe at flameout, and then a full syringe as dry hops. The smell of the extract reminded me a lot of "B-Hoppy" hop candies. Much like any other extract, the aroma is clearly hops, but it's not quite the same as smelling the real thing.

The aroma of the beer has citrus, and some dank earthy/oniony notes. The flavor is dank, herbal and resinous. There is some definite onion going on, but nothing like Summit. The onion is not the dominant note, and it doesn't have that real "savory" character that I got from the Summit. In general, I thought the flavor was a little flat for my tastes.

Although the Hop Shot I have isn't described to be from any particular variety, I've heard that it comes from Columbus. If that's true, I can definitely see some similarities, but for flavor/aroma purposes Hop Shot isn't even close to real Columbus. I'll be saving this for bittering purposes only from now on.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on September 27, 2012, 04:04:13 AM
Next up is a beer brewed with Rakau. These were 11.4% AA from Rebel Brewer. My aroma notes for the pellets read "grassy, tropical fruit, spice".

The nose of the finished beer has an indistinct "sweet fruit" aroma along the lines of papaya and sweet apples. There are also some perfumy/floral notes.

The palate finds herbal flavors, along with more generic "fruit" flavor. I also pick out some floral and spicy notes along with some resin. Overall, the hop flavor seems kind of muddled and indistinct, although I did get some nice cinnamon flavor as the beer warmed up a bit. The Rakau's not bad, but not something I'd go out of my way for again.

One other thing I noticed is that of all the batches I've tried so far, Rakau had the sharpest bitterness. All my bittering additions on these beers were pseudo-FWH, so it's hard to say for sure what kind of results this would give as a 60+ minute addition in an IPA. I have this earmarked to try out in place of Chinook/Columbus/Nugget as a bittering addition in the near future. I'll be sure to report back once I try it out.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on September 27, 2012, 04:08:40 AM
4 down, three more to go. I should have the others up sometime this weekend.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: Mark G on September 27, 2012, 04:14:46 AM
Keep' em coming. This is great info!
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: jamminbrew on September 27, 2012, 04:25:47 AM
Right on! Great stuff! Can't wait for the rest! Some of these hops I have never encountered. Good info, thanks for sharing all this with us!
Title: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: andrew000141 on September 27, 2012, 05:27:46 PM
Loving it!!
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: denny on September 27, 2012, 06:02:10 PM
AFAIK, HopShot is a blend of hops.  They did seem to have one or 2 single hops varieties at one time, but I don't see those any more.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: toast26 on September 28, 2012, 11:57:24 PM
I'm interested too. Good stuff. Sounds like tough work you're doing.

I am really curious about the New Zealand hops for some reason.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on October 01, 2012, 04:33:35 AM
Well, life got in the way this weekend, so I only have one more for now. I was able to pick up some Caliente leaf hops from Yakima Valley Hops. I'm not sure if these were clearance or limited release, but I was able to score 8oz for 6 bucks a while back so no complaints. The latest email I got from Jeff says he's planning on having these available as pellet hops this year.

I'll be honest - the hops themselves really didn't leave me with high hopes based on the smell of them. All I got off the cones was a really generic "hoppy" (i.e., grassy and nondescript), which seemed pretty mild. In the hop's defense, I did get these shipped to me in the middle of a 90+ degree July heatwave, and I'm assuming they were the better part of a year old at that point as well. Still, I couldn't pick up anything specific in the aroma of the hops themselves.

Well, I am very pleasantly surprised with the finished beer given what I picked up off the raw hops (or the lack thereof). The aroma has a little lemon zest and a hint of pine, but it is dominated by a very distinct stone fruit aroma. I got a really nice juicy aroma of fresh peach/nectarine/plum from this hop.

On the palate, the fruitiness is much more subdued. There are notes of peach and lemon, but it's fleeting. It almost reminded me of a flavored seltzer in that respect. As the beer warmed, I started getting a lot more earthy/woody notes coming out. On the flavor side, it seems like Fuggles, but with a bit of fruitiness.

I will definitely be ordering some pellets of this one once they become available this year. I can't help but wonder if I got these fresh, and shipped during cooler weather, that I may have gotten an even bigger flavor/aroma impact.

I think this one will pair nicely with Motueka. I could definitely see it as an interesting addition in an English IPA. The fresh plum note makes me want to find a way to combine this with Special B and D-180 in some way as well. Maybe some kind of bastardized dubbel/amber hybrid? I'm going to need a starter batch for my BDS once the Unibroue yeast is released, so it may see some action there. This hop was definitely a pleasant surprise from these batches, and I'm definitely looking forward to using it again soon.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: richardt on October 02, 2012, 11:04:43 PM
i did a single hopped IPA with summit hops a while back and used Summit for all additions (FWH, 40, 30, 20,10, and aroma steeping).  Your descriptions of onion/garlic + tangerine/citrus are pretty much spot on.  I did find that the onion/garlic flavor dissipated with time (2-3 months) which is would entail an aging or mellowing process that is not typically employed with IPA's, especially if dry-hopped.  I guess my point would be that if one did use summit hops and found the beer to be too onion/garlic in taste for their liking, just cellar it for a few months and come back to it--it should be more fruity/citrusy by then.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on October 03, 2012, 03:58:28 AM
Next beer up was brewed with Calypso. These were 12.8% AA from AHS. The pellets had some tropical fruit aroma, along with a pungent herbal/earthy scent and a hint of tobacco. I also picked up a very distinct aroma that smells like fresh-picked tomatoes, or more specifically, like the smell of a tomato plant after you just snapped off a ripe tomato.

On the nose of the beer itself I get some aromas of tropical fruit (similar to coconut), some earthiness, and faint notes of onion/sulfur as well as cocoa butter.

On the palate there is a fleeting grapefruit/citrus flavor, but the main character is herbal/grassy with a resinous bitterness that really seems to cling on. Some earthy and spicy flavors are tucked away in the background as well. I did start to pick up an interesting cocoa flavor after a few sips that seemed to intensify as the beer warmed up a bit.

I have to admit, with a name like Calypso i was expecting something totally different from this hop. I was hoping for something that reminded me of sipping a Mai Tai, but this seems pretty meh overall. This had a really tongue-coating resinous bite, so maybe this could work as a bittering hop for an IPA. The cocoa flavor was kind of interesting. I could see this doing well as a late addition in a Robust Porter.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on October 03, 2012, 04:13:56 AM
Last but not least is the beer I brewed with Nelson Sauvin. These are 12.1% AA from AHS. The hops themselves reminded me of a typical west coast Cascade/Centennial/Amarillo/etc type hop, but there is a distinct fragrant white wine note on top of the citrus.

The nose of the beer is much like the hops themselves. I pick up white grapefruit along with a distinct, perfumey Fume Blanc/Gewurz-type white wine note.

The flavor follows closely to what I get in the aroma. It's mainly ruby-red grapefruit along with a floral/fruity white wine note. There is a bit of a savory/herbal flavor component behind the wine, but I don't find it to be very strong or off-putting to my palate. I also get a slight resinous pine/juniper flavor as well.

I'm a big fan of Nelson. This will definitely be in heavy rotation in my fruit-hop beers. I also think this would be fantastic as a dry hop in a sour beer. I'm planning on dry-hopping a batch or two of cider this year, and I'm leaning heavily towards Nelson as the hop for that.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on October 03, 2012, 04:25:31 AM
Well, that's all I have for now. Hopefully this will be a decent resource since there isn't a heck of a lot of info on some of these hops yet. If anyone tries any of these out, please share your results. I think there's still some work to do on how to best accentuate certain flavors from some of these hops (I'm looking at you, Summit).

For me, the big winners are Nelson, Motueka and Caliente. These will be making it into my regular rotation.

All of these beers were tasted pretty much as soon as they were carbonated and ready to go. I'll check back in on them from time to time and if I notice any significant changes over time I'll keep this thread updated. Hopefully I'll get a chance to crank out another batch of these with different hops this spring. We'll have to see how this fall's crop impacts my freezer.  ;D
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: thebigbaker on October 03, 2012, 04:33:42 AM
Wow, great info.  I'm definitely going to try Nelson w/ my American Wheat and will try Motueka in a Hefe (sounds like hops my wife would enjoy). 
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: davidgzach on October 03, 2012, 12:12:40 PM
Excellent info!  Will definitely try some Nelson.

Dave
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: hoser on October 03, 2012, 04:11:43 PM
Nelsons are one of my faves!!!  Just wish it wasn't so hard to find. >:(

I was disappointed to see the tasting notes on the Calypso, but I have heard that using it as a bittering hop does give off some "weird" flavors.  Maybe the same thing happened using them as a FWH?

I was planning to brew a low gravity XPA/hoppy blonde ale with Calypso this weekend using the new Northern Brewer extract.  Shooting for 1.040ish OG with 30 min boil and the following hop schedule:
7g Calypso at 20min
14g Calypso at 10min
28g Calypso at WP when temp reaches 180F and hold for 10min

With possibly a dry hop addition in the keg.

Fingers crossed.  Planning on doing the same with Riwaka (mainly because I have them)

Thanks for all the tasting notes!!!
Title: Re: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: erockrph on October 03, 2012, 04:34:22 PM
Nelsons are one of my faves!!!  Just wish it wasn't so hard to find. >:(

I was disappointed to see the tasting notes on the Calypso, but I have heard that using it as a bittering hop does give off some "weird" flavors.  Maybe the same thing happened using them as a FWH?

I was planning to brew a low gravity XPA/hoppy blonde ale with Calypso this weekend using the new Northern Brewer extract.  Shooting for 1.040ish OG with 30 min boil and the following hop schedule:
7g Calypso at 20min
14g Calypso at 10min
28g Calypso at WP when temp reaches 180F and hold for 10min

With possibly a dry hop addition in the keg.

Fingers crossed.  Planning on doing the same with Riwaka (mainly because I have them)

Thanks for all the tasting notes!!!

AHS still has Nelson Sauvin for $1.99 an ounce, so stock up while you can.

Yeah, I was kinda bummed by the Calypso. I was hoping for something more fruity. Still, the flavors I did get would be nice in a Porter or black IPA.
I wonder if the FWH had any effect on the flavor profile of some of these beers. It will be interesting to play around with the timing of hop additions on some of these to see if you can find isolate certain flavor or aroma components.
Title: Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
Post by: dimik on October 14, 2012, 03:44:52 AM
Really cool! Good job, man.