Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA (2016)


This past harvest, my Willamette and Centennial hop plants yielded about five pounds of fresh cones.  Gregory and I brewed two fresh hop IPAs on the same day — one with more Willamette hops and a blend of clean yeasts I made, the other with about equal amounts of the two hop varietals and Fermentis US-05 yeast.

As I anticipated in last year’s fresh hop post, I opted to use packaged hops for the bittering and dry hop additions, using the fresh hops where their qualities make the most impact — the late-boil flavor and aroma additions.  This method returned much better results, with none of the overly vegetal and grassy notes witnessed in last year’s 100% fresh hop ale.

Though both beers turned out well, to my surprise, I prefer the IPA that is more heavily hopped with Willamette.  Since the two beers are so similar, I’m going to post the recipe and tasting notes for my preferred version.  In addition to these homegrown brews, we produced one more fresh hop IPA (of a very different kind), which I will detail later.  Until then, find the recipe and tasting notes below:

fh-boil-2016Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA (2016)

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 40
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes


46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
23.08% — 3.00 Lbs. Maris Otter Pale
15.38% — 2.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Rye
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Golden Naked Oats


1.25 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.35 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 60 min.
6.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 15 min.
8.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
25.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
2.00 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)


1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.


Imperial A09 — Pub Yeast
Imperial A20 — Citrus Yeast

Water Profile

1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 152F


08.24.16 — Made a 1L starter from rinsed #1 Summer Jam slurry

Brewed on 08.25.16 with Gregory

08.25.16 — Chilled wort to 80F and pitched the slurry after 20 minute hop stand with 2 minute whirlpool

08.26.16 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity 9 hrs after pitch

08.30.16 — Added half of the dry hops to primary

09.02.16 — Transferred to secondary and added the rest of the dry hops

09.07.16 — Kegged the entire batch and began force carbonating at 10 PSI

willamette-fh-2016Tasting Notes — 09. 29.16 (poured off tap)

Slightly hazy pale yellow-straw color with a moderate white head which laces thin.  Floral notes on the nose reminiscent of wisteria, lemon balm, and green tea.  Flavors follow the nose with an additional note of honeysuckle mid-palate.  The Centennials offer some hints of citrusy lemon pith and a firm, round bitterness akin to pine needles.  Refreshing finish that ends dry with a lingering bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.050
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 5.2%


Brett’s A Mild Dude — Partial Fresh Hop English Style Mild With Brettanomyces

Hops 2014I have been growing my own hops for three years now with varying degrees of success.  Before we moved to Alki beach they did very well and I even had a harvest the first year (they usually need a year to acclimate to their environment, producing the second year).  Since moving to Alki my plants have produced, however, the yields have been much smaller than they were that first year.  It can get very windy where we are situated and I’m not sure if the salty sea air has a detrimental effect on their growth.  Regardless, I have been able to use those hops that do endure in partial fresh hop homebrews.

Last fall Gregory and I used my homegrown Willamette hops in our funkified take on an old standard.  We began with a basic English mild recipe and fermented it with White Labs WLP013 London Ale and White Labs WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii which resulted in a great fruity beer with light funk and a crisp dry finish.  Here’s our recipe:

Brett’s A Mild Dude — Partial Fresh Hop English Style Mild With Brettanomyces

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.875
Anticipated OG: 1.044
Anticipated SRM: 21.0
Anticipated IBU: 23.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


67% – 6.0 Lbs. Maris Otter Ale Malt
08% – 0.75 Lbs. British Crystal 50-60L
08% – 0.75 Lbs. Brown Malt
05% – 0.50 Lbs. Flaked Oats
05% – 0.50 Lbs. British Crystal 135-165L
02% – 0.25 Lbs. American Chocolate
01% – 0.125 Lbs. Black Malt


1.50 oz. Bramling Cross (Pellet, 6.0% AA) @ 30 min.
0.10 0z. Fresh Hop Homegrown Willamette (Whole Cone, 5.0% AA) @ 1 min.


1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.


White Labs WLP013 London Ale (starter)
White Labs WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii

Water Profile

1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Sacch. Rest – 60 min @ 153F
Mashout – 10 min @ 170F


09.01.14 – Made a stir-plate 1.5L starter with 1 White Labs WLP013 London Ale vial.  Brewtoad suggests 170 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed 09.03.14 with Gregory

09.03.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching yeast starter.

09.05.14 –  Vigorous fermentation, temperature holding steady @ 60-65F.  Fermented at this temp. for 1 week.

09.10.14 – Put fermentor onto brewbelt for 15 days.

09.25.14 – Transferred mild to secondary.

10.23.14 – Kegged and carbonated mild @ 1.65 volumes CO2.

Tasting Notes

This beer turned out great.  Notes of biscuit, nuts, and chocolate dominate the palate with vinous hints and some dry fruitiness from the Brett.  Finishes dry and crisp, with a very short finish — refreshing.

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.012
Approx. ABV: 4.3%