Smashed it

Notes on brew days #18, #19 & #20
Blog: brewshido
Categories: 4-minute read

After a slow start to my series of six single hop and single malt (SMaSH) beers and a small departure from the series, I returned to complete a very satisfying three brew days using some very popular hops. In order of appearance, I used Amarillo, Centennial and Mosaic.

Aside from having a strangely enticing name, the Amarillo hop is one which I’ve seen appear in a number of beers and recipes and is one which is described by hop book author Stan Heironymus as “intensely fruity (citrus, melon and stonefruits)”. It was a very drinkable beer but due to the timing of the hop additions I missed the intensity, as such was my first choice hop in a short series of dry-hopped SMaSH IPAs.

Centennial seems largely to be a ‘support’ hop and I’ve not often seen it as a headliner, which is likely more a reflection of my novice stature rather than indicative of its actual commercial use, however I see it frequently and wanted to see how it faired by itself. It was described by Mr Heironymus in “For The love of Hops” as uniquely floral so I have an eye on it for a potential green tea ally in future creations. The aroma is certainly less fruity than my previous SMaSH beers and the taste is somewhat floral, not quite piney but definitely a hint of a plant.. quite dry to taste as well. I’m not sure that the hop necessarily shines by itself but can see how it could positively influence a beer in combination with other hops.

The final hop in this series is Mosaic, and I’ve noticed that A LOT of brewers like to add this hop in the latter stages to really enhance the aroma of the beers, and though I have not yet tapped the beer, the aroma from the keg on transfer post fermentation was awesome, so I cannot wait to crack this one open. S H says “Rich in mango, lemon, citrus, pine and, notably, blueberry” so I have plans for this one rounding out a future stout idea that I have.

Impressions on mosaic: the aroma isn’t particularly strong, but I suspect that mosaic does most of its magic in the dry hopping stage(s), I picked up notes of fruits but not the sharpness of citrus, this was more of a soft fruit aroma, not stone fruits but maybe faintly berry-ish. The flavour of the beer sort of reinforces this, the (blue)berry hints are subtle and you could be forgiven for missing them completely but in direct comparison to the centennial SMaSH it is fruitier, also the hop flavour itself whilst just as pronounced as the centennial beer is a little lighter and more refreshing in comparison.

Note: The centennial and subsequently the mosaic beers were the first to be kegged since I replaced the O-rings in my kegs for the first time and there isn’t the slightest hint of oxidation in either so I’ll definitely need to make it a common practice to replace the rings reasonably frequently to avoid spoiling good beers with uninvited oxygen!

Normally, I’d write a little about the brew days here but they were very uneventful and efficient so not much to say.

The grain bill for each of the beers was 4kg of Maris Otter (Low Colour from Simpsons) and the yeast was White Labs WLP01 California Ale which I opted for because I wanted light, crisp IPAs for this series of beers.

For each of the 6 brews in this and my earlier post a single hop as used and the measurements and timings are as follows:

  • 20g start of boil (60m)
  • 40g 15m from end of boil
  • 40g after boil once temperature of the wort was cooled to 79 degrees C.

I used protofloc (carageenan/irish moss) to assist with fining.. and that’s it, very straightforward recipes for very straightforward beers in order to focus attention on individual hops. I learned a fair amount with these 6 brew days and have already embarked upon a short series of 3 dry-hopped beers using 3 of the hops from this series. At the time of writing this (way back in August!), I had just that morning kegged the first of these beers, using the amarillo hop and the aroma filled my kitchen, it was gorgeous! I was brewing a Citra version and I opted for Mosaic for the third.



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