Friday, November 20, 2015

Something "New"

This brew comes from Mr Rufus Brewing Co, based on an exchange on Facebook.  Whomever is behind the "Mr Rufus" had posted a picture of a sample of a beautiful golden brew, and included, "So much honeydew, berries, and even some mango from the Galaxy hops!"  That got me to thinking...I'd like to try that! And when I say "try", I mean both make and taste.  The "Mr Rufus" folks graciously shared the boil volume and hop schedule (thanks!), which I converted for my brew volume.

When I refer to this as something "new", I'm not suggesting that it's new, in's just new to me.  I've had beers infused with fruit, mostly wheat or wit beers that have some sort of fruit puree or zest added during the brew process (I've added grapefruit zest to one or two of my IPAs), but I'm also interested in the aromas and flavors you can get from just hop additions and dry hopping, especially the unusual ones, or ones you don't necessarily see in available craft brews.

I was able to pick up the hops from Jay's Brewing, a home brew supply store in Manassas.  They've come a long way since I visited last June, and Jill was very helpful.

One of the things I've said that I really enjoy about home brewing is that if I want a wit beer or a hefeweizen after a long afternoon of shoveling snow in the middle of winter, I can have one.  Something else I've figured out that I like about home brewing is not only trying beers like this one, but then having small amounts (partial ounces) of left-over hops that I can then combine into something really unusual.

Brew Day: 20 Nov

Partial Mash:
8 oz Gambrinus Honey Malt
8 oz 2-Row malt
1 oz Carapils

I followed my usual partial mash process; bring 2 qt water to 156 deg F, pour into the 1 gal cooler.  Add above grains in a muslin bag, pushing down gently with a spoon in order to ensure that the water circulates throughout.  Seal the cover for an hour.  At about 45 min, bring 4 qt of water in the brew kettle to 170 deg F.  Once the grains have sat for about an hour, loosen the top on the cooler and manually circulate the wort through the grain several times.  Once this is done, gently remove the grain bag from the cooler, allowing the water to drain, and move the bag to the brew kettle, steeping for about 10 min.  At 10 min, remove the grain bag, add the wort from the cooler and bring the wort to a boil.

Boil (60 min):
1 lb Pilsen DME

Yeast: Safale US-05

Warrior: AA ~ 15%
Galaxy: AA 14.5%
Huell Melon: AA 4.5%

7 g Warrior (@ 60 min)
7 g Melon (@ 10 min)
7 g Galaxy + 7 g Melon (@ 5 min)
7 g Galaxy + 7 g Melon (@ flameout)

Addendum, 24 Nov: Activity had settled down enough that I replaced the blow-off tube & bottle with an airlock.  I'll dry hop this one right around the time that I bottle the Hop-Bomb (tentatively an IPA).

Addendum, 30 Nov: Dry hopped tonight.  I'm looking forward to bottling this one in a week.
Dry hop: 14 g Melon

Addendum, 7 Dec: Bottled today; smelled incredible!

Addendum, 23 Dec: Tasted one of the beers today...very good!  The beer pours with an orange-amber color, and with a nice substantial, white head.  Carbonation is good, as is lacing throughout the time it took me to finish the beer.  Definite notes of sweet fruit in the nose, and the flavor has a bitterness on par with a Bell's Two-Hearted, albeit without the citrus/grapefruit notes.  There's also a slight sweetness from the malt.  As a hop-head, I definitely enjoy everything about this beer, from the color, the appearance of the head, to the flavor.  I'm going to try this one again, but the next time, I'm going to use a slightly different dry hopping schedule, and go for a 2-step dry hop, each for 3 days.

Here's what I'm thinking...bitter with a hop with some high alpha acids, and then two Melon hop additions, one at 5 min, one at flameout.  Then do a 2-step dry hop, each for three days.  All additions will be 14 g, for a total of 2 oz throughout the process.

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