Deschutes Portland 2014 Fresh Hop Beers
Deschutes Portland 2014 Fresh Hop Beers are among the years most anticipated beer releases and Brewmaster Ben Kehs has revealed to us his 2014 releases that will begin to be tapped in the next week. Hop Harvest season is upon us, for many it’s the most wonderful time of the year so this will be the first of many posts this year checking in with brewers on their fresh hop beer lineups for 2014.
In Portland, Deschutes Head Brewer Ben Kehs is known to produce an outstanding lineup of fresh hop beers over the course of the season and has shared this years lineup and his brewing process and techniques for producing them.
Deschutes PDX fresh hop beers – 2014 Beer Fresh Hop Varietal(s) Point of Addition Kolsch Tettnang Hopback, pre-wort cooler Hop City Centennial Hopback, pre-wort cooler Cascade Conditioning tank Oktoberfest Willamette Conditioning tank Mirror Pond Cascade Conditioning tank Saison Meridian Hopback, pre-wort cooler
Q: Can you tell me why you chose some for hop back and others conditioning
Ben Kehs: A lot of it has to do with harvest timing and our production schedule needs. For our fresh hop IPA, we chose to add Centennials in the brewhouse and Cascades in the conditioning tank because the timing of the harvest for those two varietals allows us to add two fresh hop additions in a single beer. Also, by using fresh hops in the conditioning tank for our Oktoberfest, we can brew the base in late July, and have it on tap by the start of Oktoberfest. If we used fresh hops in the brewhouse for that one, we probably wouldn’t see it come on tap until mid to late October.
Variety aside, we definitely notice a difference in aromas and flavors depending on where the hops are being added. We try to make sure we have a healthy mix of both types of addition each year to showcase the diversity of wet hopping in beer.
Q: What yeast strains did you use on Kolsch and Saison and does the way the yeast attenuates or flocculates effect your use of hops at all?
Ben Kehs: We used the Wyeast 2565 Kolsch ale yeast for our Kolsch this year. Our Saison will use a combination of the Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison and 3711 French Saison. While we do consider the impact of final bitterness with regard to chosen yeast strain, we typically do not factor that in when determining which wet hop varietal to use. Also, we usually use kilned hops for our bittering additions in fresh hop beers for a couple reasons:
- We typically do not have alpha acids yet on fresh hop varietals so it is harder to calculate.
- You need ~5 times the amount of wet hops to receive the same amount of alpha acids you would get from kilned hops, and this quickly becomes a processing issue in the kettle for any beers intended to have a noticeable bitterness.
Q: What is the first one that will be on tap and any idea when?
Ben Kehs: Our first fresh hop beer to go on tap will probably be our Fresh Hoptoberfest. We will probably see it go on tap the first or second week of September.
Q: Last question: Fresh Hop or Wet Hop?
Ben Kehs: I guess Wet hop over Fresh hop. I like Fresh more, but some breweries have used that to mean freshly harvested and kilned hops, so it could potentially be confusing.