Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Homegrown homebrew- Harvest ESB

I grow a small amount of hops in my backyard and this year I had a decent 2nd year cascade hops harvest. I thought I would use them to brew up a SMASH beer. SMASH stands for Single Malt and Single Hop beer. Not only do these types of beers teach the brewer and drinker about the  flavors of certain malts and hops, they can also taste amazing!

I decided to brew an ESB (Extra Special Bitter).  ESB is a type of English style Bitter that's brewed with an ABV above 4.8.  So in addition to Cascade hops I used UK grown Maris Otter malt. Maris Otter is a unique winter harvest barley that comes out of the UK. I have read somewhere that it is the only malt used in the commercial UK beer Fuller's ESB. Although Cascade is an American hop, it's one of my favorites and  just sounded like a great combination.

8 ounces of wet hops went into the kettle about 2 hours after harvesting. I used 1 ounce of cascade pellet hops at 60 minutes for the bittering. This was my first wet hop ale and most people suggest using wet hops for finishing only. So that's what I did. I think next year I will brew this again but use wet hops for bittering and finishing.


Wet hops at the bottom of the kettle
OG: 1.064 SG
Estimated Color: 5.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 30.3 IBU ??? (total guess)
Batch size: 6 gallons 

Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
13.00 lb      Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)         100.0 %      
1.00 oz       Cascade [7.50%]  (60 min)                  20.8 IBU     
4.00 oz       Cascade (wet) [5.50%]  (15 min)         6.8 IBU 
4.00 oz       Cascade (wet) [5.50%]  (5 min)            2.7 IBU     1Pkgs            SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04)    Yeast  

This took awhile to taste good. The first time a pulled a pint I was not a fan. I felt that it would probably improve with some time in the kegerator. This evening I decided to give it another shot and man am I happy. The flavor has really improved. It is an interesting brew, the wet hops give it some favors I am not accustomed to, but it is still very tasty.


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