I planned my wet hop and imperial chocolate cherry stout brew days six days apart and used a relatively versatile yeast strain (WLP051 California V ale) so I could take advantage of the big yeast cake produced by the first when pitching the second batch. The OG of Wet Dog, a wet-hopped pale ale, was 1.057 with 12.5 lbs. of fermentables. The OG of Snot, the imperial chocolate cherry stout I’m brewing for the holidays, was 1.081 with nearly 19 lbs. of fermentable material (prior to the addition of the cherries, which will be added to the secondary fermenter at a later date).
The picture below was taken during the transfer of Wet Dog from primary to secondary onto an ounce of dried cascades picked from my own hop yard on 9/11/11, packaged air-tight and frozen shortly after they were dried. (more…)
Season 1 of my hop crop harvest culminated this past weekend with – what else – a wet hop brew day! October 1st seemed an appropriate a day as any to pick the last of my hops and dump ’em into a boiling batch of pale ale. Fortunately I had some much needed help from my buddy Dave to get all those wet hops picked while the grains were still mashing.
In addition to the roughly 10 oz. of hops I’d picked and dried (which was roughly 60 oz. wet) in the three separate harvest days prior to this, Dave and I managed to pick about 18 oz. (wet) on brew day which, if dried, would have been roughly 3 oz.
As you may have noticed, I’ve generally shied away from brewing standard or classic styles since I started nearly two years ago. I’ve sought out more adventurous recipes because 1) I can get bored of the basic styles and if I have 5 gallons of the stuff on hand, that can be a problem, and 2) it’s a lot easier to know that I messed up slightly if I I’m brewing a standard recipe, and knowing that reduces my enjoyment of the batch. BUT… I decided a basic pale ale recipe would be a great choice to show off my very own hops grown in the back yard. No complex malt profile or yeast characteristics to hide behind. The hop profile will be right up front and the batch will live or die by it. (more…)