Brewess

The Blog for Women Who Brew Beer

Fresh Hops #20

Posted by Maggie on October 1, 2011

My friend, Adrian Assassi, gave me a bag of fresh hops from his garden.  He isn’t sure what variety it is.  I have no idea the bitterness.  However, in the spirit of medieval brewers, I am going to use these hops for this batch and hope for the best.   What is the worst than can happen?   Even #16, which I thought was my first disaster brew, actually improved with time and my friend Norm said he loves it, so we traded a partial case of beer for a case of plum wine.   Yes indeed.  Plum wine with sake on ice is very good.  

I put the hops in the freezer as soon as I got them to help keep them fresh.  I don’t know how long ago they were picked.  It isn’t polite to ask too many questions about a gift.  They are not super fragrant.  The pellets I usually use are far more fragrant.   I’ll be fine if this is a low-key beer.  I am adding them to the wort in a mesh bag so that I can remove them easily.  

I am such a domestic goddess today:  making waffles, sewing curtains for my daughter’s room, and brewing beer.  This is the recipe for a truly happy homemaker. 

Fresh Hops #20:  for 3 gallons

  • 1 lb. Organic Crystal 60
  • 3 lb. light dry malt extract
  • White Labs Cream Ale Blend WLP080
  • 3 cups fresh hops (That’s right, I don’t even know the weight!  How unprofessional.)

I am crossing my finger for this one.

I bottled this after 16 days.  I have never waited so long to bottle before but it was still bubbling two weeks in.  Hmmm… Could this be related to the hops?  I’ve used WLP080 before and never had such a long fermentation.
I couldn’t wait to try this so opened one last night, just 9 days after bottling.  It was great.  Very smooth.  I think that it will get even better over the next few weeks.  Yippee!

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2 Responses to “Fresh Hops #20”

  1. Adrian said

    Hey there! I’m glad to see that the hops are going to good use and with capable hands! I picked them and kept them in plastic for about 3-4 days before you got them. The person I got them from claimed that they are of a variety used to make Pale Ales. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are of some of that Northern California stock which is grown in huge numbers here.

    I’ve noticed the light fragrance with this variety also. This will be the third time my plant has bloomed and each time the hops are similar, regardless of the differing weather we’ve had these past 3 years. However, ripping them open and getting to the orange goodies inside definitely let’s out strong aromas!

  2. Inna said

    We recently made our first batch of beer with fresh hops (from our neighbor’s yard) – we had some technical malfunctions but it still came out pretty good.

    Coincidentally, the famous Adrian Assassi was present for the brewing of this beer :)

    I’ll bring some next time I see you!

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