Fresh Hop Beer

A huge thanks to Joe and Lindsay for snagging some fresh hops for me while at hop madness this year. They brought me 3 bags and a small tub of Willamette and Crystal hops.

Yesterday I picked the remaining hops (which were about to lose their “fresh” status) and brewed up a low gravity pale. Because of the ingredients (a mix of stuff lying around, borrowed stuff, and wet hops), an exact, replicable recipe is impossible, but here’s the gist:

Picking fresh hops

Grain bill:

  • 4.5 lbs LME
  • 2 lbs organic 2-row

Hops:

  • 2 oz fresh Willamette @ 60 min. (4.5% aa)
  • 8.5 oz fresh Willamette @ 10 min. (4.5% aa)
  • 13 oz fresh Willamette @ 5 min.
  • 11 oz Crystal @ 2 min. (5.7% aa)

Misc:

  • Fermentis us-58 dry yeast (lazily pitched into cooled wort)
  • Irish Moss

Yup – that’s 34 ounces of fresh hops – almost all under 10 minutes. The kettle got rather difficult to stir by that point, but I made sure to turn the hops into the boil to extract their precious lupalin.

Fresh hops in the boil

After the boil, I had some trouble cooling the wort efficiently – even with an immersion wort chiller – because the hops were holding so much of the wort. Because of the heat (I’m guessing), one of my chiller fittings had loosened up enough to let some tap water in to the kettle. I stopped it early before it turned the beer into hop tea.

The last part of the brew included slinging around my week-old daughter. She slept through it, but I’m still giving her assistant brewer credits.

Ella the assistant brewer

I racked the wort into a poly fermenter to try it out again. I also failed to make a started so I sprinkled dry Fermentis yeast (it says you can do it on the packet) onto the wort. Krausen isn’t exactly rapid, but I think there’s a leak in the bucket around the airlock letting CO2 out. I suspect this because the corner of the kitchen with the bucket smells absolutely fantastic.

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