We are excited to share with you this comparison.

Mike made a SMaSH beer with some noble hops some time ago. When we tasted,  it was hard to give a good description of the flavor because it was so, for lack of a better word, hoppy.

They didn’t have wild flavors, they just tasted like traditional hops.

With that in mind, and to see if Mike really didn’t like a hop variety, I brewed up two SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beers. One of them had East Kent Golding in them. The other was brewed with Fuggles.

We tasted them side by side and chatted about it.

With that, we are proud to present to this tremendous post.

The East Kent Goldings Vs. Fuggles SMaSH Showdown!

The Showdown Methodology

I brewed a US gallon batch of each SMaSH beer. The one modification to my process was that I mashed up four gallons of wort, instead of my usual two.

Because of this change, I did not brew in a bag. I used my regular mash tun.

With four gallons of wort, I racked two gallons for the East Kent Goldings brew into the small kettle and boiled/chilled/transferred into the fermentor. Then, I did it again for the Fuggles beer.

I use one ounce of hops for one gallon batches and the hop addition timings were as follows:

  • .25 ounce at 60 minutes left to go in the boil
  • .25 ounce at 15 minutes left to go in the boil
  • .25 ounce at flameout
  • .25 ounce dry hop added during the third day of fermentation

I split on packet of US-05 dry yeast and added half in one fermentor and half in the other.

The Results

Based on these beers tasted side by side, the descriptors that I typically have read hold true.

East Kent Goldings Hops: Definitely more fruity, more herbal than the Fuggles. Using this technique, there was an explosion of floral flavors that I have never tasted in any beer that i have brewed using this hop. Even with the neutral yeast, there was an English quality to the beer. I wouldn’t call it juicy but it was fruit forward.

Fuggles Hops: I didn’t get the strong wood character that Mike talked about in the past, but this beer had it. The SMaSH beer had a strong woody, earthy flavor. It tasted like a dead log in the woods. I haven’t tasted that but it did taste a little like bark. Again, I don’t taste this flavor in porters that have Fuggles in them, but it is the leading character in the hop.

Hope you learned something from our showdown. We certainly did.