Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Talus Hops SMaSH Beer Tasting and Notes

We brewed a SMaSH beer with a quite new hop variety: Talus hops. I bought a pouch from Yakima Valley Hops to use in my typical one gallon format for evaluation. Watch this video to see what we thought of this hop and if the aromas and flavors that we picked up from the beer matched what descriptors we read online

A Few Notes On This Beer

I see that some readers would like to know about the recipe I follow for these 1 gallon batches. Here the one for this beer.


2 pounds (.9 kg) of Pilsner malt

1 ounce (28 g) of Talus hops


Milled grains into a large mesh bag. Placed bag in a 5 gallon (19 L) cooler.

Heated 2 gallons (7.6 L) of tap water treated with a Campden tablet to 161°F (72°C)

Added water to cooler and mashed malt for 60 minutes at 150°F (66°C).

After the mash, I transferred all the wort into my 10 quart (9.5 L) pot.

Brought the wort to a boil for 60 minutes. I added hops to the beer following this schedule:

0.25 ounces (7 g) at 15 minutes left in the boil

.5 ounces (14 g) at flameout

.25 ounces (7 g) at day 3 of fermentation

After the boil, I chilled the wort in an ice bath in my utility sink. I transferred the wort to my 1 gallon jug and added 3 grams of US-05 yeast. Fermentation lasted 10 days at 72°F (22°C).

After fermentation, I racked the beer to the U-Keg growler and forced carbonated in that vessel. It was the first time I did that and I think I need a little more practice.

What We Thought

We picked up a little citrus in the aftertaste but a lot of stone fruit flavors up front. When I tasting the beer before we shot the video, there was more tropical fruit flavors. The one note I got in the flavor was rose.

I was expecting more orange citrus flavor about it was more grapefruit.

Mike thought that Talus hops would work well with Nelson Sauvin hops. Makes sense. I think this hop would fulfill anyone’s need for a stone fruity flavor in a hop forward beer. You can pair this hop with more citrus-y hops like Amarillo or even Chinook.

Try out Talus hops when you get a chance.

Brew ON!

Mosaic LUPOMAX American Amber Ale

We have a lot of LUPOMAX hops to brew with from Yakima Valley Hops. On this post, we discuss the latest beer. This American Amber Ale was brewed with homegrown and home malted Caramel malt along with a lot of Mosiac LUPOMAX hops.

Mosaic LUPOMAX Amber Ale Recipe

Mosiac LUPOMAX American Amber Ale Recipe

10 lbs (4.5 kg) – Briess Full Pint Brewers Malt
1 lbs (.45 kg) – American Caramel 60°L
1 lbs (.45 kg) – Flaked Oats
2 oz (57grams) – LupoMax Mosaic at flameout
3 oz (85 grams) – LupoMax Mosaic day 3 of fermentation
3 oz (85 grams) – LupoMax Mosaic day 7 of fermentation

Yeast: Imperial Yeast A38 Juice
1 tab of Whirlfloc – added with 15 minutest to go in the boil

Fermented for 2 weeks at 72 degrees F (22 degrees C)

Added Gelatin – half teaspoon to a half a cup of water – heated it in the microwave until dissolved.

Starting Gravity: 1.060
Terminal Gravity: 1.013
Alcohol By Volume: 6.2 %

Our Notes

Strong hops aroma – there was a fruity essence (not blueberry) in the flavor but in the aftertaste, there was a strange oregano note. We think it was the result of the hops interacting with the homegrown caramel malt.

The color and clarity of this beer was excellent. It really had a look of Autumn beers from years past. The copper color always reminds me of Fall beers.

Next time, I will probably do a straight up clone of Tree House Brewing Company‘s Blue. Sometimes throwing in malts that have been in your fridge for a while make for not great beer.


2020 Harvest Ale Review

So I got my homegrown Chinook hops tested and now it was time to brew with them. You’d think I’d wait to get the results of the analysis first, but who has time for that? I was going to use my years of experience as guidance for this brew. Let’s see if we can pick up with those hops with 11.2% Alpha Acids:

Poured out of a U Keg

First, The Recipe

I really liked the grain bill for this one:

2020 Harvest Ale

10 pounds (4.5 kg) Maris Otter pale malt

1 pound (.45 kg) Blonde RoastOat™ Malt

1 pound (.45 kg)  Flaked Barley

2 ounces (57 grams) of Chinook hops – add before boil – First Wort Hopping

2 ounces (57 grams) of Chinook hops – added with 15 minutes left in boil

3 ounces (85 grams)  of Chinook hops – added at flameout

1 Whirlfloc tablet – added with 15 minutes left in boil

Fermented with 1 packet of US 05 yeast for 14 days at 72° F (22° C)

O.G: 1.056

F.G: 1.011

ABV: 5.9% 

Our Thoughts

Well, Mike really seemed to like this one. He was really getting a lot of complex flavors off of the hops. The beer was well balanced with the malt and the specialty grain providing a nice toasty background to the main piney citrus flavors of the hops.

Once the cameras stop rolling and we were wrapping up, Mike grabbed another pint. That’s the true indication that the beer was better than good.

Chinook hops are great. They may be my new favorite American “C” hop. I am happy that I have a strong producing hop plant in my back yard.


Homegrown Hops Test Results

In a time when testing seems to be very important, it made sense to me to get my Chinook hops analyzed to understand some elements about them that are important to know for brewing purposes. Learn more about the steps I took to get my hops tested and the results of the test.

What Were The Steps I Followed

  1. The first thing I needed to do was to find a place where I could send my hops to get tested. There are a few different ones that I found after a couple of Google searches. The one I settled on was the The University of Vermont’s Extension. It was the closest one to my house. It was important for me to get my sample to the lab as soon as possible without breaking the bank on shipping costs.
  2. Once I selected the place, I read all the information they provided to make sure my sample followed all of their guidelines to ensure I wasn’t wasting my money or hops. For the analysis of my hops, they needed a least 100 grams, preferably packaged in vacuum sealed bags.
  3. The lab recommended overnight shipping but I passed on that. I was able to get it delivered to them in a few days.
  4. Lastly, the tests aren’t free and I am pretty sure you have to be a silly dude who has been running a blog for over 13 years to justify the cost. That said, if you think knowledge about your home grown hops is worth 30 bucks, maybe you don’t need to be exactly like me.

Results Of The Test

Here’s what the lab gave me:

Alpha Acid – 11.2%

Beta Acid – 3.1 %

Hop Storage Index (HSI) – 0.241%

The AA% is a little lower than the typical range for the Chinook variety but the Beta Acid percentage is on point. The HSI I don’t know too much about except from what I have read. From MSU Extension: The HSI is a measure of the degradation of alpha and beta acids during storage and handling of hops.  Also, HSI levels below 0.30 are an indication of good quality hops. Now, for me, I would probably need to test my hops again to see if the HSI increased. Well, I brewed with them before any more tests were made.

I am not sure I will get my hops tested again but I did find it interesting to finally understand a few of the important components of my home grown hops.


Phenols in Contaminated Homebrewed Beer

Sometimes even the most experienced homebrewer brews a batch that gets contaminated somewhere in the process. Mike presents this Best Bitter that had such wonderful potential but well, it turned out not so good. In this video, we discuss the recipe and the contamination which caused phenols in the finished beer.

Hey, Wha’ Happened?

Dude, Mike’s recipe sounded great. He’s been brewing English ale styles for over 20 years. They are tasty. It was a disappointment to take a sip of that beer and taste the phenols.

Mike thinks that the cause of the contamination came from his process of transferring the cooled wort onto the yeast cake of the stout he just brewed in this video (the one brewed with the British yeast). Before he brews again, he’s going to do a prolonged soaking/cleaning with Powdered Brewery Wash and sanitize with Iodophor. He thinks that changing up the sanitizer from the one he usually uses (StarSan) will give him the chance to minimize the issue. Using a different sanitizer tends to take care of issues that may be getting around your typical one.

I think this video should serve as a lesson to us all. Don’t take cleaning and sanitizing lightly. When you get lax, you could end up pouring a beer down the drain. It’s not the end of the world but the mistake can sting for a bit. It’s all a part of the homebrewing practice.

Brew On!

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