Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brewday - Fresh Hop IPA (Single Malt, Single Hop)

Although I've talked about making a fresh hopped IPA for ages, I had no plans to brew this one until the day before it happened. My intention for the weekend was to brew a Belgian tripel for my blended Belgian IPA, something I had been planning for several weeks. However, after a day spent helping with the hop harvest, I was convinced by Terry the hop grower that I should brew a fresh hopped IPA while the hops were, well... fresh. It also occurred to me that local malter Mike Doehnel had given me twenty odd pounds of his Munich malt for experimentation, so this seemed the perfect opportunity to do a single malt, single hop IPA. (Apologies to local brewer Michael Lewis, I was half way through this brew before I realised this was the exact same beer he had just made. Sorry Mike.)

First Wort Hopping

I wanted to make a beer that really emphasised the flavour of the fresh Cascades but also showed something of the character of the Munich malt, so I didn't want it to be overpowered with bitterness. I decided to keep the boil hops to a minimum (for an IPA) but to do some first wort hopping, a technique where hops are added into the brew pot at the start of the sparge to seal hop flavour into the beer. I also kept the hop additions mostly late in the boil to reduce bitterness and maximise hop flavour and aroma. By the time I was done, two pounds of fresh Cascade hops had found their way into the brew pot. I've always found that making hoppy beers is incredibly satisfying. There just seems to be something about throwing tons of hops into a brew kettle that makes a hophead like myself smile. This beer should be ready to drink in a few weeks and due to the nature of fresh hopped beers will only be in its prime for a short time. I plan on drinking this one quick so if you want to try it let me know before it's all gone, I'll be happy to share.

Fresh Cascade Hops

Locally Malted Munich

Shwack o' Hops

Best to celebrate the new batch with an old one


  1. Hey BB what yeast strain did you end up using here? I did WLP051 California V ale for my wet hopped pale ale.

  2. I used Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale for this bad boy. Ive been playing around with this yeast lately and I like the fruitiness it has and the way this flavour interacts with citrusy hops. It would probably be good with a malt driven brew like an Amber Ale too. Am stoked to try this one!