Hop water v1

I’m finally getting with the program and making my own hop water. The first version I made is based on various chunks of advice received from my homebrew club. Super simple:

  • 20 litres of Guelph water (extremely hard water with high alkalinity)
  • 20 grams of citric acid
  • 20 grams of T90 hops (El Dorado for v1)

Method

My strategy was to seal a jar with 1 litre of 80C water, with the hops, and its share of the citric acid for 20 minutes. I wanted to include acid in this stage to lower the pH to hopefully reduce extraction of astringent hop compounds. While waiting for the hops to steep, I filled a sanitized keg with 19 litres of cold water, and the rest of the citric acid. Once time was up I then used my pour-over coffee set up (ceramic Hario v60 dripper) to drip the hop tea directly into the keg before topping up water and installing the spear. I then carbonated at 30psi in my keg fridge, which amounts to a bit more than 4 vols of CO2.

Initial thoughts

The hop taste is quite low, but present. The material left in the coffee filter appeared very oily leading me to believe a lot of the good stuff was left behind. For the next batch I will use a much coarser filtration method for same quantity of hops and see how the hop presence changes.

In general the flavour is pretty good, and the acid level seemed appropriate. You can definitely taste lemony acidity from the citric acid at this level, and I’m undecided if that’s a feature or a flaw. I haven’t checked the pH of the result either, but likely somewhere in the 4 to 4.5 range for this water. I’ll finish this keg before I decide to do anything with the acid for the next batch, which I don’t expect will take long!

Chinook APA review

I haven’t posted recently to this blog, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been brewing! I have several posts drafted for review and reflection of various recent brews. Here’s the first – a Chinook APA. This beer received inspiration from recipes shared amongst my homebrew club, as well as from my research into the ingredients of a well known beer hopped exclusively with Chinook. Continue…

Wedding beer prototype #1: European lager

I haven’t posted a beer recipe/review in a while! Here’s one for a European style lager that I’ve been working on. The beer fits best in BJCP Category 5C German helles exportbier (not that I’m overly concerned with that). This is a prototype for a beer that I intend to brew 100L of for the wedding of two dear friends. The goal was a crowd pleasing light, dry, neutral, 5% ABV-ish beer that was balanced with just the right amount of bitterness, but not so much that American light lager fans are neglected. Continue…

This beer is a simple beer

The first brew on my new system wasn’t entirely smooth sailing. A learning experience to be sure. I had my concerns that what I created wouldn’t be palatable at all. 2 weeks later I was pleasantly surprised by the result; a lovely session IPA. I used a super simple grain bill and hop schedule. So simple that this beer is ALMOST a SMaSH (single malt and single hop for the unacquainted). Continue…

Saison vibes

I’m interrupting the barrage of brewery build posts to bring you a bit of a reflection on a saison I recently brewed. I had some Sorachi Ace hops in the freezer from last summer’s saison, and I had been meaning to brew a saison with the Saison Dupont yeast. I had also been meaning to do a saison with oats. All of these would serve as parameters to this saison recipe. As evidence by how quickly the kegs kicked, this beer was quite nice. It was the last beer brewed on my old system, and it was supposed to hold me and my guests over until I was back brewing. It didn’t stand a chance! Continue…

14 days grain to glass

While at times I’ve been very driven to reduce the duration of my brew days, I’ve never been terribly concerned with the speed of everything that comes after. With building yeast starters, oxygenating my wort, fermenting in a conical fermentor, and carefully controlling the temperature of that fermentor, it stands to reason that I could turn around a beer fairly quickly… or my yeast could rather. Continue…