Fresh as F**k: Pina Colada Edition
I don’t brew a lot of IPAs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them—I really, really do—but more that there are so many good versions available locally that I rarely feel the need.
Recently, however, I came to a realization: I have a lupulin addiction.
No, not in the sense that I can’t stop downing triple IPAs called “Hopocalypse” or whatever. More like… I can’t stop buying hops. I recently took inventory of the stuff in my hops freezer (yep, that’s a thing) and it turns out that I have more than 30 pounds of various hops at my disposal. So I did what any sane homebrewer would do: I brewed a big ol’ NEIPA and threw way too much hops at it.
For this one, I tried a new-to-me grain (raw, unmalted white wheat berries) and a new-to-me hop (Sabro), and I honestly couldn’t be happier with the result. I’d heard that Sabro threw off big coconut notes, and the result here is definitely in that ballpark. To me, at least in combination with Mosaic, it creates an almost pina colada flavor that seems tailor-made for summer sipping.
What’s in it?
- Method: BIAB, no sparge, squeezerino
- Batch size: 3.5 gallons
- Mash: 75 minutes at 154F
- Boil: 60 minutes
- Ferm temp: 64-68F
- OG: 1.057
- FG: 1.012
- ABV: 5.8%
- IBU: 40
- 5.5 lbs Mecca Grade Lamonta (2-row)
- 0.7 lbs Flaked Oats
- 0.7 lbs Raw White Wheat
- 35g Sabro [14.3% AA] @ Whirlpool, 20 minutes
- 35g Mosaic [12% AA] @ Whirlpool, 20 minutes
- 55g Sabro @ Dry Hop, 3 days
- 55g Mosaic @ Dry Hop, 3 days
- Water: 4.5 gallons Bend tap water + 0.25 tab Campden, 3.5g lactic acid (88%), 1 tsp CaCl2, 0.6 tsp gypsum
- Yeast: Wyeast 1318 (London Ale III), 0.75L starter
How’s it taste?
I’ve only attempted a few hazy pales and IPAs in my time, but this is easily the most successful in terms of nailing the commercial style.
Appearance: Extremely pale and lightly milky looking; not quite the full-on murky hazebomb you might get at your local craft brewery, but fully opaque. Think hefeweizen, not orange juice. The head is white and fluffy, sticks around for a good long while—thanks to the unmalted/raw wheat, I think—and leaves beautiful lacing on the glass.
Aroma: Very hoppy, with hints of fruit punch, light citrus, and a little bubblegum. No grain character to speak of.
Taste: This is where it gets interesting. When this beer was first kegged, I got a ton of grapefruit, pine, and green bell pepper. It tasted, and there’s really no other way of saying this, very green. That’s as you’d expect, given the large dry hop dose. I also got what I thought might have been a bit of diacetyl in the background. I’ve never been very attuned to diacetyl, and this didn’t strike me as butteriness, exactly—more creaminess. (And no, I know what you’re thinking, not the “creamed corn” of DMS.) As it conditioned in the keg, the coconut that Sabro hops are known for came out, along with a generally more fruity hop character. By the second week, I was getting a huge pina colada impression—coconut, pineapple, and just the right touch of sweetness. There’s a doughiness from the unmalted wheat that I’m now sure is what was responsible for the creaminess I mistook as possible diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Nice and thick for a sub-6% beer, again (I’m pretty sure) thanks to the unmalted wheat. There’s just enough bitterness to counter the heavy mouthfeel and sweetness. It feels like a great spring or summer beer.
Would I brew it again?
Already planning it! I just came into a stash of slightly older Nelson Sauvin, so I’m planning to pair it with the Vic Secret I recently picked up from Yakima Valley Hops. Sounds like a good combo, no?
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