Thursday, 4 October 2012

Homebrew Review - Common Ingredients

Although a bit of a rush, my beer had conditioned sufficiently for the homebrew meeting I mentioned in an earlier post.

I effectively took two beers. Given the ingredients, my plan was to make a lightly hopped beer, split the batch into two fermenters and dry hop the other.

Of the two hops allowed, Target seemed the more naturally suited to bittering, so I used them in three additions; from the start of the boil, at twenty minutes and again at seven minutes. The other hop, Columbus was put in at 1 minute from switch-off.

As it turned out, I was pleased with both beers. The first was delicately hopped (starting gravity 1.042 and IBU's of only 23.5). Not quite a mild, but very malt forward. It's a lovely deep red colour and although I used only a smidgen of Colombus, you didn't have to hunt for them. As the sweetness of the malts ebb away, there's a final farewell from the hops. Delicate, discreet even, but definitely there, leaving you wanting more.

The dry-hopped version was obviously very similar, apart from the bitterness being far less discreet.

Which do I prefer? It would very much depend on my mood.

The sweet, malty, mild, with a tease of hop flavour at the death, might just edge it. But, the hoppy version has it's merits too, although for it to really work, perhaps the dry hopping needs to be even more aggressive.  I might very well brew this again and replace the Columbus with a different variety and dry hop at a much higher level. I'll give it some thought...


Common Ingredients

Type: All Grain Date: 01/09/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 50.00 l Brewer: Mark
Boil Size: 62.65 l Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Elite Brewery
End of Boil Volume 55.12 l Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 50.00 l Est Mash Efficiency 77.4 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7600.00 g Mild Malt (7.9 EBC) Grain 1 85.1 %
830.00 g Aromatic Malt (51.2 EBC) Grain 2 9.3 %
500.00 g Cara (Crisp) (34.5 EBC) Grain 3 5.6 %
30.00 g Target [10.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 16.6 IBUs
15.00 g Target [10.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 5 5.0 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 6 -
10.00 g Target [10.00 %] - Boil 7.0 min Hop 7 1.5 IBUs
10.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [16.50 %] - Boil 1.0 min Hop 8 0.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)  Yeast 9 -
50.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [16.50 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.040 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.042 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.1 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 3.9 %
Bitterness: 23.5 IBUs Calories: 427.1 kcal/l
Est Color: 13.8 EBC


  1. I've not used Target hops before, although I have heard good things. What type of flavor do they contribute?

    And what a nice looking beer, you're making me thirsty. Was this one served on cask?

    1. Thanks Will, this one was bottled conditioned.

      The Target hops don’t really add a lot to this particular beer, as I’ve not used that many in a ten gallon batch, with most of the flavour coming from the Columbus.

      I do intend to showcase the Target in another brew soon. They appear to be fairly unpopular among homebrewers over here, generally used as an early bittering hop and regarded as a bit ‘harsh’ and thought to be best blended with other varieties. Some commercial breweries use them to good effect; Fullers in their London Pride and ESB are some of the more widely known.

      I have a suspicion they get a bit of a bum deal over here and might be a more interesting hop than many UK homebrewers think. With this in mind, I might try using them in a single hop beer soon, to establish their full worth.