David, our beer expert, gave us a talk about the role of hops in beer making. These are his notes below. I will add that he had examples of two hop varieties that he had either steeped or boiled for 5 minutes. we had the opportunity to taste and smell the differences from the two treatments.
Hops are to beer what seasoning is to food. A judicious amount enhances but a heavy hand can spoil the flavour. Per gram it is the most expensive ingredient in beer so don’t waste it.
Hops enhances by adding bitterness (which balances the sweetness of the
malts) and aromas (which give interesting impressions). Bitterness is extracted by the boil but the aroma is lost with the steam. So you reintroduce with late hop additions at various points and by dry hopping the fermenter. Some hops from Brians’ garden were passed around as an example of the real thing. They still had a pleasant aroma despite being well past it.
Different hop varieties have bitterness levels rated from 15% AA(Alpha
Acid) to 1%. Using hops from either end of the spectrum, Columbus 13.5% and Saaz 3.5%, examples of each as dry pellets, steeped and boiled were circulated for appraisal. The liquids were then mixed with a boring commercial beer(there are plenty out there) and evaluated. David keeps this beer for visitors unwise enough to turn down trying his excellent libations.
After Davids talk we had our points cup competitions where Brian won Gold for his Dry White Grape and Joe and Norm won Silver for their Dry White Grape wines. Brian Won Bronze for his Strong Ale.
David won the raffle.
We are scheduled to attend a social evening with the Central Hawkes Bay club for a meal and drinks on the 15th August. An annual event which is much looked forward to.