Sadly, they were not processed as they should have been, having been exposed to far too much oxygen. Regardless, I decided to soldier on with my plans of brewing a single hop beer with them...eventually settling on an Export helles as my style of choice.
The style was chosen as practice, and because I wanted something hopforward without being bitter. In addition to using the locally grown hops, I ended up using some commercial US saaz in order to provide bittering. However...because this was intended to be a hop forward pale beer, for the first time I built my water from scratch. I am on fairly hard well water...it works fine for dark, malty beers, or--with acidification--pale malty beers, but isn't the best for hoppy ones.
I kept the recipe simple, as you can see below. For water, I aimed for a middle line--not built for aggressive bitterness, but not for malty either.
|6.00 gal||Distilled Water||Water||1||-|
|5.00 g||Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins)||Water Agent||2||-|
|2.00 g||Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins)||Water Agent||3||-|
|1.00 tsp||Lactic Acid (Mash 60.0 mins)||Water Agent||4||-|
|0.50 g||Salt (Mash 60.0 mins)||Water Agent||5||-|
|7 lbs 8.0 oz||Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)||Grain||6||90.6 %|
|7.0 oz||Borlander Munich Malt (Briess) (10.0 SRM)||Grain||7||5.3 %|
|5.0 oz||Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM)||Grain||8||3.8 %|
|0.5 oz||Carafa II (412.0 SRM)||Grain||9||0.4 %|
|0.25 oz||Saaz [8.00 %] - Boil 75.0 min||Hop||10||8.8 IBUs|
|1.00 oz||Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min||Hop||11||7.7 IBUs|
|1.00 oz||Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min||Hop||12||4.6 IBUs|
|1.00 oz||Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 3.0 min||Hop||13||1.6 IBUs|
|1.00 oz||Saaz [3.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 20.0 min||Hop||14||3.9 IBUs|
|1.0 pkg||Saflager Lager (DCL/Fermentis #W-34/70) [50.28 ml]||Yeast||15||-|
I chose the saflager strain because I didn't have the best temp control...at the time, my shed was in the low 50s, which is perfectly acceptable for that strain and will still produce a fairly clean beer.
|First decoction to 149*|
You can see that there are two different Saaz in the recipe. The one with 8%AA is the commercial saaz, as I estimated average for the local. In reality, I suspect that the AA was even less. Sadly, this amount of hops took up an incredible amount of wort...I lost a fair amount.
I decided to go with a traditional decoction mash, rather than doing a more modern single infusion.
|Name||Description||Step Temperature||Step Time|
|Acid Rest||Add 10.35 qt of water at 99.6 F||95.0 F||45 min|
|Protein Rest||Add 12.92 qt of water at 171.3 F||133.0 F||60 min|
|Saccharification||Decoct 5.48 qt of mash and boil it||149.0 F||15 min|
|Saccharification||Decoct 3.01 qt of mash and boil it||156.0 F||30 min|
|Second Decoction, which came out thick.|
I fermented at around 52 degrees, and the yeast was happy. I did do a secondary at room temperature.
OG: 1.058. FG 1.010. 6.3%ABV
Whether the decoction did anything, I'm not sure. The finished beer did have some odd caramel overtones to it, and was decidedly strange--we never could figure out what those flavours were from. It didn't really clear, but may over time in the bottle. It is, however, quite drinkable.
© John Frey, 2017. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. The recipes and other contents therein may not be used for any commercial purposes.