Tag Archives: hop bomb

Citra / Munich SMaSH – Citra Bomb From Hell?

EDIT 2: After some discussion on beer advocate homebrew forum, I’m going to UP the citra to EVEN MOAR.  So this recipe will be different than when I first published it.  Slightly edited hops schedule again.  This is the final version that is actually in the fermenter right now.  Toned back just a touch on the extreme overkill so I could have reasonable quantities of my pound of citra leftover, and available for other beers.  I can probably get two more pretty citra beers from what’s left, or perhaps two pale-ale strength brews.    I’m not super crazed over citra, and this will probably be the largest citra addition I’ll use in a beer.  Beyond this one, I’ll probably choose a more balanced hop approach.  This one is intended to be off-balance tho, heavy on the hops, and heavy on the citra.  I just want to see what a super citra-bomb tastes like!   Anyway, enough of the edit, here’s the original post, modified to fit the actual recipe…

Gonna make a SMaSH with Munich malt again, this time with citra hops.  And yes, I’m going to hop the living hell out of it, knowing that I’ll probably create a citra bomb from hell!  Everybody has to over-do it at least once in their lifetime with citra hops, right?  So let’s just do it and see what happens!  I know I will drink every last one, no matter how citra it comes out.  It will technically not be a perfect smash beer, because I’ll use a tiny bit of Belma as the 60 minute bittering charge.  Also, I don’t really think this is over-doing it on the citra, but we shall find out just how wrong I am in a month or so.

  • 12 lbs Munich
  • S-04/US-05 yeast (50/50 mix)
  • 0.5 oz Belma at 60
  • 1 oz citra at 15
  • 1 oz citra at 10
  • 1 oz citra at 5
  • 1.5 oz citra at FO, then cool to 170F and let stand 15 minutes
  • 1.5 oz citra after 15 minute hop stand, while wort is still hot,  let stand another 15 minutes
  • 2 oz citra DH
  • 1.061 OG
  • 47  IBU
  • 12 SRM
  • 6.4% ABV
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Bigfoot Found!

It’s true!!  Bigfoot found!!

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale 2013 is in my local grocery store, and I picked up a four pack.  Such an amazing brew!  This is the definition of barleywine if you ask me.  Although a bit hoppier than most barleywines, I haven’t found one that I like more.  Well, Dogfish Head Olde School is pretty damn awesome too, but that one is kind of a different beast: it’s got way more alcohol, for one thing, and isn’t comparable to bigfoot ale.  Although both brews are fantastic, this post is about Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot ale, so we’ll stick to that!

I’m going to post my original review from more than a year ago, along with my edits for this year’s vintage:

Bigfoot!

Downright gorgeous to look at, deep amber with copper notes, clear, with a great 3 finger head that lasted forever and laced the glass with sticky chunks.

More like an IPA in the nose, hops are dominant and the typical barleywine smells are secondary. Piney and even grapefruit hops are pungent. A little caramel malt and a little fruitiness provide something other than hops as a side note.

Taste is bold and again, very hoppy. Tastes more like a barleywine than it smells, but still, this one is quite a bit like a DIPA in the taste department. The hop profile is just dominant as hell, this fact cannot be hidden. Fruity and caramel malt flavors do balance out the taste more so than the smell though, and overall it’s quite nice!

The body is thick and tangy but the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. The hops even leave a bit of a bite on the aftertaste.

Honestly, this is a fine barleywine, albeit a lot hoppier and a bit different than I’m used to when I buy a barleywine. I really like this stuff. I can’t wait to see how it mellows. I’ve put a bottle away for a year, and another for two years, will re-try it again next march (and the one after that) and report back.

I really like trying new beers, and I hadn’t had this one yet. Overall I’d list it as “must try” Excellent job, SN!

Edit for 2013: once again, they nailed it.  The original review is more than a year old, but now I’ve had 5 different years of vintages, both aged, and for the more recent years, fresh.  Every time it’s just fantastic!  Gold standard of barleywines.  Monstrous hops and tons of delicious malts, one of my favorite beers anytime, from any brewery.  If I decide to try and brew a barleywine, it will be based on this!

Cheers to Sierra Nevada for 2013 Bigfoot Ale!

 

Bigfoot Found!

The Averagely Perfect American IPA Project

Very interesting project started by Vikeman on Beer Advocate.  31 polls decided all aspects of this beer, from gravity and ABV to ingredients and amounts, even fermentation temperature.

Well I brewed it last night.

5 Gallons (into fermenter)
Target ABV: 6.5%
Target OG: 1.062
Target FG: 1.012
Apparent Attenuation: 81%
Recommended Mash Temp: 151F
Fermentation Temp 64-66F*
64 IBUs (per Tinseth Calc)

Grain Bill:
Two-Row Brewer’s Malt (92%)
Crystal 40 (5%)
Carapils (3%)

Bittering Hop: Bravo

Flavor/Aroma Hop Schedule:
15 minutes – Simcoe 0.5 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz
10 minutes – Simcoe 0.5 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz
5 minutes – Simcoe 0.75 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz

FO/Whirlpool/Stand – Simcoe 1.0 oz, Centennial 0.75 oz, Cascade 0.75 oz
Dry Hop – 1 oz Simcoe, 1 oz Centennial, 1 oz Cascade

Yeast:
Wyeast 1056/WLP001/US-05

It’s in the fermentation chamber now, we’ll see how the “wisdom of crowds” doees on this one!  I suspect it will come out great!!

*note: mine is getting 64-66F because that’s where my fermentation freezer/controller is set and that’s where I like it, lol.

Cloning Pliny The Elder – My First Double IPA

Well I’m going to attempt a Pliny the Elder clone this weekend.   Consistently rated as one of the best beers on the planet, Pliny deserves its reputation.  With ratings of 100 on BA and 100/100 on ratebeer.com, it seems the rest of the craft beer geek world agrees.  If you’ve ever had Pliny, you’ll probably agree too.  I don’t think I’ll quite do it justice, but it’s a great place to start for my first attempt at brewing a Double IPA.

Yeast is California Ale Yeast.

Fermentables:

  • 13.25 lbs 2-row
  • 8 oz carafoam
  • 8 oz caramel-40
  • 10 oz corn sugar

Hops:

  • 1.5 oz millenium FWH
  • 1.5 oz cascade FWH
  • 2 oz cascade FO
  • 1 oz belma FO
  • 1 oz bravo FO
  • 1 oz millenium FO

quickly cool to 170F and let stand 30 minutes

Dry Hops

  • 2 oz millenium 14 days
  • 1 oz cluster 14 days
  • 1 oz belma 14 days
  • 2 oz bravo 5 days
  • 2 oz cascade 5 days

Targets:

  • OG: 1.075
  • FG: 1.011
  • SRM: 7
  • IBU: 108

Total fermentation time should be 3 weeks from boil to bottle, plus conditioning time.  I’ve gotten advice to bottle and enjoy as quickly as possible to preserve delicate hop aromas and flavors.  Makes sense to me.

This will be a unique beer for me because it’s only got first wort hops and flameout hops, and a lot of them at that.   Thanks to Barfdiggs on beer advocate for the hops schedule!

Hop Stoopid NHC Challenge

Hop Stoopid Clone Challenge – NHC

I was just having a hop stoopid, one of my fav DIPAs.  We kinda drank most of the homebrew, and we’re waiting for more to be ready, so I’m having some commercial brews.  I’ve already reviewed hop stoopid here, but it’s always worthy of discussing it again.

I’ve always loved this beer from the very first time I tried it.  It’s very clean in its bitterness and is near perfection for a DIPA if you ask me.   It’s also a major bargain, well worth the price!  DIPA lovers, if you haven’t tried this one, TRY IT!

The above link is wonderful.  They give you tons of info on how they make hop stoopid.  Plus, they are asking you to bring your home brewed versions for them to taste and discuss!  I’d love to go to their suite at the NHC and submit my version to their head brewer!

The link also has recipes for both all grain and extract.  DAMN COOL of Lagunitas to do this!

I want to try a version of this for my first IIPA.  I need to come up with some simcoe hops first, but rest assured, this one will be brewed by me sooner or later!

Cheers to Lagunitas!

 

Belma IPA – Hop-Bursting with Belma Hops!

Well I found a new variety of hops available… Belma hops.  Hops Direct had them on sale for $5.25 a pound!   At that price, I couldn’t resist picking some up, a couple pounds in fact.  And with that many hops, I might as well try something I’ve been wanting to try (again) … hop bursting.  What the hey… I’m going to try a hop bursted, single-hopped IPA with the new Belma Hops!  Nothing but Belma here!  Nottingham yeast used.

5 gallon batch.

Fermentables:

  • 10.5 lbs 2-row
  • 10 oz crystal 60
  • 10 oz munich malt
  • 2 oz crystal 120
  • 2 oz carafoam
  • 6 oz flaked corn

Hops (all Belma):

  • 10 g at 30 minutes
  • 1 oz 15 minutes
  • 1 oz 10 minutes
  • 1 oz 5 minutes
  • 1 oz 1 minute
  • 1 oz flameout
  • 3 oz dry hop

Targets:

  • IBUs 50.5
  • OG 1.064
  • FG 1.014
  • SRM 9.9
  • ABV 6.6%

Procedure:

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. reconstitute dry yeast using 95F boiled spring water and allow to cool to room temperature
  4. Add grains to mash tun
  5. bring 3 gallon spring water to 169 F
  6. Add 3.5 gallons of 167F spring water to mash tun on top of grains, then stir well
  7. add more water to boil pot, bring to near 172F and hold for sparging
  8. measure temperature after temperature equalizes in mash.  Once again, this has been prretty spot-on the last few batches, so I don’t anticipate having to boil extra water, but I will be ready just in case
  9. adjust mash temperature using either heated mash water or cool spring water as needed to reach 152F
  10. mash for 75 minutes at 152F
  11. during mash, stir about every 15 minutes or so, checking temperature and adjusting if needed
  12. at end of mash, begin draining wort into pitcher
  13. allow first runnings to drain into a pitcher until clear
  14. pour first runnings back on top of mash
  15. drain remaining wort into boil pot until mash tun is near empty
  16. add 2 gallons 172F water (adjusted as needed)
  17. stir well
  18. drain first runnings of first batch sparge into pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  19. pour first runnings of first batch sparge back on top of mash
  20. drain wort into main boil pot until near empty
  21. add another 2 gallons 172F water to mash tun (adjusted as needed)
  22. stir well
  23. drain first runnings of second batch sparge to pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  24. add first runnings back into mash tun
  25. drain wort into main boil pot
  26. add wort chiller to boil pot, filled with hot water
  27. bring main boil pot to a boil
  28. when boil is reached, boil 60 minutes total
  29. at 30 minutes, add 10g Belma Hops
  30. at 25 minutes, add about 1/4 tsp Wyeast nutrient blend to a small amount of spring water and dissolve
  31. add nutrient blend at 20 minute mark
  32. add 1/8 tsp Irish moss powder at 20 minute mark
  33. add 1 oz Belma at 15 minutes
  34. add 1 oz Belma at 10 minutes
  35. add 1 oz Belma at 5 minutes
  36. add 1 oz Belma at 1 minute
  37. add 1 oz Belma at flameout
  38. at flameout, turn on water for wort chiller and chill to 170 F
  39. let stand about 15 minutes hop rest, then turn wort chiller back on
  40. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  41. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during cooling
  42. ensure bucket, wine thief, thermometer, strainer, spoon are sanitized
  43. when wort gets to about 72F, add to fermentation bucket, pouring through sanitized strainer to catch any extra solids and to help aerate.  If necessary, clean strainer during process and re-sanitize to remove most of the hop trub before fermentation
  44. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  45. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon again
  46. ensure wort is 68F or a little less before pitching yeast
  47. ensure yeast is a little cooler than wort before pitching
  48. pitch yeast
  49. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  50. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  51. ferment in freezer chest w/Johnson controller for 14+ days at 66F
  52. after 14+ days, add dry hops, 2 oz Belma
  53. ferment a total of 21+ days
  54. take FG sample and bottle
  55. use 5 oz corn sugar at bottling

Actual OG: 1.056

Actual FG:

Notes: Undershot the OG a little, probably because I sparged a little bit more than I should have.  This likely increased the final volume a little and resulted in a low OG.  No biggie though.

Double Bastard!

Ah the joys of Stone Brewing.  I’ve had this bottle of Double Bastard for over a year, and I said “screw it, I’m drinking it.”

Rating a 99 on ratebeer and a 95 on beer advocate in the American strong ale category, this is one of my favorite examples of the style.

What stands out about this beer, along with Stone’s regular pale ale and Arrogant Bastard ale, is that there’s a pronounced hoppiness and a pronounced maltiness that don’t cancel each other out.  In reading The Craft of Stone Brewing, I discovered that Arrogant Bastard was derived from a test batch of Stone pale ale that went wrong (they put too many of the same ingredients in for the batch size).  What came out was so good, despite being a big mistake from what they intended to make, that they made a whole new brew out of it.  Obviously, their creation was a huge success, because arrogant bastard is one of the best beers on the planet, and has been a big commercial hit for the brewery too.  I can only assume that they continued this evolution to create double bastard.  You can see, taste and smell all the same great ingredients in all three beers.

It pours a somewhat cloudy, reddish-brown color with a 1/2 finger head that dissipates into a sheen and leaves thin sheets of lacing that cover the glass.

Aroma is heavily malty, with sweet citrus and lots of hops.  You can detect a bit of alcohol already, although at 11.2%, this is to be expected.

Flavor is a BOMB of a monster of a beer!  American strong ale is right, and this may be the quintessential example of the style (which, BTW, has been hit or miss for me).  The flavors are so strong that they seem to permeate your tongue.  So much maltiness that you’ll think you died and went to malt heaven.  It’s a bit barleywine-esque in that sense, in fact there is probably a lot of overlap between this beer and a good barleywine.  Hops wise you’re once again about to cry uncle, unless you’re a hop-head (like me), in which case you’re just marveling at the saturation of intense flavors that they manage to cram into a single brew.   Piney citrus from the hops is notable.  It’s also quite fruity, with light and mixed mid/dark fruit flavors coming through.  Really your taste buds can’t decide which way to go, but they keep coming back for more.

Feel wise it’s thick, rich, somewhat slick, and downright delicious, with a lingering malty and bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall, you just need one word.  Stone.

A direct quote from the Stone Brewery, and the full text of what’s on the back of the bottle:

This is one lacerative muther of an ale. It is unequivocally certain that your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory…and those around you would have little desire to listen to your resultant whimpering. Instead, you slackjawed gaping gobemouche, slink away to that pedestrian product that lures agog the great unwashed with the shiny happy imagery of its silly broadcast propaganda. You know, the one that offers no challenge, yet works very, very hard to imbue the foolhardy with the absurd notion that they are exercising ‘independent’ thought, or attempts to convey the perception it is in some way ‘authentic’ or ‘original.’ It’s that one that makes you feel safe and delectates you into basking in the warm, fuzzy, and befuddled glow of your own nescience. Why so many allow themselves to be led by the nose lacks plausible explanation. Perhaps you have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don’t even notice your white-knuckle grip on it. You feel bold and unique, but alas are nothing but sheep, willingly being herded to and fro. If you think you are being piqued in this text, it is nothing when compared to the insults we are all asked to swallow streaming forth from our televisions and computers. Truth be told, you are being coddled into believing you are special or unique by ethically challenged “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” marketers who layer (upon layer) imagined attributes specifically engineered to lead you by the nose. Should you decide to abdicate your ability to make decisions for yourself, then you are perhaps deserving of the pabulum they serve. Double Bastard Ale calls out the garrulous caitiffs who perpetrate the aforementioned atrocities and demands retribution for their outrageously conniving, intentionally misleading, blatantly masturbatory and fallacious ad campaigns. We demand the unmitigated, transparent truth. We demand forthright honesty. We want justice! Call ‘em out and line ‘em up against the wall… NOW.

Ruination! Stone Strikes Again!

Just picked up a few four packs today for a long weekend, had to grab a four pack of Stone Ruination, one of the best American Double/IPAs on the planet!

Mostly clear and tan to slightly orange in color, great head and lacing, a very good looking brew.

The hops permeates your nasal cavity like some kind of magnificent medicine, designed to sooth the soul.

There’s bready malts that beautifully accent the plentiful hops that make up the bulk of the flavor.  Amazing!  Flowers and earthy woody hop character just blast your taste buds.  Pine and citrus/grapefruit accent the bitterness, which is high but very smooth.  A hop head’s dream, consistently one of the best IPAs available in the USA! USA! USA!

Feel is so very rich and thick, so much body for a DIPA, and so damn smooth.  It’s almost like smoking a maduro robusto cigar, in that it’s powerful but smooth, complex as hell and you just can’t rush it.  In fact, if there’s an IPA that I’d want with a fine cigar, this might just be it.

Obviously Stone puts a lot of effort into all their wonderful beers, but Ruination still manages to stand out nonetheless.  And how it’s possible to top their regular IPA is beyond me… but ruination really does stand out as an amazing and extremely well crafted beer.

Stone.  That’s all I need to know.

BTW, I like the four-packs of this brew better than the six packs.  I’m sure it’s just psychological, as the price was nearly identical per bottle,  but I also think Stone will probably sell more of this in four-packs than sixers.  Though I love the bombers too (haven’t checked the math on the prices, but who cares, I love bombers!).

As an aside, I also picked up a four pack of Sublimely Self-Righteous today.  I love four packs of this even better than bombers.  For some reason I like the 12oz bottles best for this particular beer.

Are four packs the new sixers?

Sierra Nevada – Hoptimum

Well I picked up a four pack of this one and I’m drinking the second bottle now.  Sierra Nevada is a great brewery, but I don’t think this one is a major hit.

Hoptimum is a hop bomb from beyond Pluto, that’s for sure.  Although it’s coppery-orange in color, I’m picturing that it was a perfectly clear beer and the only thing that added any color was the hops.  That’s how hoppy it is!  Tons of bitterness, lots of hops flavor, very intense.

The finish is a bit oily from all the hops and hop oil residues that made it into the final product.  It’s one of the typical, modern-age American double IPA hop bombs.

Aroma is where this beer really shines.  There’s so much aroma your head will probably explode if you’re a bud drinker.  Approach with caution!

If you’re a hop head, you’ll definitely like this beer.

I think for the price ($10.50 a four pack) that it’s a nice one time novelty, but there are other IPAs out there that I enjoy more than this one.  Still, a nice offering from Sierra Nevada.

Wow!! Hop Bomb Alert!! Al’s Red-Eye Ale results

Well batch 4, Al’s Red-Eye Ale, is finally tasted!  It’s been sitting six friggin’ weeks while I was away on work in Arizona.  It’s a bit over-carbonated, probably could have gone into the fridge about three weeks ago, but this leaves it with a monstrous head that really lasts.  There is plenty of lacing too.  Color is about what I wanted, it’s pretty red with tinges of brown and tan.  It’s moderately clear, not completely so, but given my technique I can’t complain at all for how it looks in the glass!

Bitterness… WOW!!  It’s definitely bitter, although not terribly over the top so.  It’s essentially a red IPA, or at least I’m declaring it so.  There’s TONS of hops flavor, that’s for sure!  A bit of an oily mouthfeel is present from all the hops I used.  It’s a HOP BOMB!  Maybe not the Tzar Bomba hoppiest of all hop bombs of all time ever no matter what… but definitely at least a megaton!

The aroma is very nice too.  It’s a bit different, perhaps the combination of Amarillo and Cascade dry hops comprised a special blend that I haven’t tried before.  There’s tons of aroma to boot.  It’s friggin’ good!

I can tell you this:  I’ve bought commercial IPAs that aren’t as good as this one.  It’s pretty good.  I’m not going to declare it a miracle of brewing prowess, but I’m definitely going to drink every single friggin’ bottle, and trade a few too!

This brew tells me that I should back off a little on the hops for my next batch, which is a primarily cascade APA.  I’d like the APA to be a little more of an everyday man’s beer.  Al’s Red-Eye Ale is not for amateurs.

Success.  It tastes hoppy.  It tastes good.  And I brewed it.

 

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