Equinox Hops SMASH

The third in out series on SMASHing with the newer hop varieties. This weeks contestant is Equinox Hops!!! John said that this was the most dynamic and unique smelling hop pellet he’s ever had right out of the baggie! Check out the video and lets us know about your experience (or lack of…) with Equinox hops.

On first impression I could tell that Equinox was the most unique of the three we’ve tried (Eldorado and Mosaic). The initial aroma was certainly a ripe, almost over ripe, juicy green melon. I found that there was a interesting white grape quality, slightly tart like. More like grape skin than the fruit proper. I also got an underlying green onion/scallion thing. Not bad, sort of holding all the other aromas together.

The bitterness was mild to moderate. Certainly second place in intensity vs the other two. The bitterness doesn’t linger. It still presents itself with the grapefruit citrus pith quality we’ve all come to expect from American Hops. There is a mild resin quality but not super sticky.

The flavor is where this hop does its thing. Still the grape skin thing was dominant. The melon quality held up well in the flavor. There was a grassy quality in there too to go along with the resiny bitterness. There was a definite green pepper presence. The flavor intensified as it warmed up as well. I’d describe this note as being in between a green bell pepper and a jalapeño pepper (just the flesh not the heat).

Commercially, this hop is described as citrusy with lemon and lime notes. Tropical with notes of papaya. Distinctly, some describe it with apples, cherries ad mango like. Which is a weird descriptor trio as I don’t think those are even remotely related to each other. I didn’t get any of that but we did maybe suspect my grape skin thing was related to the cherry idea.
Greep pepper was most definitely in the commercial descriptors and we tasted it for sure. Not sure if its something I really want to promote in my beer.

In the end, we both agree that this hop would work well in the middle of the boil. Perhaps blended with something more resinous and dank to help balance that green pepper thing, but put an interesting flavor component in there too.


El Dorado SMASH

We continue the new hop SMASH beer journey with El Dorado hops. Be sure to check our our previous SMASH review of Mosaic Hops.

My first impression of the aroma on El Dorado was candied ginger and candied orange peel. Very unique and inviting. I also pulled some raspberry notes. Almost like a darker fruit character. Underneath it all was a sense of fresh cut grass.

The bitterness from these hops was very mild. For 15%AA hop it was very surprising. The bitterness was slightly resiny but it did not linger like other super dank America hops. Certainly nothing like the bitterness we got from Mosaic hops.

The flavor of these hops carried through with the cut grass taste. There was still a pleasant citrus and berry flavor that I more described as a raspberry lime Rickey thing. Sort of sweet but driven but a distinct green citrus flavor.

Commercially these hops are hyped up to be strong in tropical and stone fruit with maybe some pear or watermelon notes. I can sort of see that interpretation after the fact. But my palate really leaned more towards a berry and citrus complement, than mangos or papaya.

Overall though we found the hop to be very pleasant and unique. As it warmed we were drawn back in for more. The aroma seemed to change a little each time you sniffed it. I’d wouldn’t use this hop all by itself again. But, like our mosaic experience, it would be a great complement for blending with other varieties.

What say you? Have any experience with El Dorado hops?
Be sure to leave a comment and let’s us know what you think.


Mosaic Hops SMASH Beer

With so many new hop varieties out there to try these days, it’s hard to picks place to start. This week we start a new shirt series on three of the newer hop varieties that have made us curious over the last couple years. The first in this series is Mosaic Hops!!!

Let’s set the stage. To evaluated these hops we went with a simple BIAB SMASH format. America 2 row was the base malt and each hop was spread across the boil to hopefully get a sense of its bittering, flavor and aroma properties. The hopping schedule went as follows each addition as a quarter ounce at a time. Into the boil was added a 60 minute, 10 minute and a flameout charge. Then three days of dry hopping after fermentation.

Check out our original MOSAIC HOPS Profile.

So how did Mosaic Hops perform. First off the aroma is certainly grapefruit pith like, piney, hop resin, and maybe a touch of dark stone fruit. Pine and classic grapefruit dominate any subtleties in there. The bitterness is certainly dank. It’s resinous. It sticks on the palate for a considerable time. This is aggressive bitterness. The flavor is more citrus, still pith like from a citrus rind and a definite pine like finish. There is a subtle fruit finish in it but is overwhelmed by the pine and citrus dankness.

The popular descriptor for this hop is piney, citrus, tropical fruit and mango. Interestingly many describe it as blueberry.

Our impression varies slightly. We get no blueberry from this though there is a fruit ling quality that could be described as tropical. But it’s the pine and resiny citrus that drive the profile. Probably related to the Simcoe part of the cross with nugget hops where this new cultivar came from.

There you have it. Certainly a hop that has potential as a resin booster in your bittering charge. Perhaps with some sweeter malts and blended with some fruitier hops you might magnify the tropical fruit quality quite a bit.

You just have to experiment. But hopefully this video taste test helps you fill in your expectations before buying some Mosaic for your next pale ale or IPA.

Tell us about your Mosaic experiences in the comments or on YouTube.

Mike’s First Mead 2015

It’s 2015 and it’s time for new beginnings. I chose to start this years video roll with my first mead. I brewed this up a couple months ago. It’s been aging since then. Now it’s free to run wild!!!

This recipe was nothing more than 6 pounds of orange blossom honey in a total volume of two gallons. I heated the water to 80F to help get things mixed. I added one package of Lavin D47 along with a little yeast nutrient.

Three weeks in primary at 68F then I transferred it into a second fermentor where it sat for two months aging and clearing up. It’s gotten considerably cooler since then. Much of the aging occurred in the mid-50s.

For my first mead I think it came out OK. As we tasted it it seemed like the flavor improved as it “breathed”. Johns opinion was that small meads like this do tend to need a little time to evolve. It certainly improved as it warmed up. Maybe some more time in the bottle will change it some more.

In the end the mead is less important that the new year. Here at Brew-Dudes we are ramping up for a new year of videos and blog content. As always we love your comments and we are always open to suggestions for new content.

Thanks for watching. Thanks for sticking with us.
Here’s to good brewing for us all in 2015!

Mike and John

2014 Video Wrap Up

Here is a quick video to close out the year. This was our second straight year of publishing one video a week. That’s 52 videos this year with just over 25,000 views on the ole YouTube. This week’s final offering is a montage of sorts with a few clips from some of our most watched videos.

Thanks for sticking with us and thanks for watching.

We hope to bring more content and more videos in 2015.

As always let us know if there is something you want us to cover or something you want to see.