21 February 2009

posted by benjy edwards

We have yet to use the Cascade hops that were harvested in the late summer/fall of 2008,  so today we brewed a pale ale using only home-grown hops.  The recipe is loosely based on Anchor’s Liberty Ale, but the colour is going to be darker than Liberty.  The malt bill was Maris Otter, caravienna, carahell, kiln amber, and honey malt.  Thirteen ounces of hops were added at 60 minutes for bittering, 30 and 15 for flavour, and more at flameout for aroma.  We have around 3 ounces of the home-grown hops left in reserve for dry-hopping.  It should have tons of Cascade flavour and aroma character without heavy bitterness, as the IBU clocks in at ‘only’ 40 for a 1.054 beer.  Target gravity was 1.056 but we achieved 1.054.

Last week’s batch, the Brewer’s Gold, was racked to a couple of cornies for conditioning, to be served on the handpump.  Each keg was dry-hopped with an ounce and a quarter of Brewer’s Gold pellets, one keg using a stainless steel tea ball I just got, the other using a fine-mesh nylon bag.

While brewing, we also had a chance to vent and tap the pin containing the first half of the Jeffrey Hudson Bitter clone.  After a week of conditioning, there was very little pressure in the cask, so we were able to tap it right away and hook it up to a beer engine.  It’s a nice, light, quaffable pint with great clarity and lots of flavour from the Mt. Hood hops.  I don’t use Mt. Hood very much, but they are nice, with a unique flavour that I would describe as quite citrusy but without the ‘catty’ flavour common to a lot of American “C” hops, such as Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus.

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