Author Topic: Single Hopped beer tasting notes  (Read 7836 times)

Offline erockrph

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Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« on: September 26, 2012, 04:56:20 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)
Eric B.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 05:08:48 PM »
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.
Eric B.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 05:22:03 PM »
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.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline deepsouth

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 05:29:32 PM »
i'm tuned in.
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Offline dimik

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 06:44:13 PM »
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.
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 06:57:15 PM »
I'm in too.  Very interesting thread and looking forward to future results. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 08:42:44 PM »
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.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline erockrph

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 09:04:13 PM »
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.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline erockrph

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 09:08:40 PM »
4 down, three more to go. I should have the others up sometime this weekend.
Eric B.

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Offline Mark G

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 09:14:46 PM »
Keep' em coming. This is great info!
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 09:25:47 PM »
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!
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Offline andrew000141

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Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 10:27:46 AM »
Loving it!!
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Offline denny

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 11:02:10 AM »
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.
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Offline toast26

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2012, 04:57:24 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.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Single Hopped beer tasting notes
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2012, 09:33:35 PM »
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.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer