Spring is here in Portland and time to get some easy to drink beers on tap. I picked up a pound of First Gold hops from Hops Direct and wanted to give them a try in a simple bitter recipe. I decided to hop the bitter a little more highly than I normally would to get a real good sense for this hop. I used a similar grist to the last bitter I brewed but decided to up the percentage of medium crystal and decrease the extra dark crystal. I also changed out the base malt to the floor malted Maris Otter (which tasted really amazing). Went with my go to english yeast as well, Wyeast 1469 – West Yorkshire as well. Noticed a really strong woodsy/green tea character coming from these hops after I shut off the heat before chilling.
Mash: 152 (60 min)
Boil: 60 min.
Mash pH: 5.3
86.4% Floor Malted Maris Otter (Crisp)
6.8% Special Roast
5.7% Medium Crystal
1.1% Extra Dark Crystal
0.75 oz First Gold (8%) 60 min.
0.75 oz First Gold (8%) 10 min.
3.00 oz First Gold (8%) 0 min.
2.50 oz First Gold (8%) Dry Hop
Wyeast 1469 – West Yorkshire Ale
1 liter starter made two days before brew day and pitched at 74 degrees. Moved temperature down to 68 once fermentation was active. Really looking forward to see how this yeast strain goes with the bitter. I have high hopes since it tasted really great in the ESB from last year.
Kegged on 4/16, sample had some nice stone fruit esters with some flowery hop aroma.
Tasting notes – 5.23.15
Appearance: Copper/amber with a white head that dissipates fairy quickly.
Aroma: Apricot & candied oranges in the nose with a little bit of peach ester coming through. The aroma at first had a little bit of cannabis but that has faded away (thankfully, not very pleasant).
Taste: Mostly apricot hop flavors up front. Malt comes in next and compliments the hopping quite well. Bread & biscuit malt notes punch through next. Yeast flavors blends pretty well with the First Gold hops with some stone fruit ester in there. Little bit of lingering bitterness hangs on the tongue with a little vegetal hop notes in the finish.
Mouthfell: Medium to medium low with medium carbonation.
Overall: This one came out pretty good but there is room for improvement. I do love how approachable and easy to drink this is and has been my go to beer as of late. The First Gold is an interesting hop, with apricot & orange marmalade flavors but I do get some cannabis/vegetal notes as well. This would be better blended going forward since the amount of hops used was fairly high for this type of beer. I do enjoy the malt character of the floor malted Maris Otter and the grist is pretty much spot on. All and all a nice pint under 5% perfect to unwind with after work.