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Style of the Week: Fresh Hop Beer!

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July 10, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Why use a slice of citrus fruit to liven up your beer when fresh hops do a better job in my opinion!

Why use a slice of citrus fruit to liven up your beer when fresh hops do a better job in my opinion!

I know what you’re thinking; how does a fresh hop beer become a style?  Well to make a long story short, you can fresh hop just about any style of beer.  Some of the best styles to fresh hop however are not what you would consider as hoppy beers.  In the past I fresh hopped everything from pale ales to old ales and even lagers!  The point here being is that you would like to brew a beer with good hop character that lends itself to fresh hop flavor and aroma.  Below is a recipe of mine that makes for a nice fresh hop beer that has a nice balancing bitterness and terminal gravity with a moderate to strong hop flavor and aroma.  I find that I get the best results using fresh hops late in the kettle, usually and customarily around 20 minutes or less left in the boil. While you can use any hop variety that you like I discovered that certain varietals have more impact than others such as the traditional Chinook, Centennial, and Cascades.  But this time we’re going to use a different hop, one that has more citrusy goodness and tropical fruit flavor.

Extract:

7 lbs. Light LME

½ lb. Crystal 60 Malt

½ lb. Victory Malt

1 oz. Magnum Hops (bitterness)

1 oz. Liberty hops (flavor)

16 oz.  Fresh Citra hops (aroma)

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or US-05 Ale yeast

Procedure:

  • Heat ¾ gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains to kettle and steep for 30 minutes.
  • Remove grains, and rinse with 165°F water
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring back to boil.
  • After 10 minutes, add the bittering hop addition.
  • At 20 minutes remaining, add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss.
  • At 15 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops.
  • At knockout, add the fresh hops, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller. Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 67°~68°F for 7 to 10 days.
  • Allow to age an additional two to three weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

8 lbs. 2-Row Malt

½ lb. Crystal 60 Malt

½ lb. Victory Malt

1 oz. Citra hops (bitterness)

1 oz. Liberty Hops (flavor)

16 oz.  Fresh Citra hops (aroma)

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or US-05 Ale yeast

¾ gm. Brewing (Burton) Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in the mash and in the boil.

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 150°F for 1 hour. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 10 minutes into the boil. Continue boiling for 40 more min. then add Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss.  At 45 min. then add flavor hops. At knockout, add the fresh hops, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 67°F to 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 110 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 20 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50°~55°F in a Tulip or Teku glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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