Author Topic: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition  (Read 1434 times)

Offline erockrph

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Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« on: January 01, 2015, 02:14:37 AM »
I'm just getting in under the wire this year, but I was finally able to get in a short brewday to test out a few new hop varieties. I was only able to get three batches in today, but I have high hopes for them. The hop varieties I'm using this time around are Kohatu and Wai-iti from New Zealand, and an experimental hop from YVH called "J-Lime". The NZ hop pellets both smelled awesome. The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

For this batch, the recipe was 14oz of Light DME and 3oz of Carahell steeped for about 10 minutes to target an OG in the low 1.050's. As soon as I pulled the grains, I added 40-45 IBU (calculated as a 20-minute addition) of the hop, and brought it to a boil for 15 minutes. Each batch gets 1/4 oz flameout hops and 1/2 oz dry hops. Yeast is 1/3 packet of US-05 fermented at about 60F.

I'll be back in a month or so with tasting notes. Here are links to my results from the last two years, with a bit more detail on my process:

2012 edition
2013 edition
Eric B.

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

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 10:30:46 PM »
The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

Despite their storage drawbacks, I pretty much only use whole cone hops.  The smell of raw whole cone hops is deceiving because the lupulin glands are often intact.  I find the bitterness and aroma from well handled whole cones to be soft and round whereas I find pellets to be hard and sharp edged.

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2015, 01:24:42 AM »
The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

Despite their storage drawbacks, I pretty much only use whole cone hops.  The smell of raw whole cone hops is deceiving because the lupulin glands are often intact.  I find the bitterness and aroma from well handled whole cones to be soft and round whereas I find pellets to be hard and sharp edged.

+1

I pretty much use only whole-cone hops these days for the same reasons. And Yeah, storage is a pain--the wife gets a little bugged that I'm taking up so much room in the freezer. Now that the temp. outside is below freezing, I have bags of hops stored under the bulkhead leading down to the basement.
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Offline kmccaf

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2015, 01:44:10 AM »
The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

Despite their storage drawbacks, I pretty much only use whole cone hops.  The smell of raw whole cone hops is deceiving because the lupulin glands are often intact.  I find the bitterness and aroma from well handled whole cones to be soft and round whereas I find pellets to be hard and sharp edged.

I burned through my hops last year, so that I could buy hops right after harvest that are whole cone. Since I brew in the cold months, I start right after the hops harvest and get the freshest whole cone. I think it is an improvement. I still get some pellets though. the first 6 months after harvest, I do believe that whole cone has the edge, but not by a ton.
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Offline kmccaf

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 01:45:21 AM »
I'm just getting in under the wire this year, but I was finally able to get in a short brewday to test out a few new hop varieties. I was only able to get three batches in today, but I have high hopes for them. The hop varieties I'm using this time around are Kohatu and Wai-iti from New Zealand, and an experimental hop from YVH called "J-Lime". The NZ hop pellets both smelled awesome. The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

For this batch, the recipe was 14oz of Light DME and 3oz of Carahell steeped for about 10 minutes to target an OG in the low 1.050's. As soon as I pulled the grains, I added 40-45 IBU (calculated as a 20-minute addition) of the hop, and brought it to a boil for 15 minutes. Each batch gets 1/4 oz flameout hops and 1/2 oz dry hops. Yeast is 1/3 packet of US-05 fermented at about 60F.

I'll be back in a month or so with tasting notes. Here are links to my results from the last two years, with a bit more detail on my process:

2012 edition
2013 edition

I look forward to your thoughts on Wai-iti. Got 4 Ozs myself waiting for a pale lager.
Kyle M.

Offline pete b

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 02:16:25 AM »
The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

Despite their storage drawbacks, I pretty much only use whole cone hops.  The smell of raw whole cone hops is deceiving because the lupulin glands are often intact.  I find the bitterness and aroma from well handled whole cones to be soft and round whereas I find pellets to be hard and sharp edged.
I have two homebrews going using homegrown whole leaf. That combined with hopstands= full and rounded indeed! I had not completely connected the whole cone with the full aroma and flavor without the rough edges before but it makes sense. It just so happened that I have been trying out hopstands but have also been using whole cones so I need to try one without the other.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 03:20:02 AM »
The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

Despite their storage drawbacks, I pretty much only use whole cone hops.  The smell of raw whole cone hops is deceiving because the lupulin glands are often intact.  I find the bitterness and aroma from well handled whole cones to be soft and round whereas I find pellets to be hard and sharp edged.
I moved to pellet hops exclusively a year or two ago. It was partly to save on storage space, but mainly because I like massive amounts of late hops in many of my beers and wanted to cut down on wort loss. Ever since I made the switch, I found that many of my hoppy beers were harsher than usual, sometimes significantly so. I am making the move back to whole cone hops for many of my staple varieties this year in hopes of softening the rough edges on a few of my brews.

Unfortunately, my infatuation with certain Southern Hemisphere hops means I won't be able to completely kick the pellet habit any time soon.
Eric B.

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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 05:00:11 AM »
I'm just getting in under the wire this year, but I was finally able to get in a short brewday to test out a few new hop varieties. I was only able to get three batches in today, but I have high hopes for them. The hop varieties I'm using this time around are Kohatu and Wai-iti from New Zealand, and an experimental hop from YVH called "J-Lime". The NZ hop pellets both smelled awesome. The J-lime is whole-cone, and I find the aroma off the raw hops for cones is often pretty mild. I love me some lime, so I'm hoping the J-lime pulls through in the finished beer.

For this batch, the recipe was 14oz of Light DME and 3oz of Carahell steeped for about 10 minutes to target an OG in the low 1.050's. As soon as I pulled the grains, I added 40-45 IBU (calculated as a 20-minute addition) of the hop, and brought it to a boil for 15 minutes. Each batch gets 1/4 oz flameout hops and 1/2 oz dry hops. Yeast is 1/3 packet of US-05 fermented at about 60F.

I'll be back in a month or so with tasting notes. Here are links to my results from the last two years, with a bit more detail on my process:

2012 edition
2013 edition

really love to know what you get out of the Kohatu? i have a contract on that hop but yet to brew with them... very excited.

we're releasing at least 6 SMASH beers this year hoping this hop will lend well to the style.
Free recipes available for download on our website www.blacksandsbeer.com

Offline brewcrew7

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 01:37:41 PM »
Eric, do you have any plans on keeping up to date with your blog? Always love your take on hops, but I'll have to scour the forum for all your nuggets. Besides just tasting notes, which you do wonderfully, you also add suggestions on how to bring out their best qualities - that's invaluable experience. For example, a recent comment of yours about El Dorado and making sure to ferment beers dry is insightful.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 02:32:47 PM »
Eric, do you have any plans on keeping up to date with your blog? Always love your take on hops, but I'll have to scour the forum for all your nuggets. Besides just tasting notes, which you do wonderfully, you also add suggestions on how to bring out their best qualities - that's invaluable experience. For example, a recent comment of yours about El Dorado and making sure to ferment beers dry is insightful.
Thanks! My blog started as a way to take what I've done here and put it out to a bit of a wider audience. I will definitely be updating the blog with my results as well. But the AHA forums are essentially my homebrew club. I've learned so much here, so my hop tasting notes come here first as my way of trying to pay it forward.

I haven't had a chance to brew (or write) as much as I'd like this past year, but I have a few ideas in the works for this coming year. My goal this year is to keep things more manageable, but be able to follow through better.
Eric B.

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

Offline erockrph

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 04:31:15 AM »
So the results are in. Before I get into the specific tasting notes, I wanted to make a couple of disclaimers on this round of tastings.

The hop character definitely seemed a bit lower on this batch of beers than previous trials, but I'm inclined to believe it wasn't due to the hops themselves. Usually my fermentables are simply extra light DME with a small amount of Munich LME to add a little bit more malt character. For this go-around I decided to steep some CaraHell instead. The malt character of these beers ended up a bit richer than usual, and I think that robbed from the hop presence a bit.

I also skipped the gypsum addition that I usually add (primarily out of laziness). I think that would have helped make the hops pop a bit more.

Finally, I had an "oh crap" moment when I noticed at the last minute that I only had 2 glass jugs available for 3 batches. I improvised using a HDPE milk jug, but I wouldn't be surprised if the plastic adsorbed its fair share of hop oils. I used it for the J-Lime batch, which ended up with a very mild hop character. I'll post my tasting notes anyways, but I want to retest that hop.
Eric B.

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

Offline erockrph

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 04:43:48 AM »
I'll lead off with the Experimental J-Lime batch. These were whole cone hops I got from Yakima Valley Hops, weighing in at 6.9% AA.

The aroma of the beer didn't have a lot of hop punch. I picked up some citrus and berry notes, along with some stonefruit (which really reminded me more of a yeast ester than hop oil). I also noted faint vanilla and earth. I really had to fight to pick out a lot of these aromas and outside of the citrus and berry, I'm not 100% sold that these are coming from the hops rather than yeast or malt.

On the palate I got a mild, herbal hop note with a bit of tangy citrus. The finish has some lingering bitterness along with some earth/dirt/mushroom notes. Bittering seemed moderate and did linger faintly on the finish.

As I mentioned in my lead-in, I fermented this one in a HDPE water jug and I fear that may have stripped a lot of the hop character. My initial impressions really made me think of some UK hops like Fuggle and Challenger. If my flavor assessment is accurate, then this may be interesting in UK-style pale ales. I do have this hop earmarked for a rebrew some time.
Eric B.

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

Offline erockrph

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 05:02:53 AM »
Next up is Wai-iti. This NZ hop has been on my wishlist for a while, and I was finally able to find some through Farmhouse Brewing Supply. The hops I used were pellets from the 2014 crop, and were listed at only 4.1% AA. The pellets had a potent, oily aroma that seemed to be typical NZ-style tropical fruit.

The aroma of the beer had a massive blackcurrant note, paired up with passionfruit in a supporting role.

The flavor was very blackcurrant-forward as well. I did get some lime/lemongrass and passion fruit. There was also a bit of a resinous quality, but it made me think of concentrated currant/ribes more than the typical dank/pine resin character you find in hops like Columbus or Simcoe. As the currant fades out there are floral notes, passion fruit and some fleeting sweet cinnamon notes as well.

Bittering was mild-to-moderate and fairly clean.

I have a feeling that Wai-iti is going to be quite a polarizing hop. To me, I perceive "catty" as blackcurrant, and it is a flavor and aroma that I enjoy. To those who perceive "catty" as tomcat spray, I'd be willing to bet that this hop will not go over well. I see this being a hop that is best in a blend. While it does have some fruit undertones, the currant note is the predominant character by far. I think it would be nice in an IPA to balance some fruitier hops. It might also be nice as a dry hop in a sour, and maybe as a flavor addition in a beer that has some dark fruit character.
Eric B.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2015, 05:16:08 AM »
Last, but not least, we have Kohatu. I got these pellets from Farmhouse Brewing Supply as well. These were 2014 crop and were listed at 8.1% AA. The aroma of the hop pellets really wowed me. There was some complex tropical fruit, citrus and pine resin.

The aroma of the beer had some very nice complexity. I picked up citrus (grapefruit, primarily), stone fruit, some pine in the background, and some vinous notes.

The flavor was resinous with lingering pine. I also got some lemon/grapefruit citrus notes, but the flavor didn't seem as potent as the aroma. There was also some stone fruit & tropical notes. The finish saw the pine resin character linger a bit.

Bittering was moderate-to-full and clinging.

My impression of Kohatu is somewhere along the lines of Nelson-meets-Mosaic. The only thing is that the hop character didn't seem as potent in this beer as I would expect from Nelson or Mosaic. I did change my recipe a bit, and that may be contributing to the somewhat muted hop character here. I do think that Kohatu has a lot of potential. I think this one is perfectly suited to IPA's. I would probably use it similar to Columbus or Chinook, but expect a bit more fruit and some of that NZ-terroir wininess.
Eric B.

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

Offline mchrispen

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Re: Single-hopped beers - 2014 edition
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2015, 05:25:14 AM »
These are great Eric... Thanks!