Posts Tagged ‘single hop IPA’

IPA Week: Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

While Mikkeller is officially located in KĂžbenhavn, Denmark, head brewer and co-creator Mikkel Borg Bjergs refers to himself as a “gipsy-brewer” for his habit of brewing in facilities located around Europe and the world. The Simcoe Single Hop IPA, for instance, was brewed at the De Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium.

2009-07-05-mikkellerThe Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop has a rich hoppy aroma that draws your attention from across the table. A thick citrus and delicate floral hop nose dominates, rich and round and full. Just a hint of toasty pale malt comes through as well. A generous pillow of creamy beige head sits atop a very hazy caramel-colored beer with plenty of chunks of yeast at the bottom.

A bitterness that is quite strong but not at all sharp hides the delicate hop flavor to some extent. Light citric and flowery hops meet the tip and sides of the tongue while the pervasive bitterness rides up the middle. Just sweet enough to give a solid creamy palate, this beer avoids being overpowered by the hop bitterness or the active carbonation. The problem with beers that have amazing aromas is that no matter how good the flavor is it will always be just a little bit disappointing. Likewise with the Simcoe Single Hop: the wonderful flavor is overshadowed by the near-perfect aroma.

Overall an incredible IPA. Despite being almost 7% alcohol this beer has a great delicate character that makes it way too sessionable. If I had several around I’d easily get myself in trouble.

++Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA

4.3 (4-9-8-5-17)

IPA Week: Saphir Single-Hop Organic Homebrew

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Today I finally brewed the beer that has been several months in the making. It is an all-organic single-hop saphir India pale ale. Saphir hops have this other-worldly fruity character to them that I was hoping to capture in full with this brew.

It started out with Northern Brewer‘s organic light malt extract to provide most of the fermentables. To that I added a pound each of Briess’s organic cara-pils, caramel 20L, and caramel 60L malts. These adjunct malts will provide body and solid malt flavor to balance the hops.2009-07-03-homebrew Caramel (also known as crystal) malts are roasted while still wet, allowing the enzymes to work breaking down the starches into sugar which then crystallizes within the kernel. Cara-pils (also called dextrin malt due to its high dextrin content) is the lightest variety of caramel malt. It is roasted just long enough to crystallize without allowing the sugars to caramelize. The 20L and 60L malts are left longer, converting more of the sugars to an unfermentable form and darkening the malt (creating Maillard by-products), in this case increasing the color to 20 or 60 degrees Lovibond, respectively. I did what’s called a mini-mash with the three pounds of grain, steeping them in the water as I waited for it to raise to boiling.

I used only one type of hop for bittering as well as flavor and aroma: saphir. This is a relatively new variety coming out of Germany, intended to replace the hallowed Hallertauer Mittelfruh (the variety used in classic Bavarian Oktoberfestbier). Saphir has a wonderfully delicate herbal and citric aroma (great for brewers) and an incredible resistance to disease and pests (great for growers). I added three ounces at the start of the boil to give a solid bitter foundation. After half an hour I threw in another ounce, and again after another fifteen minutes. These should allow the flavor of the hops to come through significantly. Just before stopping the boil I threw in half an ounce and I’ll dry hop with the last half ounce to ensure the presence of the intoxicating aroma of the saphir.

Like all good American IPAs I used Sierra Nevada’s yeast. Beer Calculus predicts it will end up being around 6.4% alcohol and somewhat leaning towards bitter and hoppy. I can’t wait to see how this turns out…

Saphir Single-Hop Organic IPA
6 lbs. Organic Light Malt Extract Syrup
1 lb. Organic Cara-pils
1 lb. Organic Caramel 20L
1 lb. Organic Caramel 60L
3 oz. Organic Saphir 60 min.
1 oz. Organic Saphir 30 min.
1 oz. Organic Saphir 15 min.
1/2 oz. Organic Saphir 1 min.
1/2 oz. Organic Saphir dry-hopped
Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast