Brew Dudes

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Hazy Pale Ale with Rakau, Galaxy and Sultana Hops

It is school graduation season and it’s time to brew beer for parties. These Brew Dudes were called to provide a keg of homebrew for a get-together on short notice. No matter – we live for the pressure. In 10 days, we were able to turn that request around and provide a delicious beverage worthy of the celebration. Check out this video to learn more about this Rad Grad Hazy Pale Ale.

The Rad Grad Hazy Pale Ale Recipe

Looking to brew a sessionable beer with lots of hop flavor and nice light hazy appearance.

Batch Size – 5 US gallons in the keg

Water
9 gallons of water – half distilled / half filtered tap water with 1 gram of Gypsum and a Campden tablet

Grains
10 pounds (4.54 kg) of Pilsner malt
0.75 pounds (340 g) Great Western American Pale malt
1 pound (453 g) of Flaked Barley
0.5 pounds (225 g) of Carafoam malt

Hops
1 ounce (28 g) of Southern Passion hops added for a 60 minute boil
2 ounces (57 g) of NZ Rakau hops added for a whirlpool at 185° F (85° C) for 10 minutes
2 ounces (57 g) of AU Galaxy hops added for a whirlpool at 185° F (85° C) for 10 minutes
2 ounces (57 g) of Sultana hops added for a whirlpool at 185° F (85 °C) for 10 minutes
2 ounces (57 g) of NZ Rakau hops – Dry hopped for 3 days
2 ounces (57 g) of AU Galaxy hops – Dry hopped for 3 days
1 ounce (28 g) of Sultana hops – Dry hopped for 3 days

Yeast
1 packet of Cellar Science Hazy Dry Beer Yeast

Instructions

Mashed for 60 minutes
Boiled for 60 minutes
Fermented for 7 days at 68° F (20° C)
Racked to keg and carbonated

Results
Original Gravity – 1.052
Final Gravity – 1.010
ABV – 5.5%

Our Tasting Notes

We were both impressed with the beer, if we do say so ourselves. The grain bill resulted in a soft and pleasant body, complemented well by our water profile, finishing dry and making it highly drinkable. The fermentation profile was clean, allowing the hops to shine.

The initial aroma was mostly floral, but as the beer warmed, subtle sweet fruit notes like underripe mango and guava emerged. The flavor was more floral than fruity, with hints of pineapple and orange citrus. The hop character wasn’t overly distinct in any one direction but created a comforting and balanced profile.

Overall, the beer struck a nice balance between the hop character, malt, and yeast profile, making it highly drinkable and perfect for social gatherings. The combination of Rakau, Galaxy, and Sultana hops worked well together, each contributing unique elements without overpowering the overall taste. The addition of flaked barley added a subtle, enjoyable twist to the mouthfeel.

It was a hit at the graduation party and that’s what matters most.

BREW ON!

Kveik Wheat Beer – Packed With LUPOMAX

As the days grow longer and the chill of winter fades, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing, hoppy wheat ale to welcome the arrival of spring. Today, Mike and I are thrilled to share a unique brew that embodies this seasonal transition perfectly. Introducing the Amber Hazy Hoppy Kveik Wheat Beer – an ale that promises a tremendous blend of flavors and aromas, perfect for springtime sipping.

The Brewing Process and Recipe

Mike took the lead on this brew, aiming for a hoppy wheat beer that would bridge the gap between the heavier winter ales and the lighter summer beers. Here’s the recipe:

Water:
Spring water
4 g of Gypsum to enhance hop character

Grains:
50% American two-row malt
50% white wheat malt
1 ounce midnight wheat (for color)

Hops:
1 ounce Citra LUPOMAX (mash hop)
1 ounce Sabro LUPOMAX(mash hop)
2 ounces Citra LUPOMAX(whirlpool at 180°F for 20 minutes)
2 ounces Sabro LUPOMAX (whirlpool at 180°F for 20 minutes)

Yeast:
1 packet of Voss Kveik yeast

Mashed grains at 150°F (66°C) for 40 minutes then at 158°F (70°C) for 15 minutes and then 168°F (76°C) for 10 minutes.
Boiled for 60 minutes
Fermentation at room temperature, ~65°F (18°C)

Our Thoughts About This Kveik Wheat Beer

From the first sip, the hoppy Kveik wheat ale offers a burst of citrusy and piney flavors, thanks to the combination of Citra and Sabro hops. The prominent notes of orange rind, coupled with a subtle coconut and lime character from the Sabro, create a complex and refreshing profile. The absence of a strong bitterness, despite the generous hop additions, makes this beer exceptionally drinkable. Instead, the focus is on the hop flavors, with a slightly pithy aftertaste reminiscent of orange peel.

The Voss Kveik yeast contributes a faint fruity ester, which complements the hops without overpowering the palate. While Mike has a known aversion to Sabro hops, he admits that in this context, they add an interesting dimension to the beer. The malt backbone, highlighted by the addition of midnight wheat, provides a pleasant balance and supports the hop-forward nature of the ale.

In conclusion, this hoppy Kveik wheat ale is a fantastic choice for those looking to enjoy a flavorful and refreshing beer as the weather warms up. The use of LUPOMAX, mash hopping and the unique characteristics of Voss Kveik yeast make this brew stand out. Whether you’re a fan of traditional wheat beers or looking for something with a bit more hop character, this ale is sure to please. So, gather your brewing supplies and give this recipe a try. Cheers to new brewing adventures and the arrival of spring!

Vista Hops SMaSH Review and Tasting

In this post, we’re diving into our evaluation of Vista Hops. Mike and I brewed a SMaSH beer (Single Malt and Single Hop) to really get to know this hop variety. For those who are new to our channel, this is a staple of what we do: exploring different hops through simple one-gallon batches. Vista Hops caught our attention, especially with its background and intriguing descriptors. Let’s see what the beer revealed!

Brewing Process

For this SMaSH beer, we kept things straightforward with our usual one malt, one hop approach. We used two pounds of Rahr 2-row pale malt as our base malt. The hop in the spotlight was Vista, purchased from our friends at Northern Brewer. Although the alpha acid percentage wasn’t listed on the packet, our research indicated it ranged between 11-12%.

Our hop additions were as follows: an eighth of an ounce (about 3.5 grams) at the 60-minute mark, the majority during the whirlpool stage (17.5 grams), and a final dry hop of 7 grams with three days left in fermentation. We used US-05 yeast, spring water with a touch of gypsum, and let the fermentation take place at room temperature for a week. After a quick carbonation period of three days, we were ready to taste and analyze.

Our Vista Hops Evaluation

Flavor and Aroma Profile

Upon first sniff, the Vista Hops presented a predominantly floral aroma. Mike and I noticed hints of pine, spice, and a subtle earthiness. The aroma lacked the expected fruity sweetness, leaning more towards a floral, almost geranium-like profile. There were slight notes of citrus and a faint vanilla-like essence that added an interesting complexity.

In terms of flavor, the beer was consistent with its aroma. It had a floral dominance with underlying earthy and resinous qualities. There were faint fruity undertones, but nothing distinctly identifiable. We noticed a mild citrus pith in the aftertaste, but the standout characteristics were more herbal and floral rather than fruity or sweet.

Final Thoughts

Vista Hops turned out to be a bit of a puzzle. According to Yakima Valley Hops, Vista was described as having stone fruit, citrus, tropical fruit, and floral qualities. Our experience leaned heavily towards the floral and herbal side, with only minimal hints of the fruitier notes. It’s possible that the homebrew market hop lots don’t always align with what commercial lots, which could explain our differing impressions.

While Vista may not be ideal for hop-forward IPAs, it has potential in more traditional ale styles. It could complement English ales or stouts, adding a unique twist to those brews. If you’re experimenting with different hops, Vista is worth trying, but perhaps not as a primary hop for your most flavor-driven creations.

Cheers and BREW ON!

Sour Beer Miracle – Rejuvenation With Cherries

If you have been watching our videos for a while, you may have noticed a beer in a carboy on Mike’s left. It’s been sitting there for years. People have asked about it. We have evaded the questions. Finally, we have an answer.

Some things are worth the wait, especially a sour beer miracle.

Discover how Mike rescued a sour beer by adding a blend of sweet and tart cherries, lactose, and cherry flavor extract. The result? A refreshing and natural fruit-flavored beer with some hints of what brettanomyces left behind.

We can save this beer!

The Rescue Plan

Mike’s plan was simple yet effective. He used a combination of techniques to add some sweetness, fruit character, and depth to his golden sour ale. Here’s a breakdown of his cherry rescue mission:

Fruity Infusion: First up – frozen cherries. He thawed them out and gave them a good mashing to release all their flavor. A gentle heating helped break them down even further before they were incorporated into the beer.

A Little Lactose: To counteract the inherent sourness of the aged beer, he added lactose sugar. This addition not only adds a touch of sweetness but also added body and produced a smoother mouthfeel.

The Cherry (Extract) on Top: For an extra cherry punch, he included a small amount of cherry flavor extract. This addition guaranteed a recognizable cherry presence without overpowering the natural flavors from the mashed fruit.

After combining all the elements, he let the concoction sit for a few days to allow the flavors to meld. Then, then it was time to taste.

Sour Beer Miracle Thoughts

So, how did this sour ale rejuvenation turn out? I think we are satisfied with the results. The final product is a delightful sour cherry ale. The tartness and the brett character from the base beer are subdued by the burst of cherry flavor.

I am not sure if the lactose brings noticeable sweetness but its effect on the body is a big part of the miracle. Overall, the beer had a wonderful depth of character, thanks to the Brett fermentation and the long aging process.

The sour beer miracle is a testament to the power of creativity and resourcefulness in homebrewing. So next time you have a neglected brew lurking in the back of your fridge, don’t give up on it! With a little ingenuity and some fresh ingredients, you might just discover a hidden gem.

Cheers and BREW ON!

Pink Hops SMaSH Review and Tasting

These Brew Dudes are always excited to experiment with new hops, and our latest adventure involves brewing a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer using Pink Hops, an experimental variety that we bought from Yakama Valley Hops. Despite its name, this hop isn’t pink at all—it’s green like the rest. Apologies for the bad joke – here’s the video:

The Brewing Process

Our brewing process for this SMaSH beer is the similar to our other hops explorations. We used a 1-gallon batch size, incorporating two pounds of grain and a single packet of hops. The yeast of choice was US-05 and we fermented the beer at room temperature. For packaging, we used the Carbonation Cap to get the final product ready for the video.

We followed this hop schedule: a pinch of hops at the 60-minutes to go in the boil, another addition at 20 minutes, a whirlpool addition, and a final round of dry hopping. This method ensured that we could capture the full range of flavors offered by Pink Hops.

Our Pink Hops Thoughts

Originating from Jackson Farms in Wilder, Idaho, the same folks who brought us Idaho 7, these hops offer a distinctive and intriguing profile. The bitterness was pronounced, described as pithy, danky, and resiny, lingering on the palate.

The flavor profile was hard to pin down, with hints of chive, green pepper, and a surprising note reminiscent of Swedish fish candy. The aroma carried nondescript red fruit scents, blending into an artificial sweetness.

As we tasted, we noted dynamic elements: geranium, cut grass, and even a hint of vanilla frosting. These complex and sometimes conflicting descriptors made Pink Hops hard to pin down.

In conclusion, brewing with Pink Hops was a fascinating experience that highlighted the hop’s potential for diverse flavor contributions. While its high alpha acids suggest it could shine in a West Coast IPA, its unique fruity and floral notes also make it a great candidate for fruit beers.

Check out Pink Hops when you get a chance – BREW ON!

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