Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Page 2 of 226

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #18

Hi Homebrewing Friends,

This exchange is a long distance one.  It spanned a whole ocean to make here to our studios in Mike’s basement (Studio C).  Here’s our homebrew swap #18 – the continental European addition.

This beer swap was the first 1 to 1 swap we have ever done.  Alex from Göttingen, Germany sent me a recipe that he was going to follow and I told him I would brew the beer too as part of the swap. I was interested in seeing if we brewed the same beer how much different they would be.

He wanted to brew this beer primarily to try out German grown Sorachi Ace hops. Knowing where they originated from, it was going to be fascinating to see how much the terrior affected the flavor.

The German Sorachi Ace Swap Results

I will tell you truthfully – there wasn’t much difference in the aroma and flavor of the hop. Now that I know Sorachi Ace well, the same furniture polish lemony aroma was in both beers and the creamy lemon flavor with a touch of dill was present with each taste.

If there was any difference, Alex’s beer had a little more body than mine. My beer seemed a little thinner than his and the hop aftertaste lasted a bit longer. These slight differences could be due to mash temps and duration of dry hopping but we can’t sure. I am very surprised how similar they are.

The big learning moment could be that the Sorachi Ace could be German grown at a large scale sometime in the near future. Even with the different environment in which it was grown, the hop kept many of its distinct characteristics. Here’s to more German grown hops.

Here’s Alex’s letter to us:

Alex Letter Sorachi Ace IPA

Thank you, Alex, for the beer and making the world seem ever smaller.

He sent me another beer that he brewed with his own home grown hops. I thought I would type out this part of his letter describing it.

#05 Golden Oktober – Gartenhopfen Herbstbock

This beer is dedicated to a political event that took place in the town I live in 2005.  There are still fascist groups that relate to the Nazis politically active in Germany and a bigger one wanted to march through the city and some historical places such as the local synagogue memorial, where the Nazis burned on down in the 30s. Luckily, the protest was so big that the police decided it was disproportionate to clear the streets of thousands of protesters and the Nazis had to end their march before they could reach the historical places. In fall 2016, they retried and to keep the memories alive, I worked through the archive and created this beer.

Thanks for sharing, Alex. Brew on!

Brew Dudes Community Brew

Hey gang – since we have been doing some homebrew swapping over the past few years, we had an idea to get more people involved. The silly idea is to come up with a community brew plan.

We are putting out this recipe and date in hopes that you will join us in this endeavor. Here’s the video with the official announcement.

And now, the details:

We decided on a Best Bitter recipe. This English Ale style is fairly simple in its ingredient list but tough to master in its flavor profile since there is a certain hoppy/mineral taste that comes from the water profile and fermentation process.

Brew Dudes Best Bitter

Brew Date:
Sunday, May 7th, 2017 (National Homebrew Day)

Grain Bill:
95% Maris Otter Malt
5% English Crystal Malt – 60° L
(My plan for a 5 gallon batch is 9 pounds of Maris Otter and 0.5 pounds of Crystal Malt)

1.25 ounces of East Kent Goldings at 60 mins (5% AA)
.5 ounces of East Kent Goldings at 15 mins (5% AA)
.5 ounces of East Kent Goldings at 0 mins (5% AA)

Recommended Yeast Strains:
White Labs WLP005 British Ale
White Labs WLP013 London Ale
Wyeast 1968 London ESB
Wyeast 1028 London Ale
Fermentis Safale S-04

60 mins at 150° F (65° C)

2 weeks at 68° F (20° C)

Keg or bottle to 1.5 to 2 volumes of CO2

Predicted Outcomes:
(based on 72% mash efficiency)
Original Gravity: 1.045
Terminal Gravity: 1.010
Color: 11.08 °SRM
Bitterness: 32.9 IBU
Alcohol (%volume): 4.6 %

Metric conversions:

5 Gallons = 18.9 Liters
9 Pounds = 4.08 Kgs
0.5 Pounds = 0.23 Kgs
1.25 ounces = 35.4 Grams
.5 ounce = 14.1 Grams
150° F = 65.5° C
68° F = 20° C

Ok – pretty straightforward and hopefully not too boring but the real challenge for us will be to nail the brewing salts and fermentation temperature so that I can get the minerally-hoppy aftertaste that I have in my memory from my time tipping back a few pints in a London pub. I am looking for other homebrewers who want to do the research and see if we can create the proper water chemistry for this brew and win an award or two.

If you would like to join in on the community brew fun, contact us using our email address.

Comments are welcome and suggestions are welcome for how we handle some of the logistics.

Brew on!

Medusa Hops SMaSH Beer Tasting

Hey home brewing fans! Welcome to another post revealing the secrets of a new hop variety. This time around, we explore the mysteries of Medusa hops. I brewed a one gallon SMaSH beer (single malt and single hop) and we taped this video with our tasting thoughts and notes.

So, Medusa hops are a branded variety from the CLS Farms in Moxee, WA, USA. They also grow El Dorado hops there. This variety is one that is derived from the Neomexicanus hop plant that is native to North America.

Medusa Hops Notes

After we tasted this beer, Mike said he got a white grape flesh aroma with some tropical notes on top of that. He said it was a little fruitier on the palatte than in the nose. He got a mango flavor.

I read off the commercial descriptors and they included:

  • Guava
  • Melon
  • Apricot
  • Citrus fruit

When I was bottling this beer, there was a strong grapefruit flesh aroma coming from it. It seemed to have dissipated after the beer conditioned in the bottle and melded more with the tropical fruit presence.

Overall, this is a tasty hop variety. It is certainly one you want to use in large amounts late in your brewing process. You can dump a whole bunch at flameout to really draw out those flavors. We think it would also work well with other strong flavor and aroma hops if you were looking to blend.

Looking around the internet at this point in time, the variety seems to be in low supply for home brewers. I am guessing in the Fall, after the harvest is over, you should see the “Out of Stock” text disappear and this hop will be available.

Medusa hops are a real treat if you can find them. Even though they aren’t strong in the area of alpha acids, you can still make an impact with using them as a late addition hop.

Let us know if you have questions.


Sorachi Ace Hops IPA Tasting Notes

Hi there – we’re tasting an IPA that I brewed that focuses on the Japanese hop Sorachi Ace. Now I have brewed a wheat beer using these hops before, but now it’s all about the IPA. Watch this video to learn more about this beer.

So this beer is the home half of a home brew swap. There is a guy in Germany (Alex) that brewed the same beer. Through email, he let me know that he was brewing all these IPAs that focused on one hop. He wasn’t using the hop throughout the boil but he was certainly using it for the late additions to drive the beer’s flavor and aromas.

So What Went Into This Sorachi Ace IPA?

The base of this beer was pale malt. I used Maris Otter for my brew.

The specialty malt was CaraHell. It lent a nice color and a little caramel sweetness to the IPA.

I bittered with Magnum and then added Sorachi Ace at 10 mins, 5 mins, flameout, and then dry hopped with them.

The yeast I used was dry ale stain from Safale US-05 and fermented for two weeks at room temperatures.

What Did The Sorachi Ace IPA Taste Like?

Mike got a lot of citrusy notes in the beer. There was a lot of orange in it for him. Maybe a candied orange or tangerine flavor/

Sorachi Ace is noted for its lemon taste. Some complain that it tastes a little like furniture polish but I didn’t get much of that.

When I bottled it, I smelled a lot of dill aromas. After it was bottled and we tasted it, the dill flavor really wasn’t there.

I hope this beer survives its trip to Germany. I am happy with the way it turned out and I hope Alex enjoys it. When we get his beer, we’ll taste and maybe compare and contrast the differences.

Thanks for watching and reading. We enjoy brewing beer and sharing it with you. Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or writing to us via our email address.

Brew ON!

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #17

Our beer swap game is strong! We have now swapped beer with 17 other homebrewers around the world. How many people have you swapped your beer with, huh? Well, we have it going on and you should see what we’re tasting now. Check out our latest homebrew swap video:

Sam from Washington State sent us a stout. He called it his Rye-ish Stout and it drank very nicely.
By the name, we figured it was a stout brewed with rye malt and we were correct. He also brewed this beer with hop hash which we wanted to learn more about.

Tasting Notes

This beer was pretty black in its appearance.

When we tasted it, it finished very dry and we thought that was quite an achievement since it had three quarters of a pound of 40°L Crystal malt and a half pound 120°L Crystal malt.

A couple of the ingredients he brewed with included Chocolate rye malt and Stout malt, which neither of have used but we want to now.

The beer had a restrained roastiness to it. The overall beer had a toasty punch but not a lot of ashy flavors. The rye malt really made it unique.

He also had some toasted rolled oats in the recipe where he learned about here.

The beer was smooth and rich – there was nuttiness to it – a Brazil nut taste to be exact.

What About That Hop Hash?

When we tried to detect the hop hash, it was well balanced with the rest of the ingredients which is right for the style. I wonder what that hash would taste like in a style that was supposed to be hop forward. Maybe we can get one of those beers sent to us for evaluation as well.

Bringing It All Home

One thing I didn’t mention was the use of the A10 Darkness strain from Imperial Organic Yeast. Does anybody else have experience with this strain or any of the Imperial produced strains? Let us know.

All right – thanks for watching and reading. As always, brew on!

Page 2 of 226

These Brew Dudes 2016