Smoked Serebrianka American Bitter

As most of you are aware, this year brought us a few new hop varieties. One of these has been kind of brought back from the dead for our brewing pleasure. I’m talking about the Serebrianka hop (literally means “silvery one”) which originally came from Russia a while back and is one of the parents of Cascade. As far as I know it hasn’t really been used much due to difficulty of cultivation, but some growers must have come through last year and for that I am grateful to them. Thanks to the folks at Brooklyn Homebrew, who carry it, it was no problem getting a couple ounces to try it out.

Smoked Serebrianka American Bitter

Date Brewed: 11 Apr 2012

Date Ready: 5 May 2012

Wort Volume Before Boil: 6.20 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 5.1 US gals
Volume Of Finished Beer: 4.8 US gals
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.034 SG
OG: 1.041 SG
FG: 1.011 SG
ABV: 3.9 %
IBU: 30.3 IBU
Mash Efficiency: 79.8 %
Fermentation Temp: 64 degF

Fermentables

Valley 2-Row Malt 5.13 lb

Valley Cherry Smoked Malt 1.88 lb

Valley Chocolate Malt 0.13 lb

Hops

US Calypso – 0.50 oz – Loose Pellet Hops – 60 Min From End

Serebrianka – 1.00 oz – Loose Whole Hops – 10 Min From End

Serebrianka – 1.00 oz – Loose Whole Hops – 1 Min From End

Yeast

DCL US-05 (formerly US-56) SafAle

Water Profile

Total Calcium (ppm): 21

Total Sodium (ppm): 21
Total Chloride(ppm): 32
Total Bicarbonate (ppm): 32

Mash Schedule

Single Step Infusion (66C/151F) w/Mash Out

Packaging Notes
Wow! Very smoky at kegging!

Appearance: Bright golden-copper and crystal clear. The head that quickly recedes, but remains as a thick ring around the beer.

Aroma: Smooth but firm smoke. Metallic. Sweet malt. Earthy, gently herbal and woody hops. Smells like a light session beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light. Medium-low carbonation.

Taste: Gentle earthy and herbal hops upfront, followed by malt and a smoke. Just a hint of metal. Soft bitterness in the end, which persists throughout the medium and malty finish. Medium-low carbonation helps bring out more maltiness.

*NOTE: For some reason I perceive smoked beers as somewhat metallic or minerally with some smokiness. Even the smokiest commercial examples that my friends don’t want to touch taste metallic with just a hint of smoke to me. I enjoy it though and find it quite refreshing. This has probably something to do with genetics because there are other things I perceive differently from most of the other people too.

Overall: Seems like a pretty solid session beer which you can drink several pints of and still enjoy some good flavors. Not much in terms of big flavors and complexity, but what can you expect anyway from such a little guy. Overall I’m quite happy with it.

 *************************

Now the main reason for brewing this was to test out the Serebrianka hop. I must say I really like it. To me it seems like something between EKG and Fuggle, leaning toward Fuggle. It’s earthy, woody, spicy and slightly herbal, but also has that delicate quality with perhaps a hint of citrus. Hopefully I’ll run out of hops by the end of the summer (going to have to brew a ton of IPAs to do that) and then will gladly purchase a pound of this herb. Try it out if you get the chance, guys!

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