Monday, February 17, 2014

2014 NHC Entries: Hot Curl and Cucumber Saison

I was able to get two spots for this years National Homebrewers Competition. The past two years I have not entered, so I am really excited to be able to get some feedback and hopefully make it out of round 1 again. When I was thinking which beers I wanted to enter I decided I wanted to enter a few beers that I have brewed in the past. The first was my cucumber saison, a really refreshing and drinkable beer that was a huge hit with my friends. The other was my hot curl, hoppy wheat beer. However, for this version I wanted to employ some new hops and make my second attempt at a hop burst hop schedule.  Below are further thoughts on each beer, modifications from the original recipes and the recipes.

Hot Curl Batch 2: Hop Burst Mosaic, Amarillo, Citra version

My Hot Curl recipe was my take on a relatively new style the White IPA or a Hoppy Wheat beer. I have been drinking a ton of Modern Times Fortunate Island and the other day I had Karl Strauss’ Mosaic Wheat. I often add a bit of wheat malt to my beers as I just feel it gives a well rounded flavor and mouthfeel. Since I enjoy Fortunate Islands so much and my first take on Hot Curl was good, but a little one dimesnsional I decided that I would mix up the hops a bit and use the hop bursting technique I used on my last hoppy wheat. I have a pretty good selection of hops right now (Niko brewing has had some great sales). Fortunate Island uses Amarillo and Citra, so I knew I wanted to start there and I also added mosaic since it is supposed to have some awesome fruity properties. I went with an ounce of each at 15, and 2 ounces of Mosaic and Amarillo and 1 ounce of Citra and flameout. I am really hoping that this beer comes out with a huge fruity hop profile. It should be great fresh and it is a pretty easy beer to re-tweak if needed. I thought about suing some Nelson as well, but decided against it since Nelson is so unique.

Recipe: US 2 Row, White Wheat, Honey Malt. Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra @ 15 and Flameout. US-05.

Cucumber Saison Batch 2

Last time I made this beer I made a 10 gallon batch and split it into two 5 gallon batches. One got cucumber and the other jasmine green tea. They were both awesome, but I felt the Jasmine version became too sweet over time. The cucumber version was great fresh and with a bit of age. I may have a hard time finding local organic cucumbers this time of year (last time I used cucs from our Suzie’s Farm CSA). I also decided last time that I will de-seed the cucumbers since I think they gave the beer an weird bitter quality. I may also dry hop the beer with a bit of Sorachi Ace hops. The base beer is a simple light saison. It should be a great beer to transition into spring/warmer weather beers.

Recipe: US 2 Row, White Wheat, Turbinado Sugar, Northern Brewer hops @60, Horizon @ 20 and 0. WYeast French Saison

1 comment:

  1. Tasted both beers tonight. Both are really good. I am hopeful that I will do well in the first round of the NHC, and if not, well I will have some great beers on tap. I will bottle and submit this weekend.