Tag Archive: hops

Imperial Hoptrooper Brew Day and Tasting Notes

On November 20, I brewed my biggest (and most successful in terms of numbers) beer – a double IPA.  Recipe inspiration came from MadTree’s High series, which is a series of IIPAs that are quite popular and very well rated (note: there are three “highs” that I know of, the Galaxy and Citra, which are linked in the text, and Azacca which is not… but it’s also f**king tasty! There may have also been a Mosaic High).

The recipes are similar.  I did a fair bit of ‘back of the napkin’ analysis on the two beers, looking at the percentages of grain, the AAU at each addition, etc.  I ended up with the recipe below.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 123.7 IBUs 5.9 SRM 1.074 1.014 7.8 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Double IPA 22 A 1.065 - 1.085 1.008 - 1.018 60 - 120 6 - 14 2.4 - 2.9 7.5 - 10 %


Name Amount %
Pilsner (Hoepfner) 10.5 lbs 72.41
Vienna Malt (Briess) 2.25 lbs 15.52
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 8 oz 3.45
Carapils (Briess) 4 oz 1.72
Corn Sugar (Dextrose) 1 lbs 6.9


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
El Dorado 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 15
Galena 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 12.5
Centennial 0.5 oz 30 min Boil Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 0.5 oz 30 min Boil Pellet 12.3
Centennial 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 12.3
Centennial 1 oz 15 min Aroma Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 1 oz 15 min Aroma Pellet 12.3
Centennial 2 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 2 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 12.3
Chinook 1.5 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 13
Citra 1 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 12


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

I kept closer to the size of the Citra High recipe, mostly because I am still working through efficiency issues (it’s getting better, though).  I still didn’t get MadTree’s efficiency, but to be fair, I’m targeting 75%, not 82%!

Brew Day

I’m happy to say that the only issues during brew day was how long it took and higher than expected grain absorption.  I started later in the day (around 2:30 PM) and it didn’t end until maybe 6:30PM.  There were no stuck sparges, clogged lines or chillers, boil boiled.  I ended up with about 4.5 gallons into the fermenter, which is less than the 5.5 gallons I was targeting.  However, the lower volume works better with my 7.5 – 8 gallon kettle.

Heating initial mash tun preheat water

Lots of hops!

1.070! The most this hydrometer has ever floated!

Airlock Action Shot!

1.004 (ultimately final gravity)

Throughout fermentation, the temperature (as measured on the side of the fermenter) stayed at 68, which is a nice perfect temperature.

Tasting Notes

The Beer

Aroma: Grapefruit mostly

Appearance: Copper, opaque.  White head that starts thick and persists as a thin head.

Taste: Tongue lashing bitterness with citrus tones. Some alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, slight citrusy tartness lingers past the dry finish.

Overall Impression: I’m biased, but I love this beer. I’ve been drinking the heck out of this!

OG: 1.071
SG: 1.005
ABV: 8.7%
IBU: 124
SRM: 6

What’s Next With This Recipe?

I want to try two things – one is maybe a little less bitterness.  The other is honey instead of sugar.  I’m wondering if some Orange Blossom honey would work well with the citrus based hops.


2015 Suburban Farm Report #1

Cascade and Tettnang growing well, Columbus and Centennial not far behind

Cascade and Tettnang growing well, Columbus and Centennial not far behind

The second year Cascade (front left), Centennial (rear left), Tettnang (front right), and Columbus (rear right) are coming along well. I’m a little concerned on one of the cascade bines, as it broke when I was trying to get it to train on the horizontal rope. Hopefully it can repair itself.

Hop Plant Expansion

This year I expanded to a full-ish garden. I ordered a Chinook plant from Great Lakes Hops.

Repairs and Other Stuff

My garden is raised a little, but it is not holding up.  I need to replace the 2x6s I used to build it with something stronger and more able to hold up.

Repair Needed

Repair Needed Towards the Back

The rain hasn’t helped.  This is as of 5/16/16, so only half of May is reported.  As shown in the graph below,

Cincinnati Rainfall in 2016 for KLUK. Data as of May 16, 2016.

Cincinnati Rainfall in 2016 for KLUK. Data as of May 16, 2016.

Data source, Average source.

I want to get some Jalapeno plants started, but I’m running late (May has been a busy month).  We just had a cold snap here (as I’m typing this), so I’m okay with not getting them into the ground.  But it will need to happen soon.


Hopped Pickles

The garden has come along swimmingly.

So I had two cucumbers ready (maybe, they may have been a little under-ripe) and some hops.  Roughly 0.1 oz of Columbus (wet) and more Tettenang and Cascade.

The original reason for growing cucumber was hopped pickles, which my wife first heard about on The Chew TV show.  In looking it up, a good sounding recipe is here (yeah, she has blue-green hair, but she also has great taste in beer!).

I cut the recipe to 1/4 of the amounts.  I didn’t have any pickling salt, so I used sea salt (per another internet search) and I used a few sprinkles of ground mustard instead of mustard seed (and added both to the list of things to buy at the grocery store next week).  I used 0.1 oz of wet Columbus and 0.25 oz of wet Tettenang.  I used a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, which has a nice hoppy flavor that should go well with the recipe and add enough bitterness to be similar enough to Hopslam, as Ms. Porter used or Dogfish 90 minute IPA, which is what you can purchase commercially.  Hopslam is 70 IBU, and 90 Minute IPA is 90, Torpedo clocks in at 67 IBU.  In all three cases, there is quite a bit of hop aroma from late hops/hopstands/dry hop additions.

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I love it when I cook with beer and it leaves enough of the bottle to drink!

In the jar, I threw a cascade cone into the jar with the smashed garlic clove, 1/4 oz of peppercorn, half a fresh de-seeded and de-veined jalapeno.  Everything else was to the directions (1/2″ headspace, 15 minute process in boiling water).

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Hopped pickles!

So this was done on August 29.  The recipe says “a few days” for flavor, but I’m thinking I want to give these two weeks, which is consistent to other pickled recipes I’ve used.


EDIT: I tried these after a few weeks.  The strongest flavor is garlic, but the hops are in there and they are GOOD!  I may try another batch with no garlic and see what happens.

Farm Report #4

The garden has been growing, despite getting some storm damage that was fortunately easy to repair.  I did learn that the inexpensive twine that I thought would be good enough is crap and I should have used real rope.

About a week after these pics, I checked on the cascade and tettanang hops and both were ready for picking and drying.

These were’n huge yields, but it’s the first year and it’s not even August!

In other news, I entered a pale ale in a the MASH Ales of Summer competition, and I’m preparing entries for another competition.


BBBC Farm Report #3

The hops are coming in pretty well.  Cascade is coming along the best, followed by Tettanang and Columbus. Centennial is taking it’s time, but it is growing.

On the other side of the garden, I planted some jalapeños and cucumbers. If they come up (it’s been very rainy here all week), they will become hopped pickles.


Hops and Fermentation Controllers

I spent most of the week in Atlantic City. The running injury ruined the potential run on the boardwalk (when you’re a runner, you do these things and look forward to them).  The beer is nothing particularly special (although I may have under-rated Tun Tavern’s Irish Red), but I paid for very little of what I drank.  And the conference I was part of organizing went very well.

Dry Hopped Bud Light Update

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Shitty beer on the left, shitty beer with hops on the right.

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I’ve made it through seven of these.  Cascade, Zythos, Green Bullet, Amarillo, Columbus, Mosaic, and Galaxy.  I’m sticking to 3-4 per day, and I’m using the unhopped Bud Light to reset my palate.  I’ve noticed that Amarillo, Columbus, Mosaic, and Galaxy were all much more flavorful.  It may be just mis-measurement in hopping, though.

I’ve been thinking of doing something like this for malt.  The flavor of hops is pretty important in some styles (like IPAs), but will traditionally take a back seat to malt in other styles (like damn near every other style, to widely varying degrees).

Homegrown Hops Update

I got a text from my wife on the day I was to leave Atlantic City noting that one of our kids noticed that the hops seemed taller.  They indeed grew over the week.

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Fermentation Controller Update

I worked a lot on the fermentation controller.  The Brewery IoT page now shows real temperatures (it’s my basement’s temperature, but it’s real).  I’ll post more about this sometime, but the short version is that it is 100% Raspberry Pi based.  There are three scripts that run in cron (scheduled tasks in Linux) – a script that sends the data to my offsite webserver (the one that is serving this page), a script that checks the temperature and turns the solid-state relay on and off, and a third ’emergency stop’ script that ensures that the freezer doesn’t fall to 32 or below (which would be disabled if I ever decided to brew an eisbock).

I’m itching to brew another beer.  I’m considering another IPA (shocker there!), and then almost immediately brewing a Marzen style to prepare for September.  Late in the year, I have been thinking about a maple bock to brew.  I still haven’t made any improvements to the setup except some hose clamps.


Dry Hopped Bud Light!

I know some local bloggers did a “hop class” where it looked like they dry hopped Bud Light.  Since I couldn’t go, I filed the idea in my mind somewhere.  At one point while drinking at the LHBS, I brought up the idea, where we immediately started making fun of Bud Light.  I later Googled it and found a very descriptive post from Bertus Brewery and decided to do the experiment myself.

The short of it is to add 2-4 pellets of hops to Bud Light, let it sit for 3 days, cold crash the hops, and then enjoy.

I had in my inventory on the day before I started typing this some Amarillo, Cascade, Northern Brewer, and Tettanang (good thing Paradise didn’t have those!).  I dropped by Paradise and bought an armload more…

In the list (in case the glare is in the way) with the notes from the pack:

  • 7C’s – floral and citrus aroma
  • Mosaic – an artistic assortment of enticing aromas
  • Simcoe – unique and piney
  • Equinox – Aroma – citrus, tropical fruit, floral and herbal characteristics………
  • Horizon – floral and spicy
  • UK Fuggle – Aroma – pleasant and hoppy (ahem…  Let’s not use “hoppy” to describe hops! All hops are “hoppy”!!!)
  • Columbus – Pungent
  • Galena – Aroma – citrus
  • Zythos – no notes (it’s a mystery!)
  • NZ Green Bullet – Subtle spicyness
  • El Dorado – nothing on the pack, but from Midwest Supplies – bright tropical fruit flavors and aromas of pear, watermelon, and stone fruit
  • Soriache Ace – Unique tones of lemon and dill
  • Australian Galaxy – Citrus and passionfruit

And the ones I already have:

  • Amarillo – Floral, tropical, and citrus (lemon, orange and grapefruit) characteristics
  • Cascade – Medium intense floral, citrus and grapefruit tones
  • Northern Brewer – Medium intensity, pine and mint characteristics
  • Tettanang – Noble aroma that is pleasant and spicy

I’m looking forward to this!

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That’s a lot of bottled water!

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Staging a fake proposal in front of everyone? So #UpForWhatever is #UpForBeingADoucheBag???

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Seven bottles of water, 17 bottles of hop water.


BBBC Farm Report #2