Juicy and hazy NEIPA
With the haze craze in full swing, it's easy to get excited about featuring different hops in new ways. I acquired a pound of Medusa hops late last summer and had been planning on brewing some kind of SMASH beer with them, but after making a few different NEIPAs I decided to go that route.
The grain bill for this beer and hopping schedule are similar to a clone recipe from a popular brewery in Greeley, CO, so creating the recipe was a matter of adapting the hop quantities for the relatively low alpha acid Medusa hop (3.5% AAU).
Medusa NEIPA - 5 Gallons
10 lbs Standard 2-Row (Rahr)
3 lbs 2-Row Pale Ale (Rahr)
1 lb Carafoam (Weyermann)
1 lb Flaked Oats
1 lb Flaked Wheat
0.5 oz CTZ @ Boil
1.8 oz Medusa Whirlpool 40 minutes
4.05 oz Medusa Whirlpool 30 minutes
5.40 oz Medusa Whirlpool 20 minutes
1.95 oz Medusa Dry Hop 8 days (when SG reaches approximately 1.020)
3.0 oz Medusa Dry Hop 4 days
Danstar London ESB
Adjusted Englewood, CO water with 4 grams each Gypsum & Calcium Chloride
Single Infusion Mash 45 minutes @ 150F, Mash Out 15 Minutes @168F, 60-minute boil, 60 minute whirlpool/hop stand
Fermented 14 days @ 68F, kegged & burst carbonated
Aroma: Fruity notes including guava, papaya, and other tropical fruits. Hint of spice and with a strong citrus background. Some malt sweetness but mostly hops. Slight fruity esters possibly from yeast.
Appearance: Golden orange color with significant haze. Off-white head with lingering foam stand and significant lacing in the glass.
Flavor: Strong malt flavor with bitterness to match, balanced more towards hops. Very juicy, with a slightly bitter finish. As strong a beer as this is it does not have any kind of boozy flavor. The tropical fruit notes from the aroma carry through to the middle of the palate and the beer finishes somewhat like citrus fruit juice.
Mouthfeel: Big body short of being creamy. Medium carbonation with pleasant fizz on the tongue cuts some of the bitterness. No astringency or alcohol warmth noted. No slickness detected which was a concern given the short turnaround on such a high starting gravity.
Overall Impression: This is a really interesting beer because it neither has a warming alcohol affect or the intense bitterness of a west-coast style IPA. The aroma, body, mouthfeel, and flavor combine to create a fun drinking experience. The slight hint of wild spice or floral tones from the Medusa hops is really unique and it's something I would definitely do again.
A quick note on volumes: because of the silly amount of dry hops i only ended up with about 3.5 gallons into the keg. This is probably something I'll revisit in the future as it was a lot of work for a small volume of beer!