I've been meaning to plant a hop bine in the garden since I moved into my current home over a year ago, but its just not happened. Much like my homebrewing, its not really to save money - although that's an added bonus - its to make a product that I can control the processes making it & to make something individual & unique to me.
The Ormskirk Baron however did grow some hops, but he doesn't homebrew (yet!). When he put on Twitter that the hops harvested this year were up for grabs, I offered him some of the resulting beer in exchange for the hops. The hops weren't dried to preserve them - making them "green hops" - were posted to me & I brewed with them the day I got them.
The name Baron Silas Greenback is referencing the green hops, The Ormskirk Baron & my namesake's initials DM.
Mash - 1 hour 10 min in total - strike temperature 70°C falling to 66°C & held steady until the end.
1.66 Kg pale malt
100g crystal malt
Boil - 1 hour 30 mins.
Cascade green hops (estimated 6% alpha acid): 125g intitially, 100g after 1h 15 min. This may seem like a lot of hops, but the equivalent dry weight of them is around 8/10ths of the wet weight.
Final volume 5 litres. It is very tricky to estimate the alcohol content & bitterness units as the liquid volume wasn't enough to float a hydrometer in & the hops were of an unknown alpha-acid level & moisture content. I have aimed for a high strength beer, with high hop levels like an American IPA which is in keeping with the style of hops & ensuring that the few hops used were savoured.
Bottled on 21/10/12.
Verdict after 2 weeks in a bottle: this beer cleared fast & is a deep copper colour. There's no outstanding hop aroma, but a reasonable grapefruity-resinous hop taste with a solid bitterness. There is some alcohol warming too, as expected from this strong beer.
Verdict after 4 weeks in a bottle: More prominent alcohol warmth now. A herbal bitterness & some hoppiness. Well worth trying out, but I'll remember to add more later hops next time.