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  • Wet hop ale

    I brewed 10 gallons of an APA/IPA with this year's crop of Cascade hops yesterday. Here's what I did:

    The day before, I picked a bunch of hops, and let them sit overnight in a bin to dry a little.

    Yesterday I mashed in 11 lbs. Maris Otter, 11 lbs. American 2-row (Briess), and 3 lbs. German Munich malt (Avangard)/

    While mashing and sparging,I picked more Cascade hops.

    Previously, when I have brewed all fresh hop ales, I have noticed a lack of bitterness, even though I used a lot of freshly picked hops. So I added 2 oz. of Brewers Gold pellets to the boil when it started.

    After boiling for 60 minutes, I started adding in copious amounts of Cascade hops that were just picked. Didn't measure or time the additions. Stopped with 10 minutes left in the boil.

    Chilled and pitched with US-05 yeast. We shall see how this turns out. I had a great crop this year - the hot dry summer with lots of watering lead to a bumper crop, lots of cones around 3 inches tall.


  • #2
    Sounds delicious. Any dry (fresh) hopping planned for more aroma?

    Three inch cones are monsters. Did you get any that started growing leaves at the top? Those were freaky.

    Bittering with rated pellets was smart. One reason I gave up on homegrown hops was because I never knew how strong they were until I used them, and sometimes results were pretty far off target.

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    • #3
      Yep, I plan on dry hopping with some of the harvest that is currently drying in bins. Trying to avoid that chlorophyll flavor which my earlier attempts had, which I dislike.

      Yes, some small leaves did start at the tops of those monster cones, but they were pretty small. By far the weirdest thing about this year harvest was some strange tiny flower clusters growing on some of the strings, which I think are male flowers.

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      • #4
        I remember those occasional male flowers or whatever the proper term is, had me worried they might cause seeds, I guess those plants were still trying to decide...

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        • #5
          I've always used commercial hops for bittering as you never know the alpha of the homegrown ones. Then 6 times the dry weight in wet hops for flavor and aroma

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          • #6
            I have brewed a Wet Hopped Harvest Ale for the past 4 years; basically the same beer which is an APA. I use pellet hops for the bittering (60 minutes of boil) and flavor (last 10 minutes of boil). The wet hops get added at the end of boil and a 40 minute hop-stand. I use 20 ounces of wet hops for this end of boil addition.

            The wet hops are picked as the wort is boiling.


            Cheers!

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            • #7
              So Chumley how did it turn out

              Jack same question to you

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              • #8
                I have enjoyed using fresh hops. So much so, that what doesn't immediately go into the brew. I put into the gallon size zip-lock bags, and then when I've got it almost closed, suck as much air out as my lungs can pull, close it, and pop them in the freezer. They make nice little "flat packs" that you can stack.The harvest season is so short (at least here... they just get their plumpest about when the first night frosts come) so this lets me even enjoy them at other times of the year. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd do that every year.

                I generally first wort and bitter hop with commercial cones and save the freshies towards the end about 6' before and right at killing the boil.

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                • #9
                  I tasted my first bottle of Wet Hopped Harvest Ale last evening and I really enjoyed drinking it. The beer has a very pleasant herbal aroma/flavor for my palate.

                  Cheers!

                  P.S. Lagunitas makes a wet hopped beer they label as Born Yesterday. Last year's (2016) version was outstanding. I have not seen the 2017 version yet but hopefully my local retailers will be receiving it any day now. Based upon how well the 2016 version turned out I would recommend this beer to others.

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                  • #10
                    Mine turned out excellent. Less wet hop character than I expected, but very nice an smooth. Definitely a great session beer.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chumley View Post
                      Mine turned out excellent. Less wet hop character than I expected, but very nice an smooth. Definitely a great session beer.
                      and Jack wrote:

                      "I tasted my first bottle of Wet Hopped Harvest Ale last evening and I really enjoyed drinking it. The beer has a very pleasant herbal aroma/flavor for my palate"

                      Boy. It really pleases me to hear these kinds of things.

                      I followed what I read religiously when I first embarked on all-grain brewing. In time, I either made mistakes, or got lazy, and often found without sacrificing quality (and saving me time and effort), and sometimes improving it. Realising that I had relied too heavily on what other people said you had to do, I then started constructing little "'spurments" (I try and not artificially dignify these efforts by actually calling them experiments).

                      Wow, has my brewing gotten better. Less effort, better product, and even better efficiency of extraction.

                      The fresh hop thing was one of the purely serendipitous ones. As early as 1984, I was out and dug up a Saaz plant outside of Zatec, and smuggled it home. Not knowing at the time that all I needed was the rhizome, as we traveled from town to town by bus or train, each time we'd overnight, I'd pull the plastic bag where it lay upon my dirty socks in my backpack, place it in the window of the hotel, and water it if needed.

                      I copped a lot of teasing over that, even if the other guys were also beer geeks.

                      "Where's Doc?" "Think he's having sex with his hop plant up in the room. He'll be down."

                      I've mentioned in the "spruce" discussion that the hops that grew along houses and barns here were likely of a hallerauer variety. I used them, and when the Saaz plant began producing in any quantity after some years, those as well.

                      Although "reading" that the drying part was an important contribution to the flavour of the hop, I never read "why", and I never worked out any convenient drying method (and there was certainly no one to ask then). I thought I'd try just chucking them in freshly picked.

                      I've made some "harvest beers" where the entire hop bill was these, and they were very pleasant, but probably not as bitter as I would have liked. I've since drifted towards using them at flavouring time where there strength lies, and using commercial hops for hot break and bittering.

                      The point being: I was just trying to save myself time, and stumbled upon some interesting stuff that was "against the rules".

                      That is the the beauty of this forum, I think. Sharing experience. Not everything you read is a direct commandment from God, and some of the stuff that "experts" are telling you is just things that have been repeatedly said enough times, that they have taken on their own power as the "gospel", even if entirely unwarranted.

                      Just playing around with your brewing can bring up some surprising results. Sharing that information may provoke others to do a little more ridged testing of that methodology to see what happens.

                      Keep playing' kids. Let us know what happens.

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                      • #12
                        Well said Dr. Pivo. This whole hobby is based on experience and I too find it beneficial for everyone that when someone tries something different you share results.

                        For example, recently I wanted to make a mango gose. But how to keep the sweet mango from fermenting out? I decided to treat it like back sweetening wine. I dosed it with Potassium metabisulfite and Potassium sorbate. Puréed mango and let it soak for for 2 weeks. Tasted it. Phenomenal. Sweet, sour. Exactly what I wanted. Just like Jack’s wet hopped beer.

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