Brew Dudes

Homebrewing Blog and Resource

Taiheke Hops SMaSH Beer

Taiheke Hops SMaSH Beer Tasting

Hey – we like brewing simple beers to learn more about hop varieties. We brewed a Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) beer with Taiheke hops from New Zealand. As we do, we tasted it and talked about it on camera. Here’s our video on Taiheke hops!

Our Taiheke SMaSH Thoughts

So, I brewed this beer with the notion that this variety shared a lineage with Cascade hops. I didn’t know if the same qualities of Cascade were going to make it into this beer since it is grown in another part of the world. Mike started off by saying that there wasn’t a lot of strong flavors or aromas in this beer. When he elaborated, he stated there was a black plum and/or blackberry quality.  He also got a sulfur note that he thought it came from the hop. He said the fruit quality was there – a non-distinct stone fruit – maybe peach! Maybe that where the sulfur was coming from.

He said there was some tropical fruit notes and said it was a little like coconut.  Then, he thought it was a cacao nibs since it was an earthly aroma and flavor. 

Now the commercial descriptors – bright fruit flavors of grapefruit, lime, and sweet fruit. I think Mike gave more detail but we can put that all down under “sweet fruit”.

We liked this hop – we think Taiheke could be a variety on which you build your hop profile for your next awesome beer.

LUPOMAX CItra Sabro Hopped IPA with no dry hops but a full aroma

How To Get Hop Aroma Without Dry Hopping

Mike continues his quest to drive hop aroma in his IPAs without opening up his fermentor to dry hop. His first attempt in this line of experimentation didn’t have strong enough results. Ever the resourceful homebrewer, Mike took good notes and reformulated his recipe to reach his aroma goals. Watch this video to learn more about how he did it.

Our Tasting Notes

Well, this IPA certainly had a nice hop aroma. It was more present in this beer as compared to the one he brewed 4 months ago. We think we know why.

Certainly, the LUPOMAX versions of Citra and Sabro were a big part of it. The intensity from the concentrated form of these hop varieties showed off in the aroma (and the flavor, for that matter). Adding 2 ounce of hops right before pitching his yeast was the key in this batch’s success.

Mike’s IPA had aromas of orange and pineapple. They were distinct and bold. Now, we have enjoyed other beers on the Brew Dudes set that have had stronger aromas. There have been beers that we knew were going to be hop bombs from the moment the bottle was opened and you could sense it from across the room. Mike’s beer was not like that.

I will say that the aroma was pleasing and if not overly penetrating. We don’t think beers need to knock you over the head with the aroma. It should be an invite to what comes next – the flavor. This beer’s aroma kept its promise in the flavor.

Another key outcome for Mike in this experiment was to avoid the hop bite that sometimes plague other hop forward beers. His IPA had none of that reportedly unpleasant quality and he was happy for it.

What do you think? Will you try adding hops right before pitching your yeast? Leave us a comment.


Comparing 3 beers with 3 different yeast strains.

English Yeast Comparison – 3 Strain Experiment Series (Part 2)

Mike continues his series of brewing the same beer so that we can have an English Yeast Comparison. Three different strains were used in this round of his tremendous Brown Ale. We tasted each of them to learn more about the qualities of the selected strains. Check out this video for our reactions to each.

Tasting Notes on These English Yeast Strains

Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale Yeast – Of the three, we liked this one the most. The aroma was invitingly malty and it produced the most balanced hops/malt flavors of the beers. It fermented cleanly and the finish was dry. If I had a larger pour, I would have focused more on this pint than the others. Very tasty!

Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley Ale Yeast – This beer had the estery notes in its aroma that we believed were yeast-derived. The flavor had a mineral quality to it that was nice and true to English styles. I wonder if this beer would do better with a dry hop addition of East Kent Goldings to bring out more hop aroma and flavor to the beer.

LalBrew Nottingham English Ale Dry Yeast – We have brewed with Nottingham a bunch and we were surprised at how this strain performed as compared to the other 2. There was not much aroma at all. I found it to have a butterscotch note and it coated my mouth as I drank it. There was a presence of diacetyl in this beer that was not a part of the other beers. Not a bad beer, just not as good when compared to the others.

Hope you enjoyed this installment of the English yeast comparison. Let us know your experience with these yeasts and if you have ideas for other stains in the comments below.


Homebrew Exchange 43 Swedish Beer Swap

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #43

Sometimes we get beers sent to us from across the ocean, making this exchange program truly international in scope. These homebrews were sent from Sweden from a guy named Martin. We usually only publish our thoughts about one beer for these exchanges but because they were sent a long way, we decided to check out both. We’re glad we did since they were excellent. Check out this beers from Martin’s MyDogMorris Brewery!

The Beer Details

Here’s the information that Marin sent along with his homebrews.

Slipopit – This beer was brewed in the style of an Italian pilsner. This was his clone attempt on the famous (and his favorite) Italian pilsner Tipopils. He got the recipe from a homebrewing magazine and got very detailed information about how they brew it. When he compares his to the original, he thinks theirs is more smooth and his is more crisp like a German pilsner. So, he thinks there may be some tweaking needed to do to his water to lower the sulfate a bit. His beer had 3 different kinds of pilsner malt because he cleaned his shelves and used leftover grain from other beers.

Wakatu Porter – This beer is a fairly low ABV Porter but with a pretty solid body. He likes his dark beers to have a fuller mouthfeel; otherwise he thinks it just tastes like cold coffee. So he mashed at a high temp to get as much unfermentatble sugars in the beer and keep the alcohol levels low. He sought to balance the maltiness with Wakatu hops, which he had left over from other beers.

Our Tasting Notes

The Pilsner was brilliantly clear with a wonderful yellow gold color and we felt that the beer was practically flawless. Having been shipped all the way from Sweden, it was amazing to see and taste how well it held up.

On the American Porter, John detected notes of coffee in the aroma. Mike really noticed the freshness of the roasted malt aromas as well.

Overall, this exchange was one of the best we’ve ever had. Thanks to Martin for sharing his beers with us.


Flaked Grains Comparison

Comparing Flaked Grains For Use In NEIPAs

Have you finalized your NEIPA recipe yet or are you like us – continually tweaking the grain bill or the hop additions in attempts to improve what is already “pretty good”? If you are trying to learn more about the style or want an input into building your recipe, this post is for you. We decided to examine one part of the grain bill, specifically the flaked grain portion, to better understand the effects of some of these adjuncts bring to the final beer. Take in this video as we compare 3 flaked grains (Oats, Wheat, and Barley) in beers brewed the same way to get a better feel of their contributions to NEIPAs.

Flaked Grains Comparison Video

Flaked Oats vs. Flaked Wheat vs. Flaked Barley

To have a fair comparison, I had to brew 3 beers the same way except for the flaked grain that I used. Here’s the recipe and the instructions I followed to brew these beers.

Batch Size: 1 US Gallon

Boil Size: 1.75 US Gallons

Grain Bill

75% Great Western Pale Malt

25% Flaked Grain (Beer 1 = Flaked Oats, Beer 2 = Flaked Wheat, Beer 3 = Flaked Barley)


Columbus Hops – 7 grams added with 60 minutes left to go in the boil

Mosaic Hops – 9 grams added at flameout


Safale US-05 American Ale Yeast – 3 grams for each batch


Brew In A Bag using 2 gallons of water heated to 160°F/71°C to hit mash temperature of 150°F/66°C for 60 minutes

Fermentation lasted for 2 weeks at 68°F/20°C

At the end of fermentation, each batch was forced carbonated

Our Notes On These Flaked Grains Beers

Beer #1 – This beer was brewed with Flaked Oats. Mike felt this beer had the sharpest hop flavors. In comparison to the others, he felt it was the most robust and the base malt character was more present in this beer. In terms of mouthfeel, it was the most full of the three beers.

Beer #2 – This beer was brewed with Flaked Wheat. Mike thought this beer had the softest mouthfeel. He liked this beer the most. It was the smoothest in terms of its overall impression.

Beer #3 – This beer was brewed with Flaked Barley. Mike thought this beer showcased the malt “sweetness” the most. He also thought the hop aroma came through more with this beer.

He felt all three of these beers had medium-low body so keep this point in mind if you are looking to have a beer with a full mouthfeel. You’ll probably need to do more to add more body.

Mike said that he wouldn’t be adding Flaked Barley to his next NEIPA. He wasn’t impressed with beer #3.

Hope you got something out of this comparison. We learned something from it. If you have questions or comments, please leave them on this post.


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