To kick off Charlotte Craft Beer Week I wanted to share with you an experience with one of my favorite North Carolina Craft Beers, Foothills Hoppyum IPA!
Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy a good IPA. The funny thing is, there are many, many flavors and characteristics in each and every IPA. Some of them are relatively light in color and others can be deep amber. I’ve seen them crystal clear all to way to a beautiful unfiltered hazy and cloudy appearance and anywhere from a biscuit bready malt flavor, what non-hop heads call “balanced”, down to virtually no malt flavors at all…all hops. Now, all IPAs are hoppy. Loaded with Hops. IPAs can have hops that are piney, earthy, floral, fruit, and downright bitter! My favorite hops are the ones that come through in aroma and flavor on the citrus side. Specifically, grapefruit. Step in Hoppyum. It is relatively easy to find in the North Carolina area. I hope you are lucky enough to find a pint in your home town. I like Hoppyum so much that I decided to give it a shot as the first Homebrew beer that I ever formulated from scratch. Let’s see how this turns out.
I created this recipe first off by using the stats on the Foothills Brewing website and from talking with a craft brewer. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the actual hop schedule and grain ratios directly from Foothills. The website stats for Hoppyum are 6.2% ABV (Alcohol), 70 IBU (Bitterness), and 8 SRM (Color). I also found an older interview online where the head brewer at foothills mentioned the grains used in the recipe, confirming my conversation. Using the Beer Alchemy Homebrewing program I was able to play around with the ingredients to get as close as possible to the stats on the website. Here is the final recipe that I wound up brewing. This is for a 5 Gallon batch of beer:
11lb of US 2-Row Malt
1lb of US Caramel 20L Malt
8oz of US Caramel 40L Malt
Mashed at 153 for 60 minutes
1.27oz Simcoe Hops (60 Min)
0.75oz Cascade Hops (30 Min)
1.00oz Centennial Hops (5 Min)
0.73oz US Simcoe Hops (Dry Hop)
0.50oz Centennial Hops (Dry Hop)
0.50oz Cascade Hops (Dry Hop)
White Labs Yeast WLP001-California Ale
After everything was said and done I came extremely close to the site stats for Hoppyum. My recipe finished off at 6.3% ABV, 70 IBU, and 7.9 SRM. The side by side comparison of my beer vs the actual Hoppyum was extremely encouraging to me as this was the first recipe that I formulated completely from scratch. The training wheels were off on this one! The color of the real Hoppyum vs Homebrewing was dead on. The pictures in this post feature my Homebrew on the left and Hoppyum on the right. The Homebrew had a slightly stronger aroma of hops, but that could be due to freshness vs sitting on a shelf in a bottle for some time. Taste was almost identical as well. Homebrew was slightly more ‘flavorful’, but again could be due to freshness. Overall, I am happy with this recipe and I’ll definitely be brewing it again.
If you haven’t tried Hoppyum and you like a good IPA, give it a go. If you’ve never seen it in your local market and have the tools to brew, give this recipe a try. If you are a Hoppyum-head and like to brew too, I’d love to hear your feedback if you ever give this recipe a chance to sit in your fridge.