Brew Dudes

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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:

Spring water
4 g of Gypsum to enhance hop character

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

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)

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!

Base Malt Comparison – Mecca Grade vs. Standard

A few years ago, we got a request to investigate the quality of malts from smaller outlets. In the message, the writer wondered if malts grown and malted by smaller, craft-focused companies were worth the higher price per pound. In this post, we finally present our comparison between two base malts: Mecca Grade Estate’s Lamonta Pale Malt and Rahr’s Standard 2-Row Malt. Through a designed experiment, we aim to present our thoughts on the differences and ascertain whether the premium associated with Mecca Grade malt is justified.

They look pretty similar – how do they taste?

How We Set Up The Comparison

The experiment has a clear objective: to understand the difference of these two base malts on the flavor of the final product. We brewed 2 identical batches of beer, maintaining uniformity in all aspects except for the base malt. One batch featured Rahr Two-Row Pale Malt sourced from BSG, while the other employed Mecca Grade Lamonta American Pale Malt bought from Northern Brewer. From recipe formulation to hop selection (Cascade), water composition (Spring water with a touch of Gypsum), and yeast strain (US-05), every parameter remained consistent across both brews.

Our Thoughts

Mike was given a blind triangle taste test. We wanted to know if he could detect pick out the difference. He correctly identified the beers by their base malt (Phew!) While the Mecca Grade malt exhibited subtle variations, offering a slightly richer and smoother profile compared to its counterpart, we didn’t think these differences justify a higher cost. Indeed, Mike picked out the nuances, but they were so delicate that they might be overshadowed in a more complex grain bill.

I think we got our answer. While premium malts may promise distinctiveness, the benefits in a practical brewing context remain subjective. Ultimately, the pursuit of crafting excellent beers isn’t just in the ingredients themselves but in the execution of the brewing process.

Hey, Buy what you want and have fun!


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