In our never ending quest to learn more about hop varieties, John picked up half a pound of Zappa hops. For this evaluation, he used one ounce of hops and brewed a 1 US gallon batch. After the beer was ready, these Brew Dudes had a taste and discussed in this video. Learn more about what we thought in this Zappa hops SMaSH beer tasting video!
Zappa SMaSH Brewing Notes
As always, the SMaSHes that we brew for hops understanding are 1 gallon batches. As the definition of a SMaSH beer goes, we only use one malt and one hop variety.
For that small of a batch, we use 2 pounds of malt. It’s mashed for an hour at 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 66 degrees Celsius. Then, we boil for a hour.
The hops are added at 15 minutes to go in the boil, then at flameout, then a dry hopping addition.
We ferment for 10 days at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius with US-05 yeast. Using about a third of the packet works well for us.
I have mini kegs so I package the beer in one of them. Usually, I am rushing to force carbonate for a video session.
Our Beer Tasting Notes
You can check out the details that I read from when I was on the video here. The descriptor boast a lot of fruity notes, like breakfast cereal aroma and flavors. The pellets didn’t smell like fruity anything.
When I first sniffed the bag, it had a strong petroleum aroma – motor oil to be exact. The aroma carried through to the aroma of the beer.
I didn’t find the aroma to be too strong. It was fairly light and it took a while to reveal itself. Again, more earthy than fruity.
The flavor had some fruitiness but the majority of the notes were in that herbal, earthy range.
Honestly, this variety was a bit of a letdown. The use of the Zappa name made me imagine the aroma and flavor profile of this hop would be wild and fun. They are weird and so was Frank, but I regret to report that it is kind of a bad weird.
Let us know your thoughts on these hops. We hope you had a better experience.