Every month, our good friend Patrick McHale, beertender at Hoptron and owner of Back Alley Brew Shop located just behind us, will give us home-brew recipe for the style of the month.
This month, IPAs and as we focused previously on hop styles from the other side of the world, Patrick goes into a bit more depth regarding New Zealand hops in particular - and, of course, you can purchase these hops and many more from Back Alley. Take it away, Patrick!
RECIPE OF THE MONTH: IPA FEATURING NEW ZEALAND HOPS
What makes a New Zealand IPA different from an American IPA or an English Style IPA? While they may contain slightly different yeast strains or malts the main and defining difference can be attributed to their locally grown hops. New Zealand offers an ideal climate for hop production. Hops require moderate temperatures and plenty of rain and sunshine to thrive. In the Northern Hemisphere, you can find these conditions in areas such as the Yakima and Willamette Valleys in the Pacific Northwest, Germany, Southern England and even our home state New York, which are all about halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. New Zealand offers that same ideal environment only in the Southern Hemisphere.
German and English settlers making their way to New Zealand in the 1800's brought with them the traditional and "Noble" hop varieties popular back in their home land. Several years later, the introduction of an American hop, "Late Cluster", was found to give better production and higher yields and soon became one of the popular strains in the region.
The reign of the "Late Cluster" hop would be short lived as many of the crops fell victim to a root rotting disease called "Phytophthora". This gave rise to a demand for more resistant breeds and led to years of research and development in hop breeding. By mixing the preferred Cluster hops with the more resistant traditional and noble hops, breeders were able to create new strains of hops that maintained the high alpha acid content (responsible for contributing bitterness to beer) of Cluster with the desirable aroma qualities of the noble hops like Saaz. The combination of cross-breeding and the desirable climate gave birth to a new family of hops with high alpha acids and tropical-citrus tones, perfect for a unique IPA.
Here is a home brew recipe for a 5 gallon batch containing two of New Zealands more popular hops, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. Nelson Sauvin is a dual use hop with fairly high alpha acid ranging 12-13% and has been said to contribute an almost "white wine" fruitiness to the flavor and aroma of a beer. Motueka is used more for it's aroma which first gives the impression of lemon and lime and then fades to other sweeter tropical fruits. Using the two together creates a delicate pleasantness, a welcome change from the intensity of traditional American IPA notes of Pine and Grapefruit.
Steep your crystal malt in 3 gallons of water at 155 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove grains and bring to a boil. Add your malt extract and boil for one hour adding hops according to the hop schedule. Chill wort, transfer to sanitized carboy and top up with enough water to bring total to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast and let ferment for two weeks. Prime and transfer to sanitized bottles and allow to condition for another 2 weeks.