Monthly Archives: November 2014

Notes on Fresh Hop

fh-glassBack in September we brewed a Fresh Hop beer with almost 5lbs of hops.  There’s no easy way to say this, we put in too many hops.  Apparently there is an upper limit.  Right after tapping the keg it tasted like chewing on hop cones, so we left it alone for a while to settle down.

While it did mellow out, it’s still not “good”.  We think this was a combination of three factors:

  • Way too many hops added too early in the process, and too many fresh hops can supposedly give a “grassy” taste.  We do get notes of grass in both taste and smell.
  • We used the hops within 48hrs but not as quickly as we should have.  Hops begin to oxidize immediately after being picked unless dried and vacuum packed.  Ours weren’t.
  • The serendipity of an unknown hop variety can be irresistable but next time we’ll resist a bit more and put them into their own SMASH brew so we know exactly what they taste like

We think we nailed the malt bill though.  It’s not too heavy and has great lacing and isn’t too sweet.  We’ll use it again, just with different hops more suited to its clean profile.

But even when you get a beer that’s not quite right, but not quite wrong, you can mix it.  A total throwback play to the 1800s, but we discovered that a 45/45/10 ratio of our Imperial Stout/Pumpkin/Fresh Hop was great.  Don’t waste a beer!