My fresh hop (Centennial) brews

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Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2020
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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It has been a while since my last post but I wanted to post some experiences with brewing with homegrown fresh hops.

I planted two Centennial hops in front of my home three years ago. Even though this year was very windy and rainy in The Netherlands the hops were quite sheltered. It ended up being a really good year for hops. In fact it was such a good year that when harvest came I was able to collect more than 1600 grams of hops from a single plant. I decided not to harvest the second plant and leave it for decorative purposes.

My plan was to do a double brew day and collect hops on the same day. And even though I regretted it (started at 7:30 AM and was done cleaning at 11:30 PM) a bit when time passed. Because I had so much hops and my batches are only 20 liters I decided to go all in: full fresh hop brews. This brought a bit of uncertainty to my beer; how much bitterness are these hops going to give? I used an assumption that is quite common: use about 6 times more wet hops than you would do normally. And for the Alpha Acids I made the assumption that the relative cold summer would lead to about 5 percent AA.

These are my brews:

Beer 1: Spelt Saison
Inspired by some saisons I drank by Blaugies and really enjoyed. By making it a higher ABV beer it would be able to host a lot of hops and hoppiness. Saisons are very season appropriate :)

Original Gravity: 1.067
Final Gravity: 1.003
IBU (Tinseth): 36
BU/GU: 0.54
Colour: 9.3 EBC

Malts & Fermentables
5 kg (76.9%) — Weyermann Barke Pilsner — Grain — 3.5 EBC
1 kg (15.4%) — The Swaen PlatinumSwaen Spelt — Grain — 10 EBC
500 g (7.7%) — Candi Sugar, Clear — Sugar — 1 EBC

Hops (900 g)
120 g (11 IBU) — fresh centennial hops (Whole) 5% — Boil — 60 min
120 g
(9 IBU) — fresh centennial hops (Whole) 5% — Boil — 30 min
300 g
(13 IBU) — fresh centennial hops (Whole) 5% — Boil — 10 min
360 g
(5 IBU) — fresh centennial hops (Whole) 5% — Aroma — 30 min hopstand @ 75 °C

1 pkg — Lallemand (LalBrew) Belle Saison


Beer 2: Kölsch
Not a style that's know for it's hoppiness but to counter the big saison I wanted a light & fruity beer with high drinkability. It also give little space for the hops to hide so an interesting canvas.

Original Gravity: 1.046
Final Gravity: 1.010
IBU (Tinseth): 25
BU/GU: 0.55
Colour: 7.1 EBC

Malts & Fermentables
3.6 kg
(80%) — Weyermann Barke Pilsner — Grain — 3.5 EBC
450 g (10%) — The Swaen Swaen Vienna — Grain — 10 EBC
450 g (10%) — The Swaen WhiteSwaen Classic — Grain — 3.9 EBC

Hops (700 g)
100 g (8 IBU) — fresh centennial hops (Whole) 5% — Boil — 30 min
250 g
(12 IBU) — Centennial (wet hop) (Whole) 5% — Boil — 10 min
350 g
(5 IBU) — Centennial (wet hop) (Whole) 5% — Aroma — 30 min hopstand @ 75 °C

1 pkg
— Fermentis K-97 SafAle German Ale


I kegged both beers and have attached the pictures below the beer recipes. It's too early to really give an assessment before they are fully carbed and age a bit, but it was nice to get an early sample of the finished beer. What really surprised me how much fruitiness is added by the hops. There are the typical grassy notes that I wonder if they will appear in the final beer. The bitterness feels pretty spot on so I guess my assumptions were not too far off.

I will update when I can actually serve them to share what the final product tastes like.

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