Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Homegrown Chinook Hops SMaSH Beer Tasting

I have been growing hops in my backyard for many years now. Although I need to dedicate time and effort to make sure the plants survive and produce cones, I feel it’s worth it.

In years past, I have harvested hops from many different plants and used only the best ones for a “harvest ale”. This year, since I have so many mature plants that are producing a bounty of hops, I have decided to brew up SMaSH of every variety I have. Here’s the first one of the season – this is my homegrown Chinook hops SMaSH beer.

Simple Recipe

With just over 10 ounces of dried hop cones to use, I built this recipe to showcase the hops. I thought one malt would do the trick.

For a 5 gallon batch.

10 pounds of Crisp Maris Otter Malt

2 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at 60 minutes to go in the boil
4 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at 10 minutes to go in the boil
4 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at flameout/whirlpool for 20 minutes

1 packet of Safale 04 Dry English Yeast

Brewing Details:
Mashed at 155°F
Boiled for 60 minutes
Fermented at 68°F for 7 days
Racked to keg and carbonated

Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV: 4.46%

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Great color, it had a copper hue that you could detect through all the haze. As Mike put it, the beer was holding haze very well. We speculate that the use of Maris Otter plus the sheer amount of whole hop additions at the end of the boil is probably the cause but interesting with the use of the highly flocculant yeast.

Aroma: The aromas were fruity and floral aroma. It had that fleshy berry thing with a little orange.

Flavor: The flavor followed through with some fruity sweetness. I was detecting some resin in the aftertaste but Mike countered that he would not consider it to be on par with what we consider a strong resin presence.

Mouthfeel: It had a medium mouthfeel. The malt backbone sat well in the finished beer.

Overall Impression: This Chinook SMaSH was less of a herbal, smoky, and piney hop experience and more of a muted Mosaic and Galaxy like hop experience. As this beer as aged in the keg, the fruity notes are expressing themselves more.

I am glad this beer turned out well. I wish I had more to share.

It’s smaller than small batch…it’s only available for a small amount of time.

Brew On!

Let’s Get Frost In Translation

Wow – have you ever had your likeness put on a piece of glasswear? Well, we did and we lived to tell about it. This video provides all the details.

Frost In Translation

So this particular mug is a new product from this site. They take your photo, which needs to be a head shot where you’re looking straight at the calendar, and they illustrate a characture of you onto the mug.

Our mugs came with images of our big heads put onto tuxedoed bodies.

The effect is pretty humorous and the mug is hefty. We are not really mug guys, but this one may change our mind.

Get Your Mug On a Mug

This mug will make a good gift for anyone who likes cool glasswear. You can see some time and effort went into the art and it is backed with a quality vessel for all your beer needs.


Brew Dudes Live Stream Announcement

Hi there,

Mike and I will be live streaming on YouTube on Sunday, September 2, 2018 at 12PM Eastern Daylight Time

That’s Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-5) this Sunday.

We’ll be hanging out and answering homebrewing questions. See our video announcement here.

See you soon.

Brew on!

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #31

We get homebrewed beer sent to us from all over the planet. This time, the beer is from Mike in Washington State, USA. He shipped it over 3,000 miles so that we could open it up on camera, write about it here, and post a video on YouTube. Check out all the things that we thought about in our homebrew swap, exchange number 31.

Mike P’s Kings and Queens IPA Recipe

Batch Size: 5.5 US Gallons
Boil Time: 60 mins


9 pounds Maris Otter Pale Malt (78%)
1.5 pounds Munich Light Malt 10°L (13%)
0.5 pounds Caramel/Crystal Malt 15°L (4%)
0.5 pounds Flaked Oats (4%)

1 ounce Southern Star hops – Boiled for 60 minutes – 13% AA
1 ounce XJA/436 hops – Boiled for 30 minutes – 14% AA
1 ounce N1/69 hops – Hop stand addition – 20 minutes – 13% AA
1 ounce U1/108 hops – Hop stand addition – 6.5% AA
1 ounce African Queen hops- Hop stand addition – 15.5% AA
1 ounce African Queen hops – Dry hopped for 4 days – 15.5% AA
1 ounce N1/69 hops – Dry hopped for 4 days – 13% AA
1 ounce U1/108 hops – Dry hopped for 4 days – 6.5% AA

1 packet of White Labs California Ale WLP001

Mashed at 149° F for 60 minutes
Mashed Out at 167° F for 10 minutes
Added 0.5 tsp Irish Moss and 0.5 tsp of Wyeast Yeast Nutrient with 15 minutes to go in the boil
Fermented for 21 days at 64° F


IBUs: 97.4
Color: 12.6 °SRM
OG: 1.059
FG: 1.014

Tasting Notes

Here’s what we thought.

Mike liked the color. The haze was dominant. Head was rocky and persistent.

There were notes of orange and peach. There was also a floral component to it. Notes of violent and chamomile.

There wasn’t a lot of bitterness. The flavor was not as strong as they were in the aroma.

Soft and smooth. Medium body.

Overall Impression
We were happy that this beer had some bitterness but not a lot. It definitely did not have the bitterness of west coast IPA from last decade. The aroma was really strong – we wished the hop flavor was as strong. For a first kegged beer, it was a winner.


Saving Sour Beers With Fruit

In the course of aging sour beers, things can go awry. These brew dudes don’t think that should ruin everything. When you put that much time into a beer, it would be a big letdown to pour it down the sink. The beer that was known to us as the “2 year old” was a little off. Watch this video to learn more about how I added fruit to this beer and saved it from a death down the drain.

Why This Beer Needed Saving

In 2017, I had 15 gallons of beer to blend into one gueuze. These volume was attained by brewing one the same day of the year for three years.

After evaluating the beers, we felt like the beer that was two years old at the time was not great. The majority of the blend came from the other beers.

The two year old was put back into the dark corner of my basement until I had an idea of what to do with it.

To save this beer, I had to add fruit to it. I debated what kind of fruit to use – raspberries were in the running – but in the end, I decided to use cherries.

Cherries and Everything Else I Added To This Beer

I typically use frozen fruit as the additions to my beers and this time around was no exception. I bought a thre pound bag of frozen cherries – a blend of sour and black cherries. Then, I added the contents of a couple of 32 ounce bottles of 100% “Just Tart” cherry juice from the R.W. Knudsen Family company.

Then, because I was getting creative or bored or both, I added 8 ounces of French oak cubes (medium toast) and two split-down-the-middle vanilla beans.

After all these additions were made, the beer sat for 9 months before I made plans to bottle it up.

When I tasted the beer, it wasn’t “cherry” enough so I added half of a bottle of pure cherry extract to push that flavor note forward.

Tasting Notes

At bottling, I added 230 grams of corn sugar boiled in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. I then added one packet of CBC-1 Cask & Bottle Conditioning Yeast properly re-hydrated.

Here’s what Mike thought about this beer.

Lots of acidic notes on the notes. The C02 was pushing a lot of sour notes.

Cherry/berry notes on the nose with caramel and woody notes.

The taste was full of deep, mahogany fruity taste with some sour cherry notes. He got some subtle wheat cracker taste.

I am glad I was able to save this beer. It made for a great Kriek beer.


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