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We talk about Hops and Beer with Crosby Hops

We love it when a supply partner comes to town and we get out and about visiting customers and friends in the Australian brewing industry.  We also love it when we get to sit down with good friends @InebriationNation Good Beer Radio and talk about important things like Hops and Beer and Craft Beer Styles and Craft Beer in Australia and the US and growing your own hops at home.

Cutting some tracks @InebriationNation DK Studios

So it was with great pleasure that we shared a good local craft beer or two with Brian Crosby @CrosbyHopFarm and Josh “Pies” Button and Kevin “DK” McDonald at Inebriation-Nation to record a podcast that well, talked about hops and beer and a few things more…we hop you like it – cheers to Hops and Beer!

We cover a lot of ground in this podcast pardon the pun, but we beerly scratch the surface of hops (there we go again – forgive us please) and their role in beer and brewing and the challenges growers and marketers of hops like Crosby Hop Farm face in the increasingly fast-changing world of craft beer.

Some of the many topics we chat about over a local fresh Sydney craft beer or two include:

  • Beer Styles – Does Australia have its own unique craft beer style or styles?  Do Aussie craft beer styles differ State by State?
  • The state of the Sydney craft beer scene right now in mid-2016 – it’s very exciting, dynamic and changing fast!
  • The state of the craft beer scene in the US today through a hop grower and suppliers eyes.
  • Crosby Hops and what they do with their own hops in terms of growing and processing their hops to be more gentle on the hop and better fit the unique needs of the craftbrewer and homebrewer.
  • Growing Hops at Home – Pies goes deep into the rhizome, bine and picking and brewing with homegrown hops.
  • and let us not forget – DK4Senate and his campaign to form the Inebriation-Nation Political Party and take his fight to the Australian State and Federal Government to give a ‘fair go’ to small Aussie craft brewers  – sign on and give your support to the cause with a local fresh craft beer in hand 🙂 DK4Senate
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The Grim RRIPA – an almost bloody Red Rye IPA

Grim RRIPA Sunset

There is a wonderful red sunset out tonight – fire red across the sky and the autumn ivy was red as red earlier in the month.  The leaves on the apple trees have fallen, the buds are appearing and the winter thaw is about to set in.  You turn your thoughts to thinks dark and grim in winter months and there is nothing more grim than ‘the grim RRIPA’.   Everyone will one day see the man with the scythe come to take them away and if its anything like Monty Python in ‘the Meaning of Life’ hopefully not after a good dinner party with great home brewed or craft beer spoiled by the Salmon Mousse!!! Oh dear, I shouldn’t have used the tinned Salmon dear, oh deah! Yeah!

Salmon Mousse

Well the R-RIPA with his Sycthe is a man or woman who cuts some pretty mean grains that we all need to brew some pretty mean brews so here is what I knocked up on a long Queens Birthday weekend while Queenie was enjoying tea and cucumber sandwiches in her castle and walking the corgies around the gardens – smashing!  Oh and PS I might have also put down a Metheglin Honey Apple Mead working title “Katie Pie” for my Queen to be shared at a later date for any honey lovers 🙂 – cheers Stu for the Orange Blossom Honey, Michael @Moonlight Mead for the recipe for Kurt’s Apple Pie and let’s just see how that turns out before we post that recipe!

Gladfield Malt Bill



Mash & Boil & Ferment:

  • Mash for 60 mins @ 69 degrees Celsius for a beer with body.
  • Boil for 90 mins with Hop additions from 60 mins as per the time guidance.
  • wYeast nutrient & Brewbite in the kettle @ 10 mins.
  • Chilled and started ferment @18C on a rising tide to 20C.
  • Racked into secondary glass carboy and dry hopped at rate of 3g/L with 50g of Nugget for 3 days.

Brew Stats: take with many pinches of salt

Actual 1.066 OG
Target 1.007 FG 1.014 @Racking
60 IBU (and some I think)
11   SRM
5.7% ABV
IMG_20150820_210127 IMAG0137 IMAG0138 IMAG0139 IMAG0144 IMAG0314 IMAG0315 IMAG0316 IMAG0317 IMAG0318
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8 hours #WetHop Celebration Ale

March is an exciting time of the year in the brewing calendar for many reasons down under in Australia.  Not only do homebrewers get another chance to brew on labour day holidays in the State of Victoria but hops are traditionally harvested in March and #Wethop #Freshhop and #Homegrownhop ales are often put down in March.

Like oh so many things our craft brewing brothers and sisters in the US started another revolution in celebration of the #HopHarvest and that celebration has spread rapidly to Hop growing nations around the world including Australia and New Zealand.  Locally here in Victoria I personally love to try a few of our local #freshhop harvest ales and enjoy a regular feature #harvestale from Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth   We will be heading up that way to try the 2015 release at the end of the March – details for those in the hood to come along and celebrate the Hop Harvest here:

Home brewers have the chance to grow their own hops and create their own #Wethop or #Freshhop ales and if you are interested to read and learn more about growing your own hops jump onto YouTube or Google and you will find abundant resources on planting and growing and picking your own home grown hops and here is a recipe we would like to share with homebrewers for a #WetHop Celebration Ale using Wet Fresh Cascade Hops.

I wanted to brew a big malty wet hoppy IPA style beer here and I was mightily impressed by “Pliny the Elder” from Russian River @ANHC4 and how light in colour and delicate the malt backbone was from Vinnie @RussianRiver so I altered the malt bill from another source of inspiration – the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale to see if I could create something that had malt underneath (rather like the base guitar in a good rock n roll band) underpinning the screaming lead guitars (here come the hops!).  As such I built a malt bill that was Ale base cut with Munich for character, Gladiator for foam and body, a smidge of Light Crystal (used in Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale) and 1% acidulated Sour Grapes Malt to lower the PH in the mash.

Gladfield Malt Bill

  • 79% 5.50kg Gladfield Ale Malt
  • 12% 0.85kg Gladfield Munich Malt
  • 5% 0.35kg Gladfield Gladiator Malt
  • 3% 0.20kg Light Crystal Malt
  • 1% 0.10kg Gladfield Sour Grapes Malt
    7.00 Kg Total Malt Bill


Here I did want to follow Sierra Nevada lead strongly and having a 2 year old Cascade hop bine (thx Sandy @HopCo) I thought it was only appropriate to use the 3Cs from USA – Chinook for bitter, Cascade (wet hops) and Centennial for flavour and aroma.

  1. Bittering: 20g Chinook 60 mins 13.50% 2013
  2. Flavour: 50g Cascade Wet 30 mins ?AA 3%? 2015 Home Harvest & 20g Centennial 30 mins 10%A/A ?
  3. Aroma: 50g Cascade Wet 15 mins ?AA 3%? 2015 Home Harvest & 20g Centennial 15 mins 10% A/A ?
  4. Flame out / Aroma: 50g Cascade Wet Full Hop Cones 0 mins ?AA 3%? 2015 Home Harvest
  5. Dry hop in secondary for 5 days at 16 °C / 60 °F using addition rates of 2/1 Cascade to Centennial adding 1/2lb per barrel or approx. 24g wet Cascade hops and 12g Centennial hops into a 19L batch.

The Cascade whole hops cones were picked fresh the morning of brew day!

Cascade Bine Cones


You want to use a good clean fermenting high abv tolerant yeast for a #WethopIPA so we recommend any of the following:

  1. White Labs WLP090 San Diegeo Super Yeast or WLP001 California Ale Yeast
  2. Wyeast 1056 or 1272 American Ale Yeast
  3. Fermentis US-05 Ale Yeast
  4. Lallemand Danstar BRY-97 American West Coast Ale Yeast (2 x11g sachets)

Brewing aids and water treatment:

  • Water treatment prior to mash was 5g of Calcium Chloride and 5g of Calcium Sulphate (Gypsum).
  • Wyeast Yeast Nutrient @10 mins remaining in boil
  • Irish Moss 1/2 tab @5 mins remaining in boil


1. Mash – the brewer could do step mash if permissible with equipment or normal mash regime, Mash at 156 °F (69 °C) for 60 minutes.
2. Mash off – Infuse mash with near boiling water while stirring or with recirculating mash system raise temp to mash out at 76C
3. Sparge slowly – once again the brewer should do normal regime at around 77C
4. Boil – vigorous boil for 90 mins Start hopping at 60 mins
5. Yeast & Fermentation – Pitch your favourite dry West Coast IPA style yeast and ferment at a slowly rising plane from 17C /62F – 20C /68F during primary.
6. Conditioning – Rack the beer after 7 days or less when primary complete.

Batch Size 21.0 L

Boil Time 90 mins
Efficiency 70%
1.072 OG
1.017 FG
66 IBU
7.3% ABV
0.92 IBU/OG = very bitter!
References & Sources of Inspiration & Thanks go to:

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Inspiration Pale Ale

Based on a true trailblazer in the US Craft Beer Scene – Dale’s Pale Ale, first brewed in Lyons, Colorado by Dale as a side project at his now infamous Oskar Blues BrewPub, this is a big American Pale Ale that found its way into cans and is a very popular drop in the US.  Tasted it loved it and love the work of Oskar Blues with their REEB moutain bikes, craft beer in cans and love of good tunes, brews and life in the Colorado mountains – what is there not to love.  Time to pay some homage and try and home brew something inspirational like Dale & the gang!

Brew Day: Sat 27th Apr 2013

4.5Kg Simpson Maris Otter
2Kg Best Munich
400g Simpsons Crystal
20g Northern Brewer 2012 Harvest 10.6% Alpha Acid (AA) @60mins
20g Cascade 2012 Harvest 6.7% AA @30mins
10g Columbus 2011 Harvest 13.9% AA @30mins
20g Centennial 2012 Harvest 9.2% AA @15mins
20g Cascade @5 mins
20g Columbus @5 mins
Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

With a 6.5Kg grain bill and enough hops to knock your socks off, we targetted 70% efficiency using brew in the bag and to aim for 6.5% abv and 65 IBU with trusty help of my and Ryan Vine who travelled all the way over from Ringwood to join in the fun on brew day and of course have a few brews while we are here!

Mashed in @70 degrees Celsius and temperature dropped rapidly to 65C then settled for most of the mash @64C. We mashed off for 10mins @72C before straining and draining using the good old trusty ladder.  It was outdoors brewing weather so all activities were on the back porch – New Orleans style with some good tunes in the background and some past brews enjoyed in between tasks!  Not sure if we will have any wild yeasts join the party but suspect not.  No sparge.  Just a gravity strain and drain of the grain.

Boil took slower and longer to reach than the 35C hell brews days for Westside Pale Ale indoors and we used the full hop quotas pretty much in line with the programme to the letter/time clock.  When it came time to chill the wort and fill the fermenter we netted off 22L and took a SG of 1060 – bang on target – thanks Ryan.  Pitched the yeast and it was bubbling by bed time @32C.  Used Nick’s trusty temp regular and the fridge to bring down to 20C by Sun night – thx Nick @no. 27 – neighbourhood collaborator homebrewing at this best!

Wrapped up a good day’s brewing with Mrs D fine Pork Noddles, bathed and put the kids to bed and then proceeded to have a coffee before a Pale Ale vertical tasting – a great day’s brewing.  Thanks Ryan from #Ringwood for joining the #WeFo action and to Nick for the loaner on the temp controller.  Looking forward to seeing little Dale develop over the weeks ahead 😉

Fermented Sat – Thu week @18 degrees Celsius and racked on Thu 9 May adding the remaining 44g of Centennial I had left into the secondary fermenter and left @ 18C until Mon 13/5 when I turned the temp controller down to 3C and then on Sat 18th May turned it down to 4C.  Bottled on Sat 25 May with a FG of 1012 and bulk primed with 186g of light golden dried malt extract.

Tasted from the bright beer fermenter and must say it was looking good for 4 weeks old.  Quite smooth in terms of body and not to astringent but some definite strong hop character and ability to dry the sweetness of the palate.  Hoping the flavours continue to develop and round out nicely in the bottle over the coming two weeks.  Special thanks to Ryan for all the help on brew day and Nick for the loan of the temp controller – definitely going to get one of those now!


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