Monday, June 23, 2014

Naked: Chinook & Tasting Session

This is a ongoing "Naked:" hop experiment using Russian Rivers Row 2 Hill 56 base grain. 

When starting this Naked: series I knew it would be an awesome hop showcase (want to know why?  Start at the beginning) Simplicity is the key, as in anything Pale Ale related.  That what makes this experiment so exciting as a homebrewer.  Using this grain base has really elevated my brewing and I am only on the 4th batch of this experiment.  

Chinook started as my go to IPA hop back in the early 2000's.  It was cheap, available and tasty as a bittering or an aroma addition.  Using Chinook as a single hop in a Pale Ale or even a small IPA isn't a new idea to me (or most anyone else) I just haven't been able to pinpoint a recipe worth creating in my mind.  Thoughts of 100% Vienna or Maris Otter bounced back and forth until this recipe base was settled on.

The taste profile for Chinook is classically American.  Big grapefruit, sometimes pungent suggestions of mountain pine and resin (especially as a dry hop) with citrus and fragrant dried herb in the background.  This hop is classically American and has seen a resurgence with the influence of homebrewers turning into professional brewers over the last couple of years.  At one point it even became harder and harder to find.  This is along the same lines as Centennial.  Both these hops have a deep history tied in with the rise of Homebrewers becoming professionals.

Aroma: Sweet dried herbs, similar to dried flowers or potpourri.  A resinous pine character at the end.  

Appearance:  Pilsner like, amazing clarity.  The picture above doesn't do this clarity justice.  Brite white head with larger than normal carbonation bubbles.  A little on the over carbed side.  Which creates a nice cascading bubbling effect form the bottom of the glass. 

Flavor:  Very sweet, almost makes me thing of some DMS issue, then it drops off into a dank pine note.  Old piny, not a refined simcoe like pine.  Very clean finish (counting the piny notes) Somewhat gritty from the classical hops.  Maybe

Mouthfeel:  A little over carbonated, but with the increased head it gives the beer a glorious cascading effect which translates to a solid firm mouthfeel.  The added acidity from the carbonation pairs with the crispness of the hops. No off flavors, cleanly fermented.

Overall Impression:  Again, this base recipe really works in a whole lot of situations.  This beer is so easily drinkable it's hard to put down. 

Brewing Timeline/Notes:  This was brewed back in May as the 3rd in a series of beers focused on the Row 2 Hill 56 grain recipe from Russian River.

This beer amazes me again and again.  Starting with the Simcoe (Cloned Version) to the Azacca and now the Chinook, this base recipe can really support a single hopped beer.  I'm starting to think the key to this recipe is that its a highly hopped Pale Ale vs a IPA.  I think you have more forgiveness in a Pale Ale recipe (as long as the base grains are well thought out) with the hopping rates paired with the lower malt feel to the beer. 

Chinook is and always will be a flash back hop for me.  Something that stirs old homebrewing memories and is a catalyst for new ideas.  Young homebrewers might not relate to this hop as much as us older homebrewers but I love Chinook and even have the shirt to prove it. 

Naked: Chinook
American Pale Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 18 May 2014
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 38.0
Taste Notes:  Posted above
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs 4.8 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 60.8 %
3 lbs 14.4 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 32.5 %
12.8 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 3 6.7 %
0.60 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 4 27.4 IBUs
0.55 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 5 18.0 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6 -
1.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 7 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 8 -
1.20 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 9 -
2.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 10.0 Days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.052 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.052 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.4 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.2 %
Bitterness: 45.4 IBUs Calories: 173.0 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 5.3 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs
Sparge Water: 4.55 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 15.00 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 4.55 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation:  63 degrees for 4 days, then slowly ramped to 70 over the next 8 days.
Created with BeerSmith



  1. I really love this grain bill as well. Ever since I used it about a year ago, I have a hard time venturing too far from it for my pale ales. I emailed Vinnie a while back to ask for some pointers on his "Happy Hops" beer, that they serve on draft at the pub. It's also a pale, but states that it uses all Mosaic hops. I remember it having a really interesting blueberry note in the finish.

    Anyway, Vinnie said the beer is actually a blend of about 85% Mosaic and 15% Simcoe. He said you could do it with the same grain bill as R2H56 or do a 2-row + C40 sort of thing....I think I'll go with R2H56.

    I'll let you know if it's anything like the Happy Hops beer I had at the pub, because it's awesome!

    Maybe I just need to start my own blog and stop hounding everyone elses, although with three kids at home, I don't think it's likely!


    1. They served the Happy Hops at NHC in San Diego 2011. It was a fantastic beer, (although it was a highly drunk weekend) I plan on using this base for another 5-10 beers or until I run out of solid hops to use.

      Thanks for the comment.

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Thanks for Commenting, Prost!