Something I like more than hops? Hops I’ve never used before! These take the cake (thus far) with unique hops as that they are the only hops native to America.
Before I get into neomexicanus hops, let’s quickly address a hop known as Wild Manitoba BB1. This hop was found in Manitoba, Canada by a dude named W.A. Macoun in 1919. He sent a sample of hops he had picked in Morden, Manitoba to E.S. Salmon of the South East Agricultural College in Wye, Kent. The dudes at this college used that to cross breed with another English hop to create Brewers Gold. From there, a slew of other hops were created over the course of 100 years. From the research I could do, Wild Manitoba BB1 is the only native hop to North America (even though that hop by itself isn’t around)…until now.
The only other hop variety that is native to North America, and native to only America are neomexicanus hops. ALL other hops come from Europe, or have been cross bread in one way or another. Neomexicanus were found in 1991 in New Mexico by a bro named Todd Bates. CLS farms then got a hold of them and started to grow them in Yakima Valley, but not without early pitfalls. The neomexicanus hops didn’t grow very well going up wires and would get half way and just fall off. This was due to them not knowing how to grow going upwards as trees or tall plants in New Mexico aren’t really a thing. They also were not used to that much sun in the North West and would flower too soon and produce cones all summer. However, over time the little dudes learned to figure some of this out and have been growing better in their new region.
Along with the struggles of the move, these hops have crazy hop cones and are not as tightly compacted, so drying them out takes half the time. They look all frazzled like they just had a long night of drinking. The only current release of these hops are called Medusa, which is aptly named due to it’s multi-headed cone.
The “issue” I was going to have with these trying a single hop beer was they are very low in alpha acids. At 3.8%, I will need a lot to get the flavor impact I’m looking for, and I was concerned too much vegetal would get imparted as well. “But Jason, why don’t you just add a bittering addition, then use Medusa for the rest?” Because inner voice of reason, I wanted to try a full single hopped beer with it!
Video of the brew day:
Batch Size: .65 Gallons
Est ABV: 6.5%-ish
Boil Time: 60 Min
(100%) – 2-Row
70 Min @ 149F
.15 oz (16 IBUs) Medusa (3.8% AA) @ 60 Min
Hop Stand (200F-180F):
1.10 oz (46 IBUs) Medusa (3.8% AA) @ 30 Min
.75 oz Medusa (3.8% AA)
1/1/17: Added .75 oz dry hops.