Experimental Double India Pale Ale
What’s so experimental about a double I.P.A.? Haven’t they been around for some time? Hasn’t CBC already brewed a whole bunch of different DIPA’s?
Well, yes. What sets this DIPA apart is the use of Simcoe “hop hash” as the sole hoppy ingredient in this beer. Hop hash is a concentrated resin of the sticky volatile oils of the hop cone. It’s essentially a byproduct in the production of pelletized hops, created when the whole, dried hop cones are sent through a hammer mill. This turns the hops into powder, which is then extruded through a die and into a pelletized form. As the hops move through the hammer mill, some of the hop resin sticks and clumps to the mill. Historically, this “hop hash” had been scraped off and discarded until one day a forward-thinking brewer said “Hey, isn’t that stuff just super-concentrated hop aroma and bittering oil? I could totally use that!” The downside is that hops are subject to oxidation, so when we contacted our friends at HopUnion in Yakima, WA to see if they’d send us some, we were aware that the resin had an extremely short shelf life. HopUnion was nice enough to overnight us some Simcoe resin right off the mill, and we brewed with it the very next day. Success!!
Having no idea what this resinous concentrate would contribute to the beer in terms of measurable bitterness and aromatic components, we were forced, in our own CBC way, to pretty much wing it. After formulating our recipe for a D.I.P.A. we cut the entire hop recipe in half, assuming the concentrate effectively doubled the hop input. What we didn’t forsee is that this resin would require hours of shredding by hand with a box grater, to break it down into a usable powder. Had we tossed the chunks into the kettle they would have sunk and burned. Suffice it to say that after a very long day and only a few shredded knuckles we had what we needed. A few days later we shredded even more and added it to the fermenter as a dryhop addition. The results? An amazing hoppy beer which captures the varietal essence and character of Simcoe hops – floral, fruity, and piney – with plenty of malt and a full body to balance.
We’re pretty proud of this one, and we’re sure you’ll like it. Cheers!
OG: 1.072 FG: 1.013 ABV: 7.75%