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Brewing Columbus Pale Ale – Columbus Bright

There are some things I deliberately do to improve my brewing. One of them is to occasionally brew a beer using only one type of hops to have a better idea of the flavor profile it can offer. This time it had to be Columbus, also known as Tomahawk.

As a dual-purpose hop, it contains alpha acids on the higher side at around 14.0 – 16.0%. When used for the flavor it’s supposed to give Earthy/Spicy notes. I’ve also read it can produce dank marijuana aroma, I guess that can be considered Earthy/Herbal.

For the base, I’ve used a 80/20 mix of Pilsner and Munich malts. I’m going for an APA style beer and without Munich, it would be a bit too light. Fermenting with Safale S-US5 for a cleaner yeast profile.

Recipe

Columbus Bright

American-Style Pale Ale
  • Volume 23 l
  • OG 1.046
  • FG 1.009
  • IBU 51
  • ABV 4.86 %
Fermentables
  • 1 kg
    Barke Munich Malt
    Germany Weyermann
    20.0 % GP 9
  • 4 kg
    Barke Pilsner Malt
    Germany Weyermann
    80.0 % GP 37
Hops
  • 15 g
    Columbus | First Wort 60min
    US
    Pellet AA 14.5 % IBU 23
  • 15 g
    Columbus | Boil 30min
    US
    Pellet AA 14.5 % IBU 17
  • 20 g
    Columbus | Boil 10min
    US
    Pellet AA 14.5 % IBU 11
  • 50 g
    Columbus | Dry Hop 5d
    US
    Pellet AA 14.5 % IBU 0
Yeast
  • 1 pkg
    US-05 SafAle
    Fermentis / SafAle
    Attenuation 81.0 %

Process

Measuring out the malt bill
Malts ready for milling
Measuring out hop portions
Early mashing
Cooling in progress. With the current tap water temperature I get to around 21C, then It’s transferred to the chronical fermenter and cooled further
Re-hydrating the Safale US-05 dry yeast
Transferred some cold break too, if I’m not going to harvest the yeast I’m not really bothered about it
Yeast pitch temperature
Note to myself: always use a filter when transferring dry-hopped beer to kegs. The flow stopped a few times because of dry hop particles traveling through. Next time I’ll add the bouncer filter in the middle.
Cleaning after dry-hopped fermentation. This time it wasn’t too bad and I got away with flushing with water and detergent. When it gets really bad I just hook up the CIP and run through a warm sodium percarbonate solution followed by an acid wash. Ends up sparkling clean
Final Gravity reading 1.009 @ 24C, after temperature correction it’s at 1.010 as expected.

Taste and aroma reminding of pineapple,

Results

Tasting notes:

Appearance

Hazy golden, moderate haze, normal carbonation.

Nose

A bit of spicy coriander notes blending with slight hint of orange peel.

Taste

Earthy pine notes, also citrus. Very slight maltiness.

Mouthfeel

Moderately light and crisp. Starts citrusy with sweet malt notes and finishes bitter. Balances more on the bitter side.

Summary

Pretty drinkable, not too crazy with hop aroma/taste but also not bland and neutral. Columbus hops have their specific properties that might not be to everyone’s liking, but in moderate amounts, it results in a pleasant balanced overall taste.

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