Homebrew: Fibonacci's Naughty Rabbits

Submitted by DM on Sun, 18/09/2016 - 19:01

My Cascade hops had grown in Altrincham for a few years, before being dug up & grown in a big trug  for a year & last spring I planted them in my garden in Cockermouth.   Until now I'd always build bamboo cane trellises that were expanded as the hops grew until they resembled the wire frame spaceships from '80's computer game Elite.   This year I built a structure made of much more solid timber in a t-shape that worked, but it wasn't ideal as the bine grew way more than the 2m tall structure & bunched up in the middle.   I still had more hops than I knew what to do with though.

The name comes from a throw away line I made on Twitter one morning that went & got almost 3000 Retweets & over 3000 Favourites.   Fibonacci was an Italian mathematician who - among many other things - suggested a sequence of numbers that could explain a theoretical number of rabits breeding in a field in ideal conditions.   The sequence progresses as the sum of the previous two: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 etc.   The sequence had been described in India centuries before, but Fibonacci popularised it in Europe.Fibonacci's Naughty Rabbits

Mash - 1 hour 30 mins starting at 60°C & rising to 67 after 20 mins.

5Kg of Maris Otter pale malt

200g of crystal malt

Boil - 1 hour 30 mins

300g of freshly picked Cacade hops 20 mins before the end

300g of freshly picked Cascade hops 10 mins efore the end

The wort was cooled with a wort chiller until around 14°C.   I'd been hydrating the US-05 yeast while the brew was on & added half a teaspoon of sugar later on to get it working - this was later added to the cooled wort.   A nylon bag with around 200g of more freshly picked Cascade hops were added too.

The OG was recorded at 1.055 & an FG of 1.012 which should give a beer of around 5.8% alcohol according to the Brewer's Friend calculator.

After 7 days the fermenting wort still had a good 5mm pellicle on, so I fished out the dry hops & left it a little longer.

Bottled after 10 days.

Verdict on bottling - quite a sweet malty taste still with a moderate amount of diacetyl buttery flavour.

Drying up nicely now & the diacetyl flavour has mostly gone.   There is a taste which can only be from the hops that is a little astringent & vegetal, but doesn't ruin the beer.   Much better than last year's fresh hop beer, but still one that won't be given out much.

This beer isn't going to improve any further now & I'm a little dissapointed with it.   Last year's beer made with these hops wasn't even drinkable.   There must be something of a struggle for the hops to grow so far north & in such poor soil - even after I've made a raised bed with plenty of composted horse manure & sand mixed with the very clay-like soil in the garden.   Ths is still a drinkable beer, but it's just not one I open with relish like Quorum Sensing or Photon Shower.

The hops have made decent beers in the years I lived in south Manchester (Green Hop Beer & Common or Garden), so maybe it's the terroir of Cockermouth.