Saturday, May 15, 2010

SR3: I'm going to need more hops

SR3 is done. On the one hand, it's good, very drinkable. On the other hand, it's not where I want it to be.
First and foremost, it's not hoppy enough, especially on the nose, but also in terms of the flavor. The big hop aroma I got when I transferred the beer from the fermentor to the carboy after a week of dry hopping is gone, or at least greatly diminished. So for SR4, I'll be dry hopping with at least twice as many whole hops (two ounces) for twice as long (two weeks).
I was conservative with this batch because a) it was my own recipe and I didn't know what I was doing, and 2) I wanted to make sure I could drink the beer. Part of that meant I didn't want to keep the whole hops in the beer for longer than a week and risk having them rot, screwing up the beer. As it turns out, the hops were fine when I sparged the beer and could have gone another week or more.
I also think I'll add more flavor/aroma hops. I split up my simcoe hops to help with the bitterness. The bitterness seems about right, but I want more hop flavor and aroma. I need to step up the simcoe next time and I may add another hop varietal to further punch up the flavor.

As you can see, I hit the color I was going after (SR3 in the Big Boss pint, SR2 in the Dogfish Head pint). I liked the darker color of SR2 (a slight variation of Charlie Papazian's Palilalia IPA recipe) so I used amber malt and toasted crystal malt for SR3, too. I may eventually change this, but until I have the flavor dialed in I'll keep the malt as is. The flavor is good and I got the alcohol percentage I wanted (6.7% A.B.V.), so changing it is a matter of aesthetics.
So for a first batch of original homebrew, I would give myself a C+. It's a good beer, a drinkable beer, but there is still much work to be done.


My hop rhizomes finally sprouted! I was almost certain that I'd either killed them or planted them upside down. I didn't (well, I might have planted them upside down, but nature finds a way) and they're looking good. All five hops broke ground and should be big enough to grab the guide rope in a few weeks. I don't know how much yield I'll get this year, but I'll be happy with whatever I can harvest and wet hop this fall.

1 comment:

bread and beer said...

congratulations my friend. you are an inspiration to a new home brewing and successful pepper gardener. looking forward to tracking your hop results. BB