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Third wheeling with DIPA #3 - Beerfarm

Third wheeling with DIPA #3

They say three is the magic number, so we recently conjured up a third beer release under The Hop Experiment because, well...why the hell not!? Plus, there were still some hop combinations we were yet to wrap our lips around, so we went all in.

Continuing the legacy of East and West Coast styles for this final edition of Double IPA's, we got our hands dirty with more experimental hops, big flavours and bold ABV's, so hold on to your hat because these two brews are coming in hot.

Our West Coast DIPA is choccas with Waimea, Sultana and Cluster hops with big, dank and resinous pine notes while our East Coast DIPA was brewed with experimental hop HBC586 and Trident for them troppo berry notes.

We chatted with our Brewer and Quality Control hotshot Charlotte Freeston, who talks all things The Hop Experiment and brewing beers that are a little left field.

What sets DIPA #3 apart from the previous two releases, in terms of style, flavours, hops used, etc?

With this project we really wanted to explore the unique flavours and aromas from different hops, so for each beer that was the main thing we changed. This meant that each experiment we would get a sense of each different hop combination and it's been a real point of discussion here at the farm!

We know brewers try not to have favourites...but do you have any?

Across the series we've all had our favourites. Mine was East Coast DIPA #1, whereas Kalle really holds a torch for the latest West Coast DIPA #3. Of course East and West Coast IPA's are very different styles, so we explored hop combinations that we thought were typical of each style, like juicy or resinous, while exploring less typical combinations.

What kind of hops did you incorporate for this release?

For this third release, we used HBC586 and Trident for our East Coast DIPA. With Trident being a blend, we only chose one hop to pair with it, and experimental variety HBC586 sounded perfect to pair with the tropical citrus notes of Trident. For the West Coast, we went for Sultana, Waimea, and Cluster.

Sultana was once a popular experimental hop X06277 and now has a name, and looks like she's sticking around for good! Big pineapple really interested us here, along with citrus and pine which we thought Waimea would really complement with some resinous Cluster.

Tell us a bit about the use of experimental hop HBC586. What's the deal with brewing with experimental hops, compared to regular hops?

Experimental hope are just hops that are still making their way through the hop breeding program. Most hops were experimental at some point, and hop breeders create new cultivars by choosing two hops to cross-pollinate and try to blend their best qualities.

What's the hop breeding process like?

This process takes a long time and is not always successful, it takes years to take a hop from pollination to plot and even then they sometimes don't succeed commercially. They need to prove to be resistant to mildews and pests, have desirable alpha acid and oil content and produce a good yield at the right time of year. Each experimental variety starts as many offspring made from variations of parent combination, to have one sibling chosen and grown in test plot.

How long are we talking, here?

From cross pollination to test plot can take over a decade, and a lot of rigorous testing is done in this period. Then the experimental hop would be available for commercial trials and eventually, get a name once the variety is deemed successful enough and ready for marketing and trademarking.

Some hops never make it to market, or some are bred for high alpha acid content but through testing, are found to possess good aroma and flavour qualities and become popular for making big juicy beers. We always enjoy using something experimental and getting to try something new!

What was Beerfarm's mission with The Hop Experiment and from a brewers perspective, do you feel like this was achieved?

We just wanted to have some fun! We were looking towards the cooler season and thought nothing better than a few DIPA's to see us through! We also enjoyed discussing our favourite hops and combinations, and interesting ways to approach each style. We got to use hops we wouldn't normally use, as well as crack out some old favourites.

Some of us discovered some new go-to varieties and some of us were won over by hops we weren't sure about. It was great sharing opinions and trying things out together, and we definitely had some fun. Even more once the beer was packaged.

Which beer from the entire experiment would you most recommend to punters to try out, and why?

I would get all six, and make a flight!

What experimental beer style would you like to get creative with next? Oooh!

Big question! I guess more than a style I'm looking towards yeast for our next few projects, and experimenting with co-pitching and using non typical brewing yeasts. Watch this space...

Find our East and West Coast DIPA #3's at all good bottle shops around WA and NSW and if you're not in any of those locations, hit up our online store for Australia wide delivery. Cheers!

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