Kettle with Hops

I was able to get a decent harvest off my 2nd year Chinook hop plants. I decided to throw the entire harvest at a Fresh Hop IPA! In this video I talk a little about growing and drying fresh hops, provide an overview of my brew day and recipe, and evaluate the finished beer. I am curious how my fresh grown Chinook will compare to commercially grown Chinook.

YouTube Video – Brew a Fresh Hop IPA!

Fresh Hop IPA Recipe

Specifications

  • Batch Size: 5.4 gallons into fermenter
  • Process: Brew in a Bag (BAIB)
  • Brew Date: 10/10/2021
  • Packaged Date: 10/25/2021
  • Original Gravity (OG): 1.072
  • Final Gravity (FG): 1.016
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Efficiency: 75%
  • Calculated IBU: 85
  • SRM: 4.8

Note that it is very hard to predict aa% levels from homegrown hops and the resulting IBUs. I expected the actual IBUs to be lower, which I think they were. I tweaked my volume for this batch knowing the hops would suck up a lot of water but I figured these parameters would get me in the ball park.

Grain Bill

The target was a simple grain bill that was about 50/50 Pale Malt and Pale Ale Malt. The ratio is a little off as I used up the last of my bucket of Muntons Super Pale Malt.

  • 55.4% – 7.75 lbs [3.5 kg] Muntons Super Pale Malt
  • 44.6% – 6.25 lbs [2.8 kg] Crisp Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt

Hops

I have heard about issues related to dry hopping with homegrown hops. I decided to just split the entire amount of hops between a 10 minute addition and a 20 minute steep/whirlpool addition at 180F [82°C]. The goal was to maximize hop flavors and aromas, while providing enough IBUs to make this feel like an IPA.

  • Boil 10 min
    • 4.3 oz [113 g] (Homegrown, Dried, Whole Cone) – 62.6 IBUs
  • Steep @ 180°F [82°C] for 20 min
    • 4.3 oz [113 g] Chinook (Homegrown, Dried, Whole Cone) – 22.0 IBUs

The actual IBUs of the final beer were likely much less than this calculated value.

Yeast – Split Ferment

In my continuing quest to evaluate dry yeast, I split this batch with Lallemand BRY-97 and Cellar Science Cali Ale. I plan to release a separate video focused on fermentation and yeast differences. I direct pitched one pack of dry yeast into each fermenter containing about 2.6 gallons [10 L] of wort.

  • 1 pkg (11g) Lallemand BRY-97 West Coast Ale
  • 1 pkg (12g) Cellar Science Cali Ale

Mash / Boil Process

  • Strike Water: 5.7 gal at 162°F [72°C]
  • Mash: 152°F [66.7°C] for 60 mins
  • Sparge Water: 2 gal [7.6 L]
  • Boil: 30 min
  • Pre-Boil Volume: 6.65 gal [25.1 L]
  • Post-Boil Volume: 6.15 gal [23.3 L]
  • Fermenter Volume: 5.4 gal [20.4 L]

Boil Additions – 10 min

  • 1/2 tablet Whirlfloc

Water Profile

I bumped up my Chloride and Calcium a bit higher then my standard American IPA. Part of the motivation was to see the impact that more Calcium had on the mash pH and final beer. The extra Calcium means I should hit a lower pH with less acid additions.

  • Calcium (Ca): 133
  • Magnesium (Mg): 7*
  • Sodium (Na): 25*
  • Sulfate (SO4): 207
  • Chloride (Cl): 91
  • SO4 / Cl: 2.3

*Mg, Na = base tap water

Water Adjustments

  • 9.3 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)
  • 3 g Calcium Chloride
  • 9.2 ml Phosphoric Acid (10%)
    • target pH 5.4 / measured 5.5
  • 1/2 tablet Campden
    • to remove chlorine & chloramine

Fermentation

I generally followed my standard ale fermentation schedule. The Cali Ale batch was a bit slow to start and hit full speed, so it was not until day 7 that I boosted fermentation temperatures.

  • Pitch at 64°F [18°C]
  • Hold 7 Days at 64°F [18°C]
  • Raise to 70F [21°C] over 4 days
  • Hold at 70F [21°C] until packaging
  • Keg on day 16

Finishing Values

Below are the actual finishing values for the two batches.

Lallemand BRY-97 West Coast Ale

  • OG: 1.068
  • FG: 1.012
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Attenuation: 81%

Cellar Science Cali Ale

  • OG: 1.068
  • FG: 1.009
  • ABV: 7.8%
  • Attenuation : 86%

Fresh Hop IPA Evaluation

Note that this evaluation is focused on the overall Fresh Hop IPA recipe and the character from the homegrown Chinook hops. I will have a separate article and video focused on yeast and fermentation difference between the BRY-97 and Cali Ale batches.

Appearance

color, clarity, and head (retention, color, and texture)

  • Light golden color, mostly clear with slight haze
  • White creamy head with good lacing
    • interesting given simple grain bill

Aroma

malt, hops, esters, and other aromatics

  • Bright tropical hop character, touch of pineapple
  • Slight dank character
  • No real malt or grain character on the aroma

Flavor

malt, hops, fermentation characteristics, balance, finish/aftertaste, and other flavor characteristics

  • Medium bitterness, IBUs are present, but likely less than calculated
  • Sweet malty flavor, mild grain character, biscuit is light
  • Lots of hop flavors, similar to aroma, bright tropical with pineapple and citrus
  • No real pine character

Mouthfeel

body, carbonation, warmth, creaminess, astringency, and other palate sensations

  • Medium body, in line with OG and ABV level
  • No noticeable alcohol
  • Slight astringency, similar to other IPA with Cali Ale yeast
    • Makes me wonder if Cali Ale is the same as US-05

Overall Impression

overall drinking pleasure, suggestions for improvement

  • Really enjoyable and unique beer
  • Flavorful beer even with very simple grain bill
  • Hard to fully judge the impact of Maris Otter, the beer has lots of hop flavors
  • Also hard to judge the 3 grams of Calcium Chloride added

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