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Education Corner: April 2013

04/07/2013 5:28 PM | Deleted user
By Aaron Hansen

Hop of the month:


 Last month’s SMaSH hop was Sorachi Ace, correctly identified by Paul Johnson and Mark Glasby.

History:Developed by the Sapporo Breweries in Japan for use in their breweries, Sorachi Ace was released in 1984 and grown mostly in Japan and China. The hop is named for the Sorachi Subprefecture in Japan where it was originally grown. This hop is a crossbreed of Brewer’s Gold and Saaz.

Selection:Sorachi Ace has a bold lemon aroma/flavor, with a hint of dill, oak and coconut.

Brewer’s notes:The high alpha make this a great bittering hop, but will also be at home as a late addition or dry hop to impart the characteristic lemon note.

Technical data:
HPLC & Oil Composition (Measured within 6 months of harvest, stored at 0 ºC)

Alpha Acids

10 - 16 %

Beta Acids


6 – 7 %



23 % of Alpha Acids

Total Oil


2.8 ml oil per 100 gram cone weight



Cascadian Dark Ale (aka India Dark Ale)

IBUs 60-90+

Color: 40+ SRM

OG: 1.060-1.075 (15-18 P)

FG: 1.008-1.016 (2-4 P)

Abv 6.0-7.75%

This April is CDA month here at the OBC as we prepare and brew for the new OBC competition “The Heart of Cascadia” (which is coming up fast on April 20).

Aroma: Prominent NW hop aromas: citrus, pine, resinous, sweet malt, hints of roast, toast, chocolate malt, and/or Carafa back-up the hops. Dry hopped character is often present. No diacetyl, esters generally range from low to none. Though the resinous, piney, and citrus hop aroma generally comes from NW American hop varieties, hops of other origins may be used to achieve this character.

Appearance: Deep brown to black with ruby highlights. Head varies from white to tan/khaki, and is generally long-lasting.

Flavor: A balance between piney, citrus-like and spicy NW hop flavor, bitterness, caramel malt, and roast, chocolate, or Carafa-type malts. Roast character ranges from subtle to medium. Black malt is acceptable at low levels, but should not be astringent. Intense ashy, burnt character is not appropriate. Caramel malt is acceptable at low levels but the finish should be dry. Diacetyl should not be present. Emphasis should be on hop flavor, which when combined with roast/black malts often exhibits a minty, spicy character.


Mouthfeel: Light to medium, hop bitterness and tannins from roast malts combine to create a dry mouthfeel. Resinous character from high levels of dry hopping may create a tongue coating sensation.

Overall Impression: A highly-hopped, medium-bodied dark ale, similar in many ways to a strong version of American IPA, except that it incorporates dark malts and signature NW hop varieties, sometimes in conjunction with fruity esters. Bitterness and body is much closer to an IPA balance than a strong ale or American stout. Finish is a nuanced interplay of hop and roast bitterness to create a dry quenching impression. Alcohol can accentuate the roast character in stronger versions.

History: A style that came to prominence on the Northwest Coast of North America in the early

21st Century. Northwest hops play key flavor roles, balanced with malt, roast malts give color and flavor, but body should be reminiscent of an IPA, not heavy like a porter or stout. The style celebrates the hops of Cascadia, the Pacific Northwest, but is commonly brewed in other regions.

Comments: Some brewers prefer to cold steep the dark grains to achieve a very dark beer without the tannin contribution of adding the grains to the mash. The use of Sinnamar to enhance color is common. The interaction of dark, roasted malts and grains with NW hop character creates a unique spicy flavor component described as minty, or rosemary like.

Ingredients: Pale or pilsner malt, some mid-range caramel malt in a supporting role, Carafa type malts, both regular and debittered, small amounts of chocolate malt, roast barley, and black patent malts can also be used. Northwest American hop varieties, or hops with similar characteristics (eg New Zealand), for flavor and aroma additions. Heavy dry-hopping is common.

Classic Examples: Phllips Black Toque, Rogue Brewer, Hopworks Secession CDA, Widmer

W’10 Pitch Black IPA, Barley Brown's Turmoil, Lucky Lab Black Sheep, Three Creeks 8 Second

IBA, Block 15 Benton Brigade, Stone 11th Anniversary (Sublimely Self-Righteous) Ale, Walking

Man Big Black Homo, Rogue Black Brutal, Laughing Dog Dogzilla, Southern Tier Iniquity

Here’s a sample recipe to get you started

From byo.com:

Widmer W-10 Pitch Black IPA clone 
(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.064  FG = 1.014
IBU = 65   SRM = 30  ABV = 6.5%

10.5 lbs. (4.8 kg) 2-row pale malt
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) caramel malt (10 °L) 
12 oz. (0.34 kg) Weyermann dehusked Carafa® II malt (450 °L) 
10 oz. (0.28 kg) Briess special roast malt (50 °L)  
12.8 AAU Warrior hops (75 mins) (0.8 oz./23 g of 16% alpha acid)
1.4 AAU Cascade hops (2 mins) (0.25 oz /7.1 g of 5.8% alpha acid)
12 AAU Warrior hops (2 mins) (0.75 oz /21 g of 16 % alpha acid) 
0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Warrior hops (dry hops)
0.50 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hops) 
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (15 mins)
½ tsp. Irish moss (30 mins)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale), Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast  
0.75 cup (150 g) corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step
This is a single step infusion mash using 10.5 lbs. (4.8 kg) of 2-row pale malt to replace the liquid malt extract in the first recipe. Mix the crushed grains with 4.0 gallons (16 L) of 161 °F (72 °C) water to stabilize at 150 °F (66 °C) for 60 minutes. Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) water. Collect approximately 6.5 gallons (25 L) of wort runoff to boil for 75 minutes. The 75-minute Warrior hop addition is reduced to 0.8 oz. (23 g) (12.8 AAU) to allow for the higher utilization factor of a full-wort boil. The remainder of this recipe and procedures are the same as the extract with grains recipe.

Announcement: The return of the SCP

We’re bringing back an OBC tradition – the Style Competition Program. The SCP is an OBC-only competition that takes place at in-meetings. For each competition we’ll pick a style for you to brew and bring to the meeting. There will be a talk about the style, and your beer will be judged by our BJCP team. You can either bring a bottle or two just for the judging, or a lot more to share with everyone. You get HBOY points for participating and for bringing beer to share.

The first SCP competition was little different. Not only did we setting the style, we also set the recipe. This was a technical competition focusing on attention to detail. As you remember from Randy Scoby’s presentation in January system efficiency, temperature loss, proper calibration of equipment, effective use of the grain mill and SANITATION are keys to producing great beer.

The winner of the March SCP was Jacob Strohmaier. His prize for first place was a sweet infrared thermometer with a laser.

At the April meeting, we’ll be handing out yeast for the September SCP. This is going to be a Belgian Strong brewed with a single strain of yeast. This yeast was grown from a single colony harvested from a bottle using the Westvleteren strain, and propogated to increase the yeast count. If you can’t make it to the April meeting, you can use Wyeast 3787, Trappist High Gravity.


Upcoming SCP competitions (and when to brew them)


Make it


14B American IPA

Late March 2013



Early May 2013


Session Beers

May/June 2013

July 2013

Belgian Strong (Single Strain)

April 2013

September 2013

12C Baltic Porter

August 2013

November 2013


June 2013

June 2014

Chemistry Corner


Phenols are a flavor compound in beer. They are often described as medicinal, clovelike, plastic, or “band-aid” in aroma and flavor. Some beers, especially wheat beers, benefit from a clove-like phenolic presence. They are also a common defect.

Unwanted phenols in beer are almost always extracted during mashing and sparging due to improper temperature, pH, and amount of sparge water. They can also be produced by wild yeast strains due to improper sanitation.

Chlorophenols are produced when beer is made using chlorinated water. The chlorine in the water bonds to natural phenols in the wort. They impart a plastic taste, but are easily avoided. If brewing with chlorinated water, use a filter to remove the chlorine or boil the water before use for 15 minutes to get rid of the chlorine.

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