Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ahtanum Vienna Ale

I've been brewing a series of SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beers recently, and this is one of them, a Vienna ale hopped with Ahtanum hops. I really enjoyed Ahtanum when I used it to dry hop the IPAs I brewed over the summer, and I used up the last 2 ounces I had for this brew, 1.5 ounces for 90 minutes and 0.5 ounces for 15 minutes. Malt was 10 pounds of Weyermann Vienna, and I pitched on top of the US-05 yeast cake from my Citra pilsner ale.

The beer has a really nice color, and for the first few weeks it started out tasting very nice. However, 0.5 ounces is just too little hops for aroma or flavor, as the aroma and flavor definitely began to fade over time. That brought the bittering hops to the fore, and I have to say that Ahtanum is probably not the best hop to use for bittering. It's not nearly as smooth as Cascade, Glacier, Northern Brewer, or the noble hops such as Hallertau, Hersbrucker, etc. I'll give Ahtanum one more shot later this year in a lager, but I think I'll eventually want to switch to Magnum as my main bittering hop and save Ahtanum for flavor or dry hopping IPAs.

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