After I brewed the Megabyte IPA, (I called it that internally because it’s not quite a Gig) I was faced with a dilemma; Lots of hops but now what? Since my finances have been limited (though finally getting better) making another IPA really wasn’t feasible.
So I took the opportunity to defy recipes and make beers using only one kind of hops and one kind of steeping grains. My motive wasn’t purely fiscal; so often I’ll have beer and be unsure what ingredients are giving me certain flavors. People will tell me that the Magnum hops are really showing through but frequently I find myself nodding and trying to parse out the messages my tongue is giving me-‘which of you is the Magnum? Please step up!’
Using just one ingredient meant that the beer would be focused and if I made the brew correctly the attention couldn’t be diverted or questioned; it was going to taste only like what I put in. With the hops I had leftover from the Megabyte, I thought this would be as good an opportunity as any.
I started with a brew that had Rainier hops and C-120 malt for steeping and that was it. (Light malt extract and yeast, of course but you get the idea.)
Visually, it’s quite nice; a pleasant amber color, nice head on the beer. The hops don’t show up too much in the nose and the mouthfeel is a little thin. As far as flavoring goes, there’s a kind of jagged citrus note as the beer finishes off. The C-120 malts give it a nice color but they don’t quite give me enough malt backbone to tie the experience up. The flavors just don’t flow very well into one another and while it doesn’t taste bad, the beer just doesn’t come together very well and it prevents a good beer from becoming great. So the lessons is; Rainier hops are better as finishing hops, C-120 malt may need something else to develop the body of a beer.
There are two more brews in the series so it will be interesting to see how thing shake out.