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Discussion in 'Midwest' started by MNAle, Jan 24, 2017.
Saw this on Schell's twitter account:
Can't wait for this.
Can anyone explain to me what qualities fresh-flash frozen hole cone hops should impart? Kind of like a fresh hopped beer frozen, but still not dried, so you get more of the green resiny flavor like a fresh hop? Curious, as I've never heard of this.
FIFY... I imagine "frozen hole" is a completely different thing! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist the lame joke...)
Anyway, I've wondered the same thing. Given the apparently intentional naming "Frost Hop" v "Fresh Hop" I would guess they are going for a similar aroma and flavor profile... but I'm eager to find out!
Summit's experiment a couple of years ago with fresh hop pellets did not seem to blow everyone away as compared to other fresh hop beers.
Based on my very limited understanding, the hops should have similar/same qualities of a wet/fresh hop. They were picked, frozen, and shipped to the US.
Maybe @bergbrew can explain further or correct anything I may have mis-stated.
Yeah, that's pretty accurate.
So long story, not so short. For the past couple of years we (along with many others) have done a fresh hop beer around harvest time. It's probably the most stressful beer we make, as you never know if the weather will cooperate for harvest, so the brewing schedule is kind of in flux. You think you're getting your hops on Tuesday, and then it rains Monday and they can't harvest until Thursday (or they move the date up to avoid the rain). It just creates a lot of headaches from a production standpoint.
The other issue is this: we make lagers. Not all the time, but most of the time. The hops selected for the fresh hop harvest aren't necessarily what I would choose to make a Pils. Sure, we used Cascade this year (and Citra/Mosaic previous years), but Chinook Pils anyone? Or Simcoe? They aren't hops I particularly like, and I can't see using them in a Pils.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: the hops are overnighted to us. Because with fresh hops, you need to use them quickly or they begin to mold/deteriorate.
Fast forward to about a year ago, a German hop merchant visited talking about the different hops he had, and kind of in passing he mentioned they were flash-freezing fresh hops. I think my response was "Oh, that's nice...wait, back the truck up here. You're doing what?"
He described the process which is basically this: the hops are harvested, shipped in refrigerated trucks to a freezing facility, and then brought down to -19C. They'd been doing this for a year or so, and had some favorable results in Germany and Japan.
My first question, of course, was "why hasn't any one else ever thought of this?" Because quite honestly, it seems like a pretty simple solution, Here's the kicker: their processing center is by Lake Constance, which has a lot of fruit orchards. They flash freeze *a lot* of fruit, and that pays for the facility. To do this for simply hops, which are harvested 2 weeks out of the year would be idiotic (or whatever the German word for "you're being stupid" is).
That's basically the nuts and bolts. The hops are flash-frozen, then shipped to us in a freezer container. We took shipment, and then moved them into a frozen warehouse until we were ready to use them. Luckily, it's winter in MN, so when I called them up it was cold outside-all the state is a deep freeze! We bagged the frozen hops and threw them in the whirlpool.
The idea behind the series was old school vs. new school. Two classic German hops vs two new varieties. Hallertau Mittlefruh, Tettnang Tettnanger, Mandarina Bavaria, and Huell Melon. I didn't want to bore you with all being pilsners (actually, I did want to bore you, but cooler heads prevailed) so we made a Helles, Export, Kolsch, and Pils. All golden German beer styles whose malt bills wouldn't interfere too much with the hops.
If you made it this far in the post, you deserve a beer.
As it happens, I'm drinking a Schell's Baltic Porter! Very excited for this!
Is the Baltic porter only available in the brewers stash mix pack?
Yes. It's really nice! It's worth a purchase for sure.
Sie werden dumme... maybe?
Thanks for the TL;DR, only the DR stands for DID read! I'm gonna grab those as soon as I can get my hands on them!
This could be the next brewey/consumer craze. Good bye sours and Blood Orange beers
The Prost and Brewer's Stash packs are awesome. I like the idea of 2 great regular beers and 2 limited beers. They have all been solid. Really looking forward to this one. Add the Tropical Stout and CABA to the mix - hitting home runs.
Will the yeast strains of all the different beers be the same or different?
EDIT: It should be noted this is the best lager brewery in the country.
Helles, Export, and pils likely same yeast but kolsch would not.
correct, @bergbrew confirmed on Twitter that all but the kölsch use the same yeast
Breakside in Portland has done this with fresh hop IPAs in the past. It's a pretty cool technique. Freeze them with liquid nitrogen and then "shatter" them open.
Is this out yet? If so, where have u guys seen it?
It's definitely packaged…hoping to hear what some MN drinkers think before it hits shelves in central Iowa middle of next week. Really looking forward to this!
Just picked this up from my local store in North Dakota... very delicious. I particularly like the Helles. I would recommend to anybody considering buying. Keep up the good work, Schells!
2/4 in, I can confirm that this is indeed amazing.
Anyone that doesn't list Schells as the best brewery in the state must not enjoy beer.
Simply outstanding stuff.
I picked up a pack from my favorite local tonight on the way home from work.
It didn't seem right with what was on the menu for supper, so maybe tomorrow or over the weekend...
And that's why I'm working through them before supper.
I'm pairing my Black Label with a cottage pie tonight, but look forward to pairing the Export with something sturdier and more region-centric.
Had the Helles and the Dortmunder last night. I couldn't tell that they were wet hopped (the process they used is about as close as you can get).
The Helles was pretty fantastic, although the hop aroma/flavor and hop bitterness seemed more like a German Pils to me.
The Dortmunder opened up as it warmed a little and by the end I was enjoying it, although not as much as the Helles. The first few sniffs and sips seemed a bit mineral heavy. <--- Possibly talking out of my ass on this. I'm not sure what it was.
I'll try to crack the Pils and Kolsch tonight.
These are great! Loved the export the best, nice change of pace from the heavy beers I've been drinking lately.
Loved the Pils, far and away my favorite song far. Helles was 2nd followed by the Dort. Haven't had the Kolsch yet.
The kolsch is very good. Having the helles right now, also amazing. Schells knows how to make a lager that's for sure.
Had all 4 last night and the pils was also my favorite. Really liked them all though. The pils had such a nice clean, bright bite.
Finally broke open the box this afternoon. Drinking the first one now.. the Export-style (Dortmunder). Very enjoyable, herbal, bready, slight bittering.
Looking forward to the other 3, but I'll take it slow to properly enjoy each on its own merits.
Pilsner is very nice, great balance of dry yeast and hops with lightly sweet grainy bread malt, solid bitterness.
Pils is amazing. First and only this far. Lots of hops for a pils but well balanced. Super refreshing, one of the best pils I've had.
Finally got 1 of these. Will crack it open soon hopefully.
Worked my way through the entire sampler pack over the course of the past week. Hard to pin down a favorite as it kept changing from day to day. All incredibly solid renditions.
I am looking forward to this package.
Any leads on this in the NW metro? Haven't seen it around yet.
I got it at Golden Valley Liquor Barrel a week ago or so, and saw it today at the stl park liquor boy (west end).
Princeton's only had 1 case left as of Wednesday when I was there.
They only received 5 total from what I was told.