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.
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.
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.
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.
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
|Batch Size||25 L (6.6 US gal)|
|Boil Time (min)||60|
|Colour||10.1 EBC (5.1 SRM)|
|Vienna Malt (Simpsons)||100||5||11.02||9||4|
|Variety||Amount||Type||Alpha Acid %||Use||Time|
|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|
|Mash In||66°C (150.8°F)||60|
|Mash Out||75°C (167°F)||10|
|Primary||18°C (64.4°F)||14 days|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.