Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

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BRU-1 Hops SMaSH Beer Review

For these Brew (dash) Dudes, this hop variety seems named just for us. We like to get a packet of hops we know nothing about and brew a one gallon SMaSH beer (that’s a single malt and single hop beer) to get to know them better. Learn what we thought by watch our BRU-1 Hops SMaSH Beer Review!

What Do BRU-1 Hops Taste Like?

Since this variety was another one we got in a can from Homebrew Con, we had it on hand when we tasted the beer. The aroma from the pellets was reminiscent of candied pineapple.

The flavor of the beer got different interpretations. Mike thought it had a mild berry and grape-like flavor, refining it further to green grape. John got some pineapple in the flavor with n interesting Nobel hop character like spicy finish.

This hop would be a good candidate to use with Simcoe hops to get some piney dankness along with BRU-1’s fruitiness.

Let us know what your experience with this hop is. BREW ON!

American Pale Ale With Homegrown Chinook Hops

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Sometimes Homegrown Hop Beer Are More Than OK

If you remember, that American Brown Ale I brewed with homegrown Nugget hops was just ok. The hop aromas and flavors were pretty earthy. They were more English than American. This Pale Ale I brewed with my homegrown Chinook hops was a different story.

This hop expressed itself as a resin bomb with loads of great pine and citrus flavors. Mike was able to get some good aroma notes which I was happy with since I didn’t use a lot of hops in the late stages of the boil nor did I add any for dry hopping.

The malt bill had American 2-row malt from Rahr and a little Munich 10L for some color and flavor. The hops were the real showcase with 7 ounces of hops cones getting added to the boil. This beer was such a success, it changed our tune about homegrown hops.

Brew ON!

Lager Brewed At Warm Temperatures

Mike wanted to try out a technique that he read about – brewing a lager at room temperatures with a dry yeast strain. He prepped his recipe, got his ingredients, and brewed as normal. When it came to fermenting, he chilled his wort to ale temperatures and pitched his yeast just like the packet said.

That’s great and all, but how did the beer taste? Watch this video and we see if this technique really works as an alternative to the standard lager brewing practices.

The Power of Fermentis Saflager W-34/70

With just one packet of dry Fermentis Saflager W-34/70 yeast, Mike started his fermentation process by sprinkling its contents on top of the wort that was sitting at room temperature. The fermentation went wild for four days and stayed in his basement at 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit for a total of two weeks. After that period of time, he moved the primary fermentor to his fridge where it cold crashed for six weeks.

The beer fermented clean like you would expect for a lager. The fermentation did not give off any rotten egg, sulfur odors, and with the cold crashing, the beer ended up clear.

We both think that this warm lager fermentation technique has merit. Even though what he did went against all conventional wisdom when it comes to lager brewing, Mike was successful in brewing a great tasting hometown lager.

Let us know what your experience has been with brewing lagers at ale temperatures.

BREW ON!

Review: Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller

We have talked about how controlling your fermentation is one if not the most important skill in homebrewing beer. Along with yeast health and pitch rates, controlling your fermentation temperature is an important factor to dial in and not leave up to chance. With that in mind, we present this review about a piece of equipment that can help you control your fermentation temperature. Check out this review of the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller.

Fermentation Temperature Control From Your Phone

Since we’re comparing this device to what we are used to, which is a Johnson Controller, the Inkbird is so much easier to use. The inputs on the unit are simple. You can set the temperature with a few button presses. It also has plugs for both heating and cooling. I plugged my fridge into the cooling outlet and my heating pad into the heating outlet.

Once you download the app, you have control from wherever you have cell reception. I have been able to monitor and adjust the temperature from my phone at work. In addition, I was able to adjust the degree difference between the set temperature and the probe’s recorded temperature. I like to keep it tight – 1 degree difference.

What Do You Think?

Many of the comments we have received backed up our thoughts. It is easy to use and does a good job at controlling fermentation. The price point is nice too. It is less expensive than other units on the market. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Brew ON!

American Brown Ale With Homegrown Hops

For this year’s harvest, I create a plan to brew a beer to showcase each of my hops plant cones. With three plants, there was going to be three beers. The first one that I brewed was an American Brown Ale with Nugget hops. These cones were the first to ripen so they got used first. Check out this video where we discuss the results of this beer:

Sometimes Beers Are ‘Just OK’

Although I used a large quantity of my homegrown hops, the flavor that came through in the finished beer was more earthy than pine and more herbal than citrus. It was a fine, drinkable beer but it didn’t fit an American hop profile.

Mike found that the hop profile actually had a black tea component. The malt background was strong because of my use of Special Roast malt. The hops flavor made for a nice autumn beer.

So What Did We Learn?

Thinking about it from the time we tasted this beer and writing this post, I have come to the conclusion that the ol’ Nugget hops won’t be used in any of my single hop beers again, if at all. Where I planted this variety is near my vegetable garden and I think it’s choking out my plants. I may need to rip this one up and plant it somewhere else (if it survives).

BREW ON!

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