Tasting Notes: Hop Break (Hoppy Pale Ale)

Recipe and Brew Log

Brewed on: July 12 2014
Bottled on: August 04 2014
OG: 1.047
FG: 1.012
ABV: 4.5%
IBU: ~30

An attempt to make something really light and sessionable, but also hoppy and not too thin. After a month of drinking a few different Hill Farmstead beers, I also aped their lower-than-usual carbonation profile, which I think works especially well with lighter hoppy beers like Walden and Edward. Not that this beer is anywhere near that calibre – I’m more modest than that. 

Appearance: Gold with a slight haze. Bubbles slowly flow upward. White, frothy head that leaves tons of lacing.

Aroma: Oranges! There’s also a hint of pine, but oranges are the focus here. I really love how focused and pleasant Amarillo is as a dry hop. While it probably behaves best in a blend, I also really like it here on its own. Could be more in-your-face and/or complex.

Taste: Slight wheaty maltiness up front, with a soft and smooth body leading to a pronounced hop flavor without too much bitterness. More orange, and it finishes crisp and snappy like a session ale should.

Overall: There’s not a whole lot I would change about this! Next time, I think I will use a higher proportion of wheat in the grist, perhaps equal proportions of wheat and Munich just to see what happens. I’m also curious what will happen with a more expressive yeast – Conan, or a fruity Belgian strain could work equally well. I had a hell of a time racking the beer after dry hopping, so this is going to lead to a change in process for hoppy beers for me: Buckets and bags as opposed to glass and loose. However, this wasn’t detrimental to the beer and it turned out as I envisioned it – A crushable beer ready for late summer BBQs and campfires. If it ever actually gets hot here.




– Richard


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