Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

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Southern Passion Hops NEIPA Tasting Notes

So there was a deal on South African hops from Yakima Valley Hops where I could get a pound of Southern Passion hops for a nice price. With a pound of hops, I was in for a penny and in for a pound. I thought it was silly just to make a one gallon batch so I brewed an NEIPA with that large amount of hops to learn more. Watch this video for our thoughts!

Our Thoughts

With a pound of hops, you have to hope that you’re investing the ingredient properly into your beer. There is always a risk, but I found that the descriptors on the packet enticing.

Even though the descriptors had more tropical fruit callouts, we found this hops in this beer to be more citrusy, landing in the orange realm. There were some other fruit flavors but not a lot of pineapple or papaya.

It made for a great beer. I think I am going to doctor the beer a bit with some CyroAmarillo hops. Keep an eye out for a future post!


Kentucky Common Beer – First Attempt

Mike brewed two beers. As he has done in the past, he brewed a 10 gallon mash run and then made two 5 gallon batches from it. One was a Cream ale but the other one was a new style for us both. Here’s our examination of Mike’s first attempt at a Kentucky Common Beer.

Tasting Notes

We’ll ignore the Cream Ale because that’s old hat. He made his mash with twice the amount of flaked maize because that is what the Kentucky Common style calls for.
We found the Kentucky Common’s flavor was pretty. The one flaw we talked about was its color. The beer is not quite dark enough to be a Kentucky Common. Besides this flaw, the beer a nice drinker.

The grain bill contained mostly Pilsner malt with a big addition of flaked maize. The hops Mike used were Cluster for bittering and Liberty hops for flavor, which he added at 10 minutes left to go in the boil and for aroma, added at flameout.

Let us know what you think of Kentucky Common and whether you’ve ever tried to make one!

Brew ON!

Doctoring Beer With Brewing Salts

Yo – do you remember that lager I brewed with homegrown Magnum hops? Well, if you do remember, I brewed that beer using water right out of my tap. Mike wanted to try something. He said we could doctor the beer with brewing salts to see if we could learn something about their effects on the flavor of the finished beer. Watch this video to learn more about this experiment and what we learned.

The Experiment

Mike made up special suspensions/solutions using specific measurements of Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Chloride so we can add them to different samples of the beer I brewed. We had one as the control and added 100 PPM of CaCl2 to one sample and 100 PPM of CaSO4 to the other.

The Results

The sample that we put in Calcium Chloride in didn’t seem that much different. I guess you could say it was a bit more malty but because it was a SMaSH beer, there wasn’t much to manipulate. The Sulfate-affected beer sample was more noticeable. The bitterness became sharper and lingered longer in the aftertaste.

I think the results of this experiment made it clear that adding Calcium Sulfate ( CaSO4 or Gypsum) to my brewing water is a needed step to brew quality lagers.


PLAATO Keg Management System Unboxing

Although we received a prototype of this product a while ago, it was great to get the official product so we could unbox it here. Take a look at the sleek look of the PLAATO Keg Management System.

Unboxing And Review

The final device has a nice smooth outer covering. The prototype that we got was a 3D printed job, sealed together with some strong epoxy. The USB connector was also given a better placement to make it easier to maintain contact when inside your fridge or kegerator.

I really like the PLAATO guys and their products. The app works with the airlock and now the Keg Management System. This device not only measures how much beer is in your keg but also the ambient temperature of where you’re storing your keg. Yeah, you could build your own. Maybe you feel like buying gadgets like these is a waste of money. Sometimes, you buy things because of the cool factor. No matter. If you’re into homebrewing tech, check out the stuff from PLAATO.

Brew On!

Pilsner With Homegrown Magnum Hops

The last of the homegrown hop brewed beers from the 2019 harvest, this beer is a pilsner with homegrown Magnum hops. The hops used in this beer come from the plant I have had the longest. I have used these hops in other beers in the past and I have like the performance. Let’s see how this crop did in this beer:

Tasting Notes

So what kind of beer comes out of a grain bill of 10 pounds of pilsner malt, 6 ounces of Magnum hops (2 ounces at 60 minutes, 15 minutes, and flame out) and a packet of Safale 34/70? A pretty good one.

I followed a traditional lager fermentation procedure at a temperature of 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) and let it condition at near freezing temperatures for six weeks. To clarify the beer even more, I used gelatin and let it site for 2 days before I kegged the beer.

The hops bring a clean bittering note to the beer. The flavor is one note – it makes for a “beer tasting beer”. There is no fruitiness or other hop derived flavors that you get from other hops. These Magnum hops are noble=esque. There isn’t much to the hop aroma either.

There was a nice soft malt notes but the thing we noted mostly was the yeast notes. This yeast strain provides some non-lager characteristics that we didn’t think we’re optimal. We’re planning to use a different strain and treat our water to get the crispness we want in these types of lager beers.


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