Monday, September 22, 2014

Naked: Columbus & Tasting Session

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

Columbus was the first modern hop downfall.  Columbus, being such a high alpha hop, was grown to excess though the late 2000's. Creating thousands of pounds siting outside the palletizing factories.  Farmers, unwilling to spend more money on palletizing this hop and enter it into a flooded market, sat in inventory for years.  Due to this oversaturation, Columbus had a low price point.  Almost to low to sustain.  Causing farmers to change over to different, more profitable varieties.  Homebrewers who knew a good deal picked this hop up by the pounds.  By then, the damage was done.  Homebrewers didn't want to spend much over the faux low price point on this hop they became accustomed to.  It also gave the hop a bad name to some newer homebrewers. Who looked at Columbus as a low cost, subpar hop.  The reality is, Columbus is a beautiful hop, very closely profile wise to Chinook and Galena (In my experience) which is why I chose to include Columbus into this hop experiment.

The parameters are the same.  The grains would stay the same as the Russian River, Row 2 Hill 56 Pale ale recipe.  The IBU's would be adjusted to stay the same as the original recipe.  The dry hopping would stay at 2 ounces.  The brew day was uneventful.  All the numbers hit spot on.

Aroma: Mr. Clean-ish, showing a little pine chemical nose to it.  Maybe even closer to Pinesol.  Big hints of a resinous dank character, only a big classic American hop can provide.

Appearance:  Amazing clarity.  (No finings)  The most brilliant golden sunshine yellow liquid makes this appear quaffable.  Carbonation bubbles were still running up the side of the glass as I wrote this. The head as the smallest bubbles I've seen using this base recipe.  Solid white head at about half an inch when poured correctly.  The head tends to linger for the duration of the tasting.  Which, appearance wise is awesome. 

Flavor:  This might be as good as the original recipe.  The Columbus hops stand out perfectly with the amount of body this beer gives.  These are not Simcoe, but they create a tasty array of pine, citrus and dank profiles.  The bitterness is spot on, previous recipes created a wee high bitterness for the style.  Although this corrected IBU matches perfectly to the original batch.  Absolutely clean finish, no off flavors or fermentation issues. 

Mouthfeel:  The amount of body paired against the hops is well balanced for the style.  Perfect carbonation.

Overall Impression:  This beer is so drinkable it's hard to put down. This might be better than the Chinook version, which I loved and was the previous front runner.  This once again shows the base grain for this recipe is outstanding.  Able to hold up to most hops. 

Brewing Timeline/Notes:  This was the first time I used leaf hops during this test.  Which might explain the lower bittering notes.  But the IBU's was adjusted for that.  So it could just be the hops. 

Naked: Columbus
American Pale Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 06 Jul 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): 40.0
Taste Notes:
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 %
0.50 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 4 24.7 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 5 17.8 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6 -
1.00 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - 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 Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Dry Hop 10.0 Days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.052 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.053 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.9 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.6 %
Bitterness: 42.5 IBUs Calories: 175.5 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 169.4 F 157.0 F 60 min

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: Started at 64° for 4 days, then slowly rising to 72° over the next 5 days



  1. Im loving this series, keep it up.

    1. Ed, the reality is the Columbus, Chinook and Simcoe all tasted really close. Because of this I really couldn't get into more detail about the differences (as they are not side by side) which I wish I could of. As for the next couple, I have El Dorado going now, along with Nelson. After that, Apollo, Citra, Bravo, Summit are planned.

  2. Are you using Caramalt or Crystal malt for your specialty grain? Or is it just a toasted Crystal?


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!