Single Hop Series No 1: Chinook

So you may have guessed that we plan to blog about each new beer release. This is the fourth beer to be blogged about and is the first beer that we brewed and the first of a series of single hop beers in assorted styles.

So what is the single hop series all about? Well, it is a chance for us to brew one-off beers in a variety of interesting styles or to miss out the style book altogether and brew stuff we think will work. This will allow us to play around with techniques that we may not normally get to use in our day to day beers. Step mashing, lagering and brewing with interesting yeasts are all things that we are considering, all with the constraint of using a single hop variety.

These beers will have a common branding theme. The name of the hop in bold in the middle and the style of beer underneath.

So what about this single hop Chinook beer? It was our first beer brewed, very simple, Pale and Special B malts, Chinook Hops and Nottingham ale yeast. Sounds a little bit like a best bitter? Well we aimed for 7.2% and hit 7.4%, figured about 100IBU would just about do it. So not quite a best bitter more an imperial best bitter! Or as we call it a Boring Brown Beer.

It was not all plain sailing however, as mentioned in the Miss The Lights blog we had temperature control issues with the fermenters. This one topped out at 29 degrees and at that point was leaking beer all over the floor, we were not sure for a long time if this was going to be a drain pour or not. We were planning packing into keykegs as well as bottles and casks but decided not to risk the expensive kegs on a beer we were not sure about.

So after a month where are we? There are no off flavours but the bitterness is a touch harsh maybe and the malt character seems to be a little lower than the prototypes. However the bottles are crystal clear and settled and it actually drinks rather well.

We hope to debut a cask of this beer at the Egham United Services Beer festival over Easter weekend and send some bottles out to bottle shops early next week. What we do with the other 17 casks is anyone's guess (late edit: some have gone to the Craft Beer Co and Cask Pub & Kitchen). The beer may be a candidate for throwing in an oak barrel at some point and I'm sure one or two casks may sneak out to a few more festivals.

As ever let us know what you think.