- Pacific Jade
The differences in the hops was quite striking as we proceeded from one variety to the next. Several hops presented a very nice aroma, but the flavor was dominated by bitterness like Pacifica and Columbus, while other hops were reminiscent of green tea in terms of flavor. The aromas described in each hop variety by Hopunion were found to be sometimes accurate, while for others the only real aroma that could be discerned was that the hops were very dank. The overall consensus after tasting was that Mosaic presented as both the hop with the best aroma as well as the best overall hop. The hop experiment was interesting, but definitely demonstrated that the overall flavor of hops is highly intermingled with their use, the grains utilized, and yeast activity. The other lesson that was apparent is that single hops are not generally a good choice for both bittering and flavor/aroma, further reinforced by the SMASH beers tasted afterwards.
- Jennie – ESB SMASH (31)
- Tony – IPA SMASH w/ Azacca hops (28)
- Brian – Calypso IPA SMASH (29)
- Chip – Saison SMASH (39)
- Doug – Belgian Tripel (31)
- Kevin K – American Brown (41)
- Dave – Schwarzbier (lager and wild fermentation) (38)
- John – Irish Stout (35)
- Paul – Smoked Porter (*)
- Rob & Cathy – Smoked Vanilla Porter (37)
- Doug – Imperial IPA (31)
Chip was crowned best brewer for the month with his very tasty Saison. Among non-competition beers, Kevin’s Brown was very well received. Overall, the lesson gained from the SMASH beers, particularly with respect to the IPAs is that single hops don’t provide for good complexity in the final product, nor do all hops work well for both bittering and aroma.
Bestest Brewer Ever (April 2014)
Chip was declared the winner and has earned the title of Bestest Brewer Ever (for the month of April) for his Saison. Chip used Maris Otter for his base malt and made three additions of Saaz at FWH, 60 and 10 minutes to get the most character from the hop that he could. He fermented with Wyeast 3522, Belgian Ardennes to add some great fruity esters to the finished product. The beer was well balanced, clean, and very drinkable with an abv near 5.4% Good work Chip!