You know we like to learn about hops. Our most recent exploration is Mistral hops, a variety from Alsace, France. Some of our most recent SMaSH beers have been French hops like Barbe Rouge and Elixir. Watch our video to see our take on this variety.
Reiterating The SMaSH Format
If you are new to our SMaSH beer tastings, let’s run down the process of how these beers are brewed. All the SMaSH beers we brew (unless specified as being different) are 1 US gallon (3.78 L) batches. With 2 pounds of some base malt (typically pilsner or pale malt), one ounce of hops is used during the brew process to showcase the hops. The additions generally follow this schedule:
1st hop addition – 1/4 of an ounce or 7 grams – 15 minutes to go in the boil
2nd hop addition – 5/8 of an ounce or 14 grams – Flameout
3rd hop addition – 1/4 of an ounce or 7 grams – Day 3 of fermentation
After mashing at 150°F or 66°C with 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water for 1 hour and boiling for 1 hour, fermentation happens over the course of 10 days at 68°F (20°C) using SafAle US-05 yeast (about a third of the packet or a little less than 4 grams)
Our Take On Mistral Hops
I found that it had more of a berry flavor, like strawberry with a bit of a citrus aftertaste.
Mike thought this hop really played well in the single hop format. He thought that it would help to make a really refreshing pale ale. If you were to blend this hop with other varieties, I think that you should choose other hops that have tropical fruit flavors like a Galaxy or a Sabro.
Hope you continue your brewing exploration and try Mistral hops.