Here comes the hop harvest
The hop harvest is upon us! And with it comes the one time a year when breweries can play with truly fresh hopped beers. This year we decided to make a beer both brewed with fresh hops and dry hopped with fresh hops - a bit of a tricky exercise as the exact date when you can get your hops is left to the last minute. But luckily this year, it all worked out.
We received in our 60kg of fresh Ella hops from Tasmania on March 20th. The same day we mashed in and started our brew like any normal day, however by the afternoon; things got a little creative. With a grist bill similar to DoubleTime, we knew we had a wonderful canvas to paint our fresh hop beer upon. Again, everything proceeded normally until we needed to add the only hop addition at the brewhouse into whirlpool. Rather then chucking 60 kg of cones into the whirlpool, which would undoubtedly end in a clogged pipe disaster, we threw them in our lauter tun.
The rakes then slowly macerated them releasing an epic amount of aromatics. Then we reversed the flow and transferred our wort out of kettle right back into the lauter tun. After a brief rest, the lauter tun plates did their job as a filter, and we shifted the beer via our heat exchanger into the fermentation vessel. In short, it added about an hour onto the day, but all in all, it went well. Though admittedly cleaning out the lauter turn that was now chock full of beery hop cone fragments was not ideal.
Fast forward a week and our 60kg of fresh Galaxy hops arrived. This is when the real fun began. Think high tensile fishing line. Think multiple muslin bags. Thing a high wire balancing act above a 50hL fermentation vessel. All in all, it all went in.
So what we are looking at now is a 4.6% lightly hazy pale with Ella and Galaxy bursting across the palette. The slightly bitter finish rounded out by the oats will keep you sipping.
Kegged on April 12th – look for it at your local crafty venue!