This is probably of limited interest to most, but I’ve been a fan of the work of both for several years and have posters from each with hop varietals (including storability) and cone pictures that have adorned previous office walls, the garage, etc. I’m hopeful that this means that Yakima Chief will pick up some of the cult marketing acumen that Hop Union has created, and that I’ll be able to one day order a ball cap or a beer koozie with the Yakima Chief logo on it. Or maybe just a big ‘ol Simcoe hop cone. Yup, Simcoes are awesome.
I wonder if they’ll use the opportunity to change their name to Yakama? (i to a – it’s a tribal thing)
I dusted off my Amarillo Red recipe and decided to change it up a little for a fall brew. I have an abundance of Simcoe hops at the moment and a relatively small amount of Amarillo pellets, so I’me going to tweak the recipe for this brew.
15 lbs. domestic 2-row
5 lbs German Pilsner malt
1.5 lbs Crystal 60L
1 lbs Crystal 120L
1 lbs malted wheat
2oz Simcoe (whole cone) @ 60 minutes
2oz Simcoe @ 10 minutes
2oz Amarillo pellets @ 5 min
1oz Amarillo @ flameout
1oz Simcoe @ flameout
1oz Simcoe dry hopped
Safale S-05 (1st carboy)
Wyeast British Ale Yeast (2nd carboy)
You know the drill, right? Get up at 6am on a Sunday, start heating the water in the HLT, go back and get some more coffee, etc. The SRM should come out around 13-14L. f
This is an amalgam of beer styles. Malt profile should be similar to a Märzen/Oktoberfest style beer, yeast is an ale yeast, and the hops are mostly from my neighbor’s and my hop plants. It’s an homage to our harvest season. This is for a 10 gallon batch.
9 lbs. 2-row
8 lbs. German pilsner
2 lbs. Munich
1 lbs. CaraPils
1 lbs. Vienna
2 oz Glacier @ 60
unknown addition of unknown hop @ 45
unknown addition of unknown hop @ 20
unknown addition of unknown hop @ 15
unknown addition of unknown hop @ 10
unknown addition of wet centennials @ 5
I used Fermentis Safale S-05 yeast again, one per carboy. Someone recently told me that they were bored with this strain. I’m not yet. I plan to cold-crash the carboys right before bottling to clear it up a little more like a true Oktoberfest.
After some delays, I managed to work in a brew session yesterday to use both some recently dried and some vine-fresh hops. My mom and the two girls picked hops from the neighbors plant and dried them out so I could use them (I didn’t have any set time to brew yet). Then, Michelle suggested that I brew this past weekend, which was slightly delayed due to Michelle’s canning, visitors, and a trip out of town. But we got back late Sunday night and after helping Michelle get some tomatoes in to jars, I started setting up the tower of terror and heating the liquor tank. The brewing process was same as usual, but due to the volume of fresh and dried hops, I actually ran out of kettle-space for more and ended up not using some. So if you want about 1/4oz of dried Centennials…
One of the things I do while brewing is take stock of what’s missing from the setup and what needs replaced. I’ve been putting off making a counterflow wort chiller, but may have put it off too long. Just as I was starting up the immersion chiller, I heard a pop, then the sound of cold, unboiled water running in to my hot wort. NOOOOO! The heat weakened a connector on the chiller and a kink down-line caused the pressure to build up until that connecting hose failed. Better fix that.
Oh, and dry yeast sure has gone up in price. Best get another starter flask.
Ella and I harvested this year’s hop crop from the Centennial plant and I estimate the harvest was at least 5 times what it was last year. This is good news. I can’t find my scale, so I have no idea what the final weight was, but volume-wise, it was about half-a gallon. The cones came right off the plant, with a short pause to let some of the bugs out, and in to the kettle with about 5 minutes left in the boil. I don’t think the contribution will amount to much, but they’re in there. They’ll be competing agains 11oz of other hops (8 of Cascade, 3 Amarillo).
The Willamette plant didn’t do anything again. I think it’s coming up next year to make way for a producer.
Christmas came early this year, and the stinky box of joy was full of gold foil surprises. For loose-leaf brewers cuts I have a brick of Cascades (8.7% alpha this year!) and a brick of Simcoes (11.8%). We all know about Cascades, but I’ve not used Simcoes for a few years and really like them. Great for a single-hopped IPA.
For pellets, I scored the following.
Newport (9.8% alpha)
Sterling (7.0% alpha)
Amarillo (8.2%) drool
Thanks to my connection (father-in-law) and his at Hop Union.
Yesterday turned out to be a rather long brew day. I started just after 6am and didn’t finish until nearly 3pm. The addition of time came from having to pick and prep the hops, doing a 10 gallon batch, and from having to stop for lunch with Ella, which then required a trip to the grocery store to get some bread for our grilled cheese. All said, I think maybe 1.5 extra hours were added by the extra child-based side trips, 1/2 hour from the extra hop-related work, and maybe an extra 45 minutes because of the larger volume of beer.
All told, the process went rather smoothly, and I ended up with over 11 gallons of wort, using 35 ounces of fresh hops, 2.5 ounces of commercially grown summits for bittering, and 1 ounce of mystery hops that I got from a neighbor and dried on an old window screen in the garage. The original gravity turned up around 1.052, lower than initially planned, but I ended up with more volume than expected. No complaints though.
The prototype tier is still in use, and this time I set up a perimeter using patio chairs and a dog lead. I didn’t want any curious neighborhood person or scrap metal collector to try and mess with a precariously perched tier with 9 gallons of 180F water sitting 6 feet in the air.
My wife brought home a tub of ladybugs that I’ve placed on my two hop plants. Aphids hit them hard the last 2 weeks and the ladybugs had no reservations about taking up residence. This morning I found 10 of the lil’ bugs still hanging out on the plant, working on their quota of 50 aphids a day. I’ve also found a clutch of ladybug eggs on one of the leaves that I swear wasn’t there yesterday.