I mentioned in an earlier post that I had my first experiment with pelletised hops. Racking my House Ale today, I was overcome with the voluptuous aroma rising from the casks. I’m surprised; read most of the literature and comments on internet forums and the consensus is that whole flower hops have the better aroma – albiet with the caveat ‘if they are fresh’ attached – but, pellet hops have better storability. Indeed, many breweries proudly boast their use of whole flower hops (sometimes the misnomer ‘whole leaf’ hop is used). Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, renowned for it’s beautiful Cascade aroma, springs to mind as an example. I’m convinced enough, for now, to experiment solely with pellet hops for my aroma additions in subsequent brew-days. As a reference point, this beer, for a 10 gallon brewlength, used 35g of Styrian Goldings at ‘flame out’. I distinctly remember a batch of beer I made piling in 120g of whole flower Styrian Goldings at the end of the boil, and the aroma wasn’t as intense. Those were hops directly from a hop broker, which makes it all the more puzzling.
My house ale was racked into casks today with 30ml of cane sugar and 40ml of fresh Isinglass. It will remain at room temperature for a few days to kick start secondary fermentation before being moved to cellar temperature (11C) where it will be vented and served.