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citra hops.

January 20, 2012

**this picture is from 2 summers ago, when I picked up a growler of East End Brewing’s Harvest Ale (wet hopped).  Only available during a short window, “wet” (read: fresh off the vine) hops add an incredible character.  Scott at East End consistently pumps out thoughtful and delicious beers.  He’s also an extremely friendly guy and cool operation.  If you’re in or visiting Pittsburgh, check him out.  Having been a growler and keg only operation, word is that he’ll start canning soon.  That’s great news for a dislocated Pittsburgher like myself.

I stumbled upon and promptly ordered some Citra Hops today.  I have heard nothing but good things about brewing with them, and have enjoyed a number of commercial beers featuring the newish, unique hop.  Sierra Nevada Torpedo is probably the most readily available.  Kern River’s Citra DIPA is one of the most sought after Double IPA’s I’m aware of.  I pick up a lot of orange essence from Torpedo, but its often described as having notes of papaya, mango and citrus.  

I love me some DIPA, but most of the beer that I brew is consumed by friends and family, most of whom aren’t accustomed to a beer that big, or a hop bomb.

I had an idea to do a very simple, but hop-forward American Pale Ale made with loads of Citra and Amarillo hops.  I’m keeping the malt bill very basic (~90% pilsen), body and color light, bitterness on the low end.  I’m thinking sessionable, but with a huge focal point on the citra hops, with some amarillo (similar but different notes) sprinkled in.  

I will probably brew this in early February, for consumption in Mid-March.  If it works out in such a way, I’m likely to tweak and brew again for spring and/or summer.

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