Single Hop #5: Calypso and Lancaster Brewers SMASH Experiment

IMG_0295My next batch is going be part of my homebrew club’s next experiment.  I’m also going to go ahead and count it as number five in my single hop series.  The club bought a bunch of newer varieties of hops and came up with a recipe.  Everyone was given the opportunity to pick one of the varieties of hops and brew the recipe with them.  I ended up with Calypso hops.

The recipe is a SMASH beer, with a single type of malt and one variety of hop.  The malt is Briess 2 Row Pale Malt.  This is a pretty basic base malt.  It is definitely not without character and flavor, but it isn’t something that is normally given center stage.  Despite being the only malt here, that is still the case.  While we’re calling this a SMASH experiment, the real goal is to test out these different hops and the single malt is just an attempt give them as much room as possible to shine.

As with seemingly all new American beers, I’d call this beer, by default, an IPA.  It is on the lower end of the gravity scale for that style, but otherwise it fits in pretty neatly.  The hop schedule is the same for each version, which makes me nervous for mine.

These Calypso hops are listed at 15.4% Alpha Acid.  With the schedule called for in the recipe, that calculates to a crushing 114 IBUs.  While realistically, I won’t get nearly that much efficiency, this is still going to be a very bitter beer for the approximately 5% ABV provided by the malts.

These hops are described online as having aroma similar to pears and apples.  It was bred through some other experimental hops and Nugget.  I will admit to not knowing much about the hop breeding process, but yes, Nugget.  That is about all I got out of reading a few paragraphs about the breeding of this hop.  Nugget was in there somewhere.  Nugget is definitely not known for fruity, pear and apple like flavors and aromas, so those other, unreleased hops must have contributed most of the final character.

I am planning to brew this beer tomorrow, March 4.  The club will be sampling all of the different versions at our meeting on April 29.  I don’t have much else to say about this beer until then.  Once my version is ready, I’ll try to post tasting notes for it before the meeting, before I am influenced by the other versions.  Then, of course I’ll have a big post about all the different versions.  The recipe, in the form of a phone pic of the handout, is below.