Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #40

Sometimes we have other homebrewers want to share their beer with us. We have been doing this exchange thing for a while since, here we are, hitting our 40th swap. Check out the beer we got sent from Mark in Colorado.

A Kölsch and an NEIPA For Us

Mark sent us 3 beers but we wanted to taste these two for the channel. They were both pretty good.

The Kölsch was clear right out of the bottle. It had a strong Pilsner malt flavor and aroma. The comment we both had was that the spicy hop note needed to be turned up a bit. There were no other flaws in the flavor. Every thing was nice and clean.

The NEIPA has big notes of American “C” hops. The aroma and flavor was filled with citrus notes. We felt Mark’s technique was sound in producing this style. The hopping rates were where they should be. Other fruitier varieties would stand out if he were to brew it again.

Again, we are always grateful that anyone would want to send us a beer, let alone 3. Thanks Mark – and BREW ON!

Nelson Sauvin SMaSH Beer Tasting

We had a viewer request for us to brew this SMaSH beer ages ago. These Brew Dudes had some knowledge of the hop. It didn’t blow us away in our previous adventures, but we do like to satisfy requests. Here’s our video discussing our Nelson Sauvin SMaSH Beer.

What Did We Think?

Well, this hop lived up to its hype about all the white wine flavors and aromas that are used in the descriptors. It really paired nicely with the 2-row malt and provided a very nice white grape flavor to the beer. Because I used these hops late in the brewing process, the bitterness was muted. This particular pouch was listed at 11.1% Alpha Acids so I didn’t want to add any to the beginning of the boil. I think that brought an outstanding quality to the beer.

Mike was knocked out by the smooth bitterness of the beer (smooth bitterness also being a descriptor). The finish on the beer was transcendent. It was something really special and we were surprised by that outcome.

Check out this hop when you get a chance. From what we read in the comments, a heavy dose of these hops may be a bad thing. It seems a lighter touch really brought the best out of Nelson Sauvin hops.


Another 3 Years of Sour Beers – Blending Strategy

Back in 2014, I started brewing Lambic style sour beers and had a plan to brew the same beer on the same day for 3 years in a row. In the summer of 2017, we tasted all three beers and then made up a blending plan. Then, I started the whole process again – starting in 2017. Well, here we are in 2020 and now I have 3 years of beers again. Let’s taste what I have and see what the strategy is to blend these lots.

How Did They Turn Out This Time?

I brought over samples of the 3 beers to Mike’s driveway and we tasted them. The oldest, the 3 year old, was the best of the bunch. The other two seemed to need more time in the fermentor, which may be a good thing since I will need more bugs for the beer to carbonate in the bottle and continue to age over the years.

I think the plan is to use most of the 3 year old beer with some additions from the other two. Then, I am going to do some combination of the other two and maybe add another shot of Brett to them so that they ferment more. The body on the other two is a bit full and they would be better off with some more bulk fermentation time.

I should have some bottles ready for tasting in a few weeks and we’ll compare it to the 2017 version.


Saison Brewing – Partial Open Fermentation

In the warmer months, these Brew Dudes like brewing a saison. The hotter temperatures work well with the style’s fermentation profile and the beer is a good one for quenching thirsts. Even though we like to brew these kinds of beers, it doesn’t mean we have been 100 percent happy with the results. Mike brewed this saison with a bit of a twist. He opened up his fermentor to let the local bugs join in with the commercial yeast added to the wort. The resulting beer is a fantastic example of the style. Watch this video to learn more!

How Did This Saison Turn Out?

Although it’s fun to play with open fermentation, Mike left the lid on his stainless steel bucket loose so that more CO2 could escape from the beer. He thinks that the reason why saison fermentations stall is due to too much carbon dioxide in the beer which leads to the yeast to slow its process. Opening the lid a bit let more CO2 out and let some wild yeasts in (perhaps).

This beer had all the good flavors of the saison style without the bad ones. I typically get some fusel alcohols in mine since I am fermenting at high temperatures (82F or 28C). Mike’s saison was tart and crisp with a light bit of funk. It was extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

The next time you’re doing some Saison brewing, try to let more CO2 out while you’re fermenting. We had great results with this nuance to the process.


Brewing a Low ABV NEIPA

I am not sure what to call this beer. The style guidelines haven’t been adjusted for this type of beer. Mike was asked to brew a juicy hop bomb for his brother-in-law. The guy wanted all the fruity, hoppy flavors along with the haze of an NEIPA but with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of less than 5%. Is this a session IPA? An American Pale Ale (APA)? Is it something that shouldn’t be named? No matter – watch this video to learn about this beer that Mike brewed.

Tasting Notes

Mike brewed this beer using many great NEIPA varieties:

All these hops were added late in the brewing process. The resulting flavor was fruity but had a strong citrus note as well. We were picking up some piney notes too, which we think came from the Simcoe hops.

Mike is happy with this beer but he is going to adjust the recipe a bit for the final delivery to his brother-in-law.

The real goal of this beer was to get as much hop punch into this beer without the larger grain bill that would boost the alcohol. Mike succeeded with flying colors on that aspect of this brew.

What do you think? Do all NEIPAs have to be over 8% ABV or what?

Let us know in the comments below – BREW ON!

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