Homebrewing The El Morillo



If you’ve been a long term reader of this site, you may have gathered by now I love hoppy beers. In fact the only unfortunate thing in my mind about loving hoppy beers so much is that not everyone loves hoppy beers. Or at least some people don’t think they do. I find often times that people equate “hoppy” with “bitter” and that’s not necessarily the case. So I went searching for a recipe that was very hoppy but also light on bitterness and came across a session IPA recipe that I knew I had to try!

Recipe Source: Lazerwolf on YouTube

Beer Specifications

Beer Name:The El Morillo
Beer Style:Session IPA
Recipe Type:All Grain
Pre-Boil Volume:6.5 gallons / 24.6 litres
Batch Size:5.5 gallons / 20.8 litres
Estimated SRM:6.4°
Estimated IBU:9
Estimated OG:1.051
Estimated FG:1.013
Estimated ABV:5%

Grain Bill/Fermentables

LBSFermentables
7.2Vienna
2.2Pale Ale
0.44Wheat
0.13Crystal Medium

Hops

OzTimeHops
0.7515 minMosaic
0.2515 minEl Dorado
0.750 minAmarillo
0.50 minMosaic
1.5WhirlpoolAmarillo
1.5WhirlpoolEl Dorado
1.257 DaysAmarillo
1.257 DaysEl Dorado
1.25KegMosaic

Yeast

#Yeast
1London Ale Yeast WLP 013

Fermentation Schedule

21 daysPrimary
7-14 daysBottle Conditioning

Directions

Mash Temperature:152°F / 66.7°C
Mash Time:60 min
Boil Duration:60 min

As you can see from the recipe above this brew has a lot of hops in it! In fact this may be one of the most hoppy beers I’ve ever made and all of them are late or dry hops.

The brew day was relatively straight forward and fermentation went without a hitch.

Fast forward to bottling day and I came across my first ‘problem’. All of the hops added to this beer were done loose, that is I didn’t put them in a hop bag or a container of any sort. I just figured with cold crashing I wouldn’t have to worry about it too much. While the cold crashing definitely helped, what I didn’t account for is that with this many hops I would still end up with a massive hop matter sludge at the bottom of the fermenter. This made it very difficult to siphon off clean beer, let alone a lot of it. Sadly some beer was left behind as a result :(. I think in the future I’m going to make it a rule to at least put the dry hops in a hop bag so that pulling the finished product off is a bit easier.

The original gravity (OG) came in at 1.049, which is just what I wanted in a session beer, and the final gravity (FG) was measured at 1.006 for a respectable 5.64% ABV.

Tasting Notes

SmellDefinitely hoppy but actually somewhat understated. The various hops pair nicely together and give it more of a nice floral smell than something that punches you in the face.
AppearanceBeautiful colour with a really nice rocky head on top. Carbonation is spot on and the head holds for a while… if you don’t drink it away fast enough 🙂
TasteThe taste for me is both a highlight and my second ‘problem’ area.

It is very clean with a wonderful mouthfeel that actually reminds me somewhat of a west coast IPA. Bitterness is nearly non-existent with the malt character of the taste blending with the hop aroma in an interesting way. You could easily have a few of these in one sitting and still be thirsty for more!

The ‘problem’ is that this beer has highlighted something to me for my own personal tastes. It turns out that while I still do love hoppy beers, I am also one of those people who actually likes them to be bitter as well! Don’t get me wrong this beer is tasty, but I can’t help but feel that it would be even better if it had some more bitterness to it.

So what did we learn? Well I learned that if you are dealing with a lot of hops then it might be a good idea to bag them so you don’t end up missing out on some of your final product. I also learned that I am one of those “IPA jerks” who truly does like bitter beer. Perhaps if I get around to making this beer again I’ll move some of the hop additions back to impart more bitterness.

P.S. – we called this brew “The El Morillo”… yeah I was lazy on the name this time.



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