My latest beer was inspired out at the fire pit. After a long weekend of chores and activities, we finally set down at the pit on a Sunday night and a few beers were called for, but the next day was a work day.
I decided then that a session-able gravity pale ale with much hop character would be great in that scenario. We taste that beer in this week’s video!
It seem to us that super hop aroma and flavor beers are continuing to gain momentum these days. Even a non-hop head like me is starting to get drawn in with all the new hops that are available. Based on all the great hops that John has been brewing with, I wanted to start experimenting with putting some of the new stuff and some of the old stuff together.
I started with a simple base of Pale Malt and Light Munich Malt (10L) and mashed it in fairly low at 150° F to keep it dry. I targeted a 1.040 OG and it came in a little higher than that. I chose to bitter cleanly with Warrior hops at 60 minutes. The rest of my hop efforts would all go into the fermentor for dry hop.
For dry hops, I went with 1 oz of Galaxy, 1 oz of Amarillo, and 2 oz of Cascade. They sat in the primary post most of the ferment activity for the better part of a couple months. Admittedly, I was pretty scared that such a low OG beer would turn to a vegetal bomb sitting on hop pellets that long.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.
I still haven’t mastered the separation of hop pellets from a dry hopped beer when going to keg. As a result. this beer has a fair amount of little hop dust in it. The color is a nice light orange from the Munich malt.
The bitterness is pretty mild but it yields to a light and weird mint like quality. I once did a Warrior SMASH beer and that also had this mint note in it. I can only ascribe that flavor to the Warrior hops.
The aroma is pretty good with a bit of pine and a bit of dried citrus peel. It did not have a lot of tropical fruit although it is fruity in a general sense.
The interesting thing here is that the lack of late boil hops is very apparent. There is a hole in the palette when drinking this beer. Certainly some of flavor hop additions are needed to help balance out the dry hopping and mask the mint quality from the Warrior.
Overall, this is a good beer to sit and drink as a session pale ale. We have certainly learned a little something about boil hops and how the symphony is improved with their presence. I consider this the first step towards starting to perfect a hoppy beer experience in the future. Since tasting this beer, I am now revisiting IPA recipes in my mind.
I now have a project to work on in the future.