So I harvested a full five gallon bucket of wet hops from my garden, and I mean a FULL bucket. With the harvesting all that Nugget hops, it was time to make another SMaSH beer. This time I decided to make two variants, one with light malt and one with dark malt. Last year, I made SMaSHing Nuggets. This year, I modified the recipe a little bit, and created SMaSHing Nuggets 2.
When I went out and harvested, I barely got much off the plant from the inside parts of the two bines. I recklessly went through and pulled out handfuls of whole hops, from all over the bines. In less than an hour I had filled a 5 gallon bucket and still left a bunch of the plants. So, I had pounds of hops to work with. Wet hop beers are a great thing to make, as the fresh flavors cannot be beat. So I started into SMaSHing Nuggets 2 just a few hours after the harvest.
I took the recipe I used last year, and modified it a little bit based on the fact that I used pilsner malt extract last year, and light malt extract this year. I also changed the hops amounts and schedule a bit as well.
I brought the water to a boil, added a good amount of malt extract to start up the beer, then it was time for the first hop addition. I added in about 18 ounces of wet hops. Remember the PSA I made before, I was sure to bag these up. Then later on in the boil, I had two additional hop additions of 5 ounces each, to put in almost a total of 2 pounds into the brew. This batch was my first brew to be used in the FastFerment conical fermenter that I got (why did I wait so long to use it?)
When I was done with that brew, I realized I had enough ingredients to make a dark malt version. I had picked up over 20 pounds of dark malt extract on a great sale from Monster Brew. Sometimes you just need to shop the deals to get some extra supplies to have on hand. I already had all of the equipment out so why not make another batch. While brewing the second batch, I had a tragedy occur. I went to get another beer off the kegerator, only to find out that I kicked the keg. But never fear, I had more beer to put on tap. I put on Steamin’ Kalifornia and enjoyed the first beer off of that batch from that keg. I had already tried it previously thanks to the carbonation cap and a 2 liter bottle. It was nice to try it out of the keg with a little bit more age but it was tasty either way.
The brewing of the second beer went right as planned. Even with some different levels of malt, the gravities levels came in very close to each other for the two batches. It was nice to see a good consistency in my brewing.
After the two brews had fermented and I bottled them, I went to put it in on Untappd, and I got myself a little perplexed. I didn’t know what to classify the dark malt SMaSH as. So I posted a question on the Homebrewing subreddit… only to get torn apart about the fact that a single extract brew is not a SMaSH. People got all up in my grill about that. That was frustrating. For someone who brews extracts, using just one should be a SMaSH. But one must realize that the dried malt extracts usually have a combination of different malts in there. There are differing percentages of malts in each type, and so the homebrewing purist do not feel that a single extract brew is a SMaSH brew. As someone who has not moved into all grain or brew in a bag yet, this is the closest one can do for a SMaSH brew.
After letting both beers condition and carbonate, I decided to give them both a try on the same day. It is amazing what the change in malt can do for the flavors. SMaSHing Nuggets 2 was just as I remembered it from last year. I definitely enjoyed the SMaSHing Space Nuggets more with the dark malt extract. In the dark malt SMaSHing Space Nuggets version, it removed a little bit of the peppery bite of the Nugget hops, but still gave a nice strong hops flavor.
Things to think about for the next brew:
- I need to learn how to adjust the levels of hops in Beersmith for wet hop additions. It appears that people usually just divided by somewhere around 4,5 or 6.
- I enjoyed brewing two beers in one night, but it did make for a very long night as I finished up at about 2:30 in the morning
- Maybe next year I will be ready to do a brew in the bag true single hop single malt beer and I will try with a dark malt and a light malt again to see what those differences are.
- I used the same dry yeast for both beers to make sure that I had a consistent factor between the two when comparing. Next year I might use oversized starter of liquid yeast for the two beers to try that.
- I did dehydrate quite a bit of the remaining hops!
Side note: I am feeling bad that it has been a while since I posted. Since I have posted last, I harvested, made multiple brews, and even tried out some new equipment. I will be sure to catch up on my chronicles.