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Experimental Hop Series #2: Experimental Pine Fruit Saison

Matt Humbard is a local scientist, beer enthusiast, and homebrewer. DCBeer is teaming up with Matt to bring you in-depth homebrewing content from his blog. Find more of Matt at @drabmuh or on Facebook.
 
Making all those hoppy saisons, over and over again, was in preparation to make these experiment hoppy saisons with a six different varieties this year. I ordered the hops, 4 ounces each, from Yakima Valley Hops, if you aren’t using them, get on it. About a week ago, I posted the first of these, the Azacca saison. That beer turned out nice, lemon grass…lime flavor from the hop with a nice follow up of the yeast character from the low Brett blend of house saison yeast blend. Definitely a unique flavor as far as hops I’ve used personally goes. So far so good with these new hops, looking forward to getting these made. This is the second of six experimental hop batches. This was brewed a week after the Azacca saison. The goal here is to learn more about these new hop varieties, and hopefully make a good beer. This hop was labeled by Yakima Valley hops as “Experimental Pine Fruit” (details below).
 
Experimental Pine Fruit (EXP #: 05256)
AA Range: 18.0 – 19.0 %
Beta: 5.0 – 6.0 %
Cohumulone: 27 % of alpha acids
Total Oil: 3.10 ml/100g
Characteristics: Black currant, dark fruit, strong herbal notes, pine tree, mint, pungent, light grapefruit rind, “Simcoe like”, “Summit like”, citrus, tangerine.

 
Descriptors I like in this one “Simcoe-like” and “pine tree”…honestly pine used to be a big component of hoppy beers (American IPAs) when I first started out in the early 2000s, but that flavor has been supplanted by the citrus / passion fruit variety of hops. It is quite hard to find a piney beer these days that doesn’t have spruce tips in it, and that’s not OK…just stop. Some of the piney IPAs have been made in such a way to emphasize the accompanied dankness / sulfur qualities of the hops, which is fine but I’m hoping this is pretty pine forward without huge amounts of dankness. There are nice hop varieties that have that character, I’d love to see a revival of that flavor profile. So my hopes are high with this batch.
 

 

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