Post Number: 222
Posted From: 18.104.22.168
|Posted on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 11:20 am: ||
I posted a little while back about brewing up some single hop batches and I just wanted to report on how I went about doing it for anyone interested.
I wanted to keep the batches really small so I could use growlers to ferment them in. I ended up with five 1/2 gallon batches with a different hop in each.
I made a simple recipe (all grain) for a pale ale and worked it out so I'd collect 2.5 gallons total. I boiled the full batch for about 45 minutes, then took a half gallon at a time into my stovetop pot and boiled in some hops. I worked them out so that my hop additions were around 1/4 oz. and varied the boil times based on the alpha acids in the hops. The typical boil time was around 15 minutes.
I then fermented each batch in a growler and dry hopped into the same growler (no transfer) after one week. A week later, I bottled - that was the real pain. The volumes are so small, that it's difficult to siphon off the trub and keep the growler standing up, etc. A helper would have been nice to have. Anyways, I ended up essentially pouring the beer through a screen to filter out all the crap (there was a ton of hops and trub in the growlers), then pouring the beer into the bottles and adding a prime tablet.
My wife and I chilled up one of each of the beers on Friday night and did a little tasting. Suprisingly, all the beers were great! They were all really well balanced and actually very clear. I'm sure they'll pick up some oxidizing with time, but there's only 3 bottles per beer, so they shouldn't last long. The hops I used were:
Amarillo, Galena, Northern Brewer, Nugget, and Simcoe. I think if I"d do it again I'd probably just do extract. The boiling of 5 different worts takes some good time and if I hadn't had to mash, it would have saved me a lot of time. Cooling the worts was a bit of a pain too. I chilled them all in my sink with a bath of ice, but I used all the ice in my freezer with just enough to spare.
I'll probably do this again with some more hops in the future, but I wanted to let everyone know a fairly simple way to get some good knowledge of hop characteristics. I took some notes on the what the two of us found to add to my files so now I won't go in blind each time.