ONE HOP, ONE malt BILL: Vienna and Mandarina Bavaria SMaSH

Sometimes I get a craving for a no frills, no questions asked, no fuss beer and this was one of those occasions. I also happened to be desperately low in provisions of anything under 10% ABV and needed a prompt remedy in the form of a slightly more temperate beverage. Especially having discovered I drink at a very consistent rate irrespective of strength, which as it transpires is far too fast for strong beers.

If Tom Berenger had been a hop in the 1993 classic “Sniper”.

Is Tom Berenger a bitter, green, female, cone shaped fruit and did he foreshadow the rise of SMaSH beer in his 90’s action classic “Sniper”? Who can say. I do know that the famous “one shot, one kill” line inspired my own one hop, one malt bill series (OHOmB), which will feature some most excellent SMaSH beers.

About as simple as it gets. Vienna malt, Mandarina Bavaria hops and S-04 yeast.

There were a few tell-tale signs that I was destined to brew this beer eventually: I love Vienna malt and use it all the time. I love Mandarina Bavaria hops and use them all the time. I’m ambivalent about S-04 but had some in the fridge. The rest is history.

No skimping on the hops in this pack!

It occurred to me that I’d always used Vienna when I wanted some turbo pale malt and probably never more that 25% of the malt bill. Likewise, Mandarina Bavaria has been my go-to hop for any sort of Weizen style beer for a fair while now but only to add a smidge of aroma. I thought I’d change that here.

If you want something done right you’ve got to…..wait this came pre-milled?

I went with roughly the same amount of mandarina bavaria split between a 30 min hop stand and a 4 day dry hop because symmetry has never let me down. I also added a smattering at the start of the boil for superstitions sake. More often than not these days I try to dry hop as close to bottling as I can or dare, while still avoiding packaging too much hop material. Normally taking the hop bag out 2-3 days before I bottle to let things simmer down a bit.

Vienna and Mandarina Bavaria SMaSH

Recipe Details

Batch Size 25 L   (6.6 US gal)
Boil Time (min) 60
IBU 35-45
Colour 10.1 EBC  (5.1 SRM)
Est. OG 1.052
Est. FG 1.011
ABV 5.3%
Mash Efficiency 97%

Fermentables

Name % Amount Colour
kg lbs EBC °L
Vienna Malt (Simpsons) 100 5 11.02 9 4
Total 5 11.02

Hops

Variety Amount Type Alpha Acid % Use Time
g oz
Mandarina Bavaria 10 0.4 Leaf 9.3 Boil 60 min
Mandarina Bavaria 90 3.2 Leaf 9.3 Hop Stand 30 min
Mandarina Bavaria 100 3.5 Leaf 9.3 Dry Hop 4 days

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation
Safale S-04 Fermentis 75%

Mash

Step Temperature Time (min)
Mash In 66°C   (150.8°F) 60
Mash Out 75°C   (167°F) 10

Fermentation

Step Temperature Duration
Primary 18°C   (64.4°F) 14 days

Notes

Finished at FG 1.013 which puts it at around 5% ABV.
Dry hopped on day 8 for 4 days. Allowing enough time for hop material to settle over 2-3 days before bottling.


Tasting

Appearance

Brilliant amber copper colour. Clarity is good, no hop material and just a touch of yeast haze. Fairly thick white head with a nice mix of bubble sizes. Lacing is good.

Aroma

Much more balanced than I was expecting, thought it would be dominated by the hops. A hint of toasty malt, a bit of fruitiness and some nice earthy citrus hop notes.

Flavour

Bitterness was a touch on the high side at first but mellowed nicely over the weeks I’ve been tasting it. Some might say the hop flavour is a little subdued considering the amount of hops used but I’d argue that Mandarina Bavaria is just a really nicely balanced hop. It doesn’t dominate the profile but it’s definitely a hoppy beer. There’s some sweet orange citrus and marmalade in amongst spicy, woody flavours. I also liked the mild fruitiness from the yeast and while it’s certainly not clean, it’s doesn’t have as much character as a heavyweight like WLP002. Buy hey it’s dried yeast. Nice malt backbone with a bit of nuttiness and just a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel & Finish

Moderate carbonation (I was aiming for about 2.0 volumes CO2). Medium body and quite smooth with a dry finish. Aftertaste is quite long, mainly mellow hop flavour with some bitterness.

Overall Impression

Very drinkable, great to look at, surprisingly well rounded for a SMaSH – really pleased with this one. Vienna malt provided a lovely toasty base to build on and I want to try using it again at 100% with a few different hops. Mandarina Bavaria complemented this beer nicely and while I think it’s an excellent hop, don’t expect huge new world type flavour from it.

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