It’s Cryo Time

I admit to being rather concerned that this beer would not turn out very well.   When I tasted it from the fermenter I was underwhelmed by the hop aroma and flavor.   I did notice that the dry hops had floated to the top of the fermenter; which was a concern.   Next time I’ll have to make sure they get submerged for better hop aroma/flavor extraction.

One week after being in the keg I still wasn’t every excited about the beer.   However, now that’s it been in the keg a little over two weeks I’m happy to report it’s a very nice drinking beer.   The hop aroma is still not what I was hoping for, but the hop flavor is really quite amazing.   Maybe it just takes more time for Cryo Hop’d beers to develop?

Here is the fermentation chart for this beer.   Note the temperature swings.   Some day I’ll acquire I temperature controlled fermenter 🙂

Final product is a highly drinkable 6.2 % light bodied IPA with plenty of hop flavor.   While the hop aroma is not intense you can detect the Simcoe and Cascade hops.

I feel like this beer would have benefit’d from a slightly more complex malt bill. Next time I’ll had some Carapils and/or Wheat.   Or maybe split the base malt up with between two varieties.   I’ll also make sure the dry hops stay submerged…


Hop Update

Second year hops

This is the second year for my hops.  The front row is Cascade and the back is Centennial.   I feel like they aren’t growing as well as they should this year.   Maybe I was a little too aggressive trimming them, or maybe I just need to give them more room to grow.   That front row has progressed considerably more than than the back.

Next year I’ll divide up the rhizomes and plant them all in a single row.   So I should have a total of at least 16 plants next year 🙂

Anyway as you can see from the following photos the hop cones have started to form.

Centennial Hops
Cascade Hops

Now I just need to start thinking about the Harvest Ale I’m going to make with these…   I have about a month to decide as I hope to be picking these hops in late August…

Cryo Adventure

Until recently if you wanted a super hoppy beer you had to consume something north of 6% ABV or something well north of that mark.   Like a Double IPA, Imperial IPA, or a stupid strong IPA (think Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA).

I enjoy hoppy beers, but I’d like to have more than one or two.   Founder’s All Day IPA weighing in at a mere 4.7% is probably may favorite.  It’s delicious and something you really can drink all day.

The Columbia Crew recently went to Philly Beer week (see my bud Warren’s Blog for the details).    One of the highlights was a visit to Tired Hand’s Fermentaria where I had many awesome beers, but one beer really stood out for me.   That would be their Hop Hands Pale Ale weighing in at 5.5% which is hopped like crazy with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Centennial.   This is an absolutely crushable beer.   I love it, maybe more so than All Day IPA (that’s saying a lot).

So that brings me today’s brew day.   I’m not sure what distinguishes a Pale Ale   from a Session IPA these days or whether what I’m making should be considered a straight up IPA so I’m going to refrain from using those terms.   Today’s beer while be called “Cryo Time”.

The goal with this brew is to feature hops so I decided to go with a simple malt bill consisting of nothing but Briess Brewer’s Malt.   The hops added to this beer will be considerably more interesting.  Here’s the Beer Smith profile:

So as you can see I’m using a total fo 3 oz of Cryo hops.   What’s a Cryo Hop you ask?   It’s a concentrated form of a hop.   Hop manufactures have figured out how to extract the Lupulin power from hops and pelletize them.   The net effect is a pellet that packs about twice the hop power of a normal hop pellet.

There are some conventional hop pellets in this brew as well.   I’m using a 1/2 oz of Warrior as a First Wort Hop for bittering and will be using 1 oz of Cascade pellets along with the Cryo Hops for dry hop ( the idea is to have something for the Lupulin powder to cling to).

So in all there is the equivalent of 7.5oz of hops in this brew which has a SG of only 1.058.

It’s fermenting now so I’ll report back in a couple weeks 🙂