Continuing our exploration into hops that are attached to the state of Michigan, either by name or by origin, we present a side by side comparison of a well known hop variety.
One packet of hop pellets came from the growing region of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). The other packet came from a farm in Michigan. Since these are the same hop variety, the aromas and flavors should be the same if we brewed the same beer and just switched the hops, right?
We knew that wouldn’t be the case but we wanted to understand the difference that terroir brings to the hops. That’s why we bring to you this SMaSH Beer Comparison.
See what we thought when we tasted these two beers side-by-side and discussed the differences between Yakima Valley grown Centennial hops vs. Michigan grown Centennial hops.
The SMaSH Beer Brewing Process
Each of these beers were brewed in a one gallon batch format, using 2 pounds of Great Western pale malt and 1 ounce of hops. Mashing for 60 minutes at 150°F (66°C), both of the worts were boiled for 60 minutes and the hops were added at these times:
3.5 grams (.125 ounces) at 60 minutes to go in the boil.
7 grams (.25 ounces) at 15 minutes to go in the boil.
10.5 grams (.375 ounces) at flameout
7 grams (.25 ounces) dry hop addition at day 3 of fermentation
Good ol’ US-05 was used to ferment for 10 days at 68°F (20°C)
Both were chilled and then kegged/force carbonated
The Centennial Hops Difference
Well, certainly there was a difference. Sometimes, these Brew Dudes try to guess which beer is which. We played that game for this comparison but it wasn’t hard to win.
The beer that used the Yakima Valley Chief Centennial was super citrusy with some pine notes. It was everything we have come to know about this hop variety.
The beer that used Michigan grown Centennial hops from the Hop Craft Supply Company had muted citrus flavors with more of a green pepper and diesel quality to them.
We did noted that the packet stated it was a 2018 lot – we are hoping that the age of the hop pellets didn’t play a huge role in the differences, but noting for the sake of knowledge.
Thanks to Vinnie in PA for supplying all the hops for this comparison.