Two weeks ago, I harvested my Cascade hops (pictures to follow soon). I laid them out on a window screen in the basement to dry them. I ended up with 12 ounces of dried hops. I was very happy with that, as last year the plant gave hardly any hops. Last night I used my handy-dandy lab scale to measure them out into twelve one-ounce plastic bags and they went into the freezer.
So now the question is what to do with all these hops? The prevailing opinion amongst homebrewers is that you don’t want to use homegrown hops as bittering hops, because you never know what the alpha acid levels are in them. Makes it difficult to determine the IBUs, so you could have a beer that really overshoots it’s desired bitterness level, or it could come up severely lacking. Others recommend doing an IPA style with them. If you end up with high AA% hops, you have an IPA or even a double IPA. Or, if you have AA% on the lower end, you end up with a simple pale ale. Sounds good to me, so that’s what I think I’ll do.
I came across this really interesting post a while back on the Brew Board discussion group, suggesting a recipe and hopping schedule for single hop APAs:
I can’t get carahell or melanoidin malt around here, so I may have to adjust the recipe somewhat.