A Recipe for Trying Hops


This recipe was named after the KISS principle: “Keep It Simple, Sillyhead”. I’ve used it to test out a variety of hops, most recently Medusa.

The recipe produces a nice, light-colored, low-alcohol beer that tastes delicious and gives you a good baseline for comparing hop flavors and aromas. This produces a 5 gallon batch, of approximately 1.040 gravity.

Malt Bill

9 Pounds Weyermann Pilsner

1 Pound Crystal 15

Hop Schedule

0.5 Ounce at 60 minutes

0.5 Ounce at 30 minutes

0.5 Ounce at 15 minutes

0.5 Ounce at 0 minutes

Ferment with your favorite neutral ale yeast.

Pilsner malt may seem like an odd choice, but I like the toasted bread flavor it contributes and slightly more body than plain 2-row. I also find the light crystal malt adds a hint of sweetness without contributing lots of color or strong caramel flavors.

By sticking with what may be considered an old-school hop schedule, I get to see the range of bitterness, flavor, and aroma the hops contribute. Also, by using a set weight of hops, you could brew multiple batches and see how differences in alpha acids affect the flavors and aromas in your beer.

Not Just for Hops

I have also used this recipe as a base for experimenting with different yeasts. I’m particularly fond of a batch made with all cascade hops and fermented with Kveik Hornindal at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to experiment with ingredients, find a good base recipe you can get familiar with, adapt it to your tastes, and then try stuff out. Learning can be both fun and delicious!


Brew Up An Adventure Podcast #2

Look Before You Leap!

What’s in the glass?

During a trip back to Wisconsin over Christmas, I was able to pick up “MexiCali Brew” from Zymurgy Brewing in Menomonie, WI.

What’s Brewing?

I discuss my thoughts about things to consider when you’re just getting in to the hobby of homebrewing. Most people just jump in and look for equipment they’re told they need, kind of like I did.

It is important that you think about what you want your homebrewing to be like. Not just the beer you make, but how it integrates into your life.

Some important considerations:

  • Space
  • Time
  • Budget

What’s Happening in Life?

As I record this episode, it’s New Year’s Eve of 2020. Most people are excited to get this year behind us, and it would be easy to jump on that bandwagon. Transitioning from 2020 to 2021 is a time when I want to focus on things in my life I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my wife, her patience, and support.

I am thankful for my kids and seeing them pursue their interests.

I am thankful we made the decision to live in the mountains. It hasn’t always been easy, and there are challenges. But I’m thankful we’ve been able to use this opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves.

Brew Up An Adventure Podcast

Episode 1 – Dare to Risk Being Bad

In this episode, I talk about the fact fear can hold you back from starting to homebrew. The important thing is to learn what you can, but then you just have to do it.

Things may not go to plan, but at least you’ll be doing it. Once you’re brewing, you’ll ask better questions when you need help, and you’ll actually figure a lot of stuff out on your own.