Thoughts on NZ pale ale

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rmr9

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I’m thinking of brewing a pale ale using all NZ hops for something just slightly different. I’m thinking to keep the grain bill simple like 95% pale, 5% of a medium crystal and ferment with something like imperial flagship

The hops are the real question mark for me. I’ve never used NZ hops before so I’m really not familiar with the different varieties. I was thinking something like half oz pacific jade at 60, .25 oz pacific jade at 30, 1oz taiheke at 15, 1oz taiheke at 0 and 1oz taiheke for dry hop. Does this sound like a decent plan? I keep reading about the “peppery” quality of pacific jade so I’m a bit worried it’ll come out as a pepper bomb. Any thoughts from people who’ve done something similar?
 
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rmr9

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I guess I’m also debating the base malt…barke pilsner vs. golden promise vs. domestic 2 row
 
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rmr9

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I haven’t had a chance to brew this yet, I’m hoping I’ll have a chance in early June. I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with the above hopping schedule but maybe add an extra oz of taiheke at 30 and ditch the 0.25oz of pacific jade at 30. Fairly certain I’ll go 11lbs golden promise and maybe half pound crystal 40.
 

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I just made a NZ Pils a few days ago with the following. It isn't done fermenting, but the brewery smelled super dank and piney. I'm looking forward to it.

Green Bullet
Southern Cross
Pacifica
Nelson Sauvin
 

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Many recipes of New Zealand beers (not just beers with NZ hops, but beers actually brewed by crafters in New Zealand) I've found when doing a similar search included sizeable additions of wheat, malted or torrefied, often at 30 to 40% of the grist. I tried that and didnt regret, I found the wheat complemented NZ hops (Nelson Sauvign particularly) just perfectly.
 
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rmr9

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Many recipes of New Zealand beers (not just beers with NZ hops, but beers actually brewed by crafters in New Zealand) I've found when doing a similar search included sizeable additions of wheat, malted or torrefied, often at 30 to 40% of the grist. I tried that and didnt regret, I found the wheat complemented NZ hops (Nelson Sauvign particularly) just perfectly.
That’s very interesting, maybe I’ll swap a pound of golden promise for some wheat malt. I bet it helps head retention quite a bit as well.

Does anyone have any thoughts on water profiles? I’ve read about people using soft water profiles for NZ Pils but I was thinking of edging towards a pale ale profile.
 

ntempleton

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Many recipes of New Zealand beers (not just beers with NZ hops, but beers actually brewed by crafters in New Zealand) I've found when doing a similar search included sizeable additions of wheat, malted or torrefied, often at 30 to 40% of the grist. I tried that and didnt regret, I found the wheat complemented NZ hops (Nelson Sauvign particularly) just perfectly.
I found the same in my research. The NZ Pils I mentioned has 4% wheat.
 

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As far as I remember, Gordon Strong in his articles on New Zealand craft brews says that the water in NZ is rather soft and that they prefer to add CaCl rather than CaSO4 to it. So, I followed his suggestion. Can't complain I did.

I think they in New Zealand have created a style very similar to the modern Australian "Summer" of "Pacific" Ales (not the traditional Australian Sparkling Ale, which is more in line with a usual English Bitter): a lot of wheat, soft water, dry-hopping, fruity New-World-hops, firm (but not high) hoppiness, medium strength. I wonder why the style is not in the BJCP yet. I've read a lot about those "Pacific" ales on Australian forums, where the style seems to have a solid following. So, I brewed already five or six batches along those lines to find a better use to my Galaxies and Nelsons than in NEIPAs (which I did't care for) and I'm very happy with what I got. It's definitely a distinct style, perfect for summer, not too far away from American Wheat Beers or "English Summer/Golden Beers".
 
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ntempleton

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As far as I remember, Gordon Strong in his articles on New Zealand craft brews says that the water in NZ is rather soft and that they prefer to add CaCl rather than CaSO4 to it. So, I followed his suggestion. Can't complain I did.

I think they in New Zealand have created a style very similar to the modern Australian "Summer" of "Pacific" Ales (not the traditional Australian Sparkling Ale, which is more in line with a usual English Bitter): a lot of wheat, soft water, dry-hopping, fruity New-World-hops, firm (but not high) hoppiness, medium strength. I wonder why the style is not in the BJCP yet. I've read a lot about those "Pacific" ales on Australian forums, where the style seems to have a solid following. So, I brewed already five or six batches along those lines to find a better use to my Galaxies and Nelsons than in NEIPAs (which I did't care for) and I'm very happy with what I got. It's definitely a distinct style, perfect for summer, not too far away from American Wheat Beers or "English Summer/Golden Beers".
Sounds like you have a far amount of work into this. Do you mind sharing the recipe?
 

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I doubt I could present in a readable form all my handwritten and copy-pasted notes from the Australian forums, but I can share some links to discussions which helped me to make my idea on the style:

My final recipe, built on those discussions (and brewed already 3 times) was like the following (my brewing volume is non-standard, so I better provide percents and IBUs rather than weights):

PACIFIC SUMMER ALE
OG=1.048
FG=1.012
ABV=4.7%
IBU=22
------------------------------
Simpsons Golden Promise - 60%
Simpsons Premiun English Caramalt - 2%
Crisp Torrefied Wheat - 38%
------------------------------
Mash 90' @66°C
Boil 90'
------------------------------
Galaxy (α12.4) - 11 IBU @25'
Galaxy (α12.4) - 7 IBU @10'
Galaxy (α12.4) - 1.5 as much as the 2nd addition @0'
Galaxy (α12.4) - twice as much as the 1st addition; Dry Hop for the last 4 Days in Primary
------------------------------
Lalbrew Windsor
------------------------------
Primary @18°C
------------------------------
Carbonation 2.4v
==================

And then there is a very good article by G. Strong on New Zealand Lagers: New Zealand Pilsner: Style Profile - Brew Your Own
 

ntempleton

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I doubt I could present in a readable form all my handwritten and copy-pasted notes from the Australian forums, but I can share some links to discussions which helped me to make my idea on the style:

My final recipe, built on those discussions (and brewed already 3 times) was like the following (my brewing volume is non-standard, so I better provide percents and IBUs rather than weights):

PACIFIC SUMMER ALE
OG=1.048
FG=1.012
ABV=4.7%
IBU=22
------------------------------
Simpsons Golden Promise - 60%
Simpsons Premiun English Caramalt - 2%
Crisp Torrefied Wheat - 38%
------------------------------
Mash 90' @66°C
Boil 90'
------------------------------
Galaxy (α12.4) - 11 IBU @25'
Galaxy (α12.4) - 7 IBU @10'
Galaxy (α12.4) - 1.5 as much as the 2nd addition @0'
Galaxy (α12.4) - twice as much as the 1st addition; Dry Hop for the last 4 Days in Primary
------------------------------
Lalbrew Windsor
------------------------------
Primary @18°C
------------------------------
Carbonation 2.4v
==================

And then there is a very good article by G. Strong on New Zealand Lagers: New Zealand Pilsner: Style Profile - Brew Your Own
Thank you. I wish everyone gave recipes in %,α,ibu and metric units.
 

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...and, to not to stray too far from the New Zealand subject of this thread, my 2 very similar recipes made with NZ hops, an Ale and a Lager:

NELSON WHEAT
OG=1.053
FG=1.008
ABV=5.4%
IBU=29
------------------------------
Simpsons Maris Otter - 60%
Château Wheat Malt - 20%
Crisp Torrefied Wheat - 20%
------------------------------
Mash 30' @50°C
Mash 90' @64°C
Boil 60'
------------------------------
Nelson Sauvin (α10.3) - 13 IBU @60'
Nelson Sauvin (α10.3) - 15 IBU @10'
Nelson Sauvin (α10.3) - same weight as the 2nd addition @0'
Nelson Sauvin (α10.3) - same weight as the 2nd addition; Dry Hop for 7 Days in Primary
------------------------------
WLP644 Trois
------------------------------
Primary @20°C
------------------------------
Carbonation 2.5v
==================


NEW ZEALAND PILSNER
OG=1.050
FG=1.009
ABV=5%
IBU=35
------------------------------
Crisp Lager Malt - 82.5%
Ireks Karamell Ahorn (=Crystal 10°L) - 8.25%
Crisp Wheat Malt - 8.25%
Weyermann Acidulated - 1%
------------------------------
Mash 60' @65°C
Boil 75'
------------------------------
Nelson Sauvin (α10.3) - 24 IBU @First Wort
Nelson Sauvin (α10.3) - same weight as the 1st addition @10'
Nelson Sauvin (α10.3) - same weight as the 1st addition @5'
------------------------------
Saflager S-189
------------------------------
Primary @14°C - 14 Days
Lagering @2C° - 5 Weeks
------------------------------
Carbonation 2.2v
==================
 
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So a pale ale water profile favoring hippiness with about 40ibus might be a bit much?
 

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I wonder what a New Zealander would say. Perhaps there's an array of opinions on that, as is everywhere.
But searching for New Zealand in Brewer's Friend Water Profiles, we'll see they mostly have very soft water there.
If I had such water from my tap, I wouldn't treat it at all.
It's possible that many of them don't treat their water either.
 
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Those are good points. I guess I have a few things to mull over over the next couple weeks!
 

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Well, why not brew just a NZ-hopped American Ale if you want something really crisp and hoppy?
For sure, you don't have to brew it exactly as they do in NZ. Of course, if you are not after the absolutely authentic recreation of the local tradition.
I think the general rules of handling New Zealand hops in beers are exactly the same as with fruity US hops, like Mosaic.

I delved into my quest for modern Australian and New Zealand beer recipes because I got me some whoppingly expensive Antipodean hops (lottofit, I must confess) and was scratching my head how to use them up while they're fresh. First, I brewed a classic West Coast IPA. Came out not different enough from any C-hop IPA to justify the higher price. Then I brewed a wild NEIPA, and hated it intensively. Orange-mango murky juice, thank you, I may get it way cheaper and simpler than spending a day brewing and a month waiting.
So I went to search how do they use their magical hops in the Downunder. And was delighted to see they're often not as much after imitating American beers as after inventing their own lovely styles. That's where I found the sweetspot I think, and I will use up my stash of Galaxy and Nelson in recipes like those I posted above. IDK, maybe guys from AUS and NZL would laugh at me when they read this, but in my experience those wheaty moderately-hopped recipes suit delicate Antipodean hops better than IPAs. Galaxy, f. ex., is way harsher than American C-hops when used in an IPA. To really shine, it needs a different approach, and it seems those "Pacific" ales is exactly that approach.

It was similar with South African hops, btw. I didn't know how and where to use it (too grassy!) until I learned on a South African brewing forum that they toss their local hops into the kettle not earlier than @20'. I tried, and now I value ZA hops no less than German. In Australia, they do the same with Galaxy too, which I followed in my recipe above.
The world is huge! :)
 
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rmr9

rmr9

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I do want to make sure I use the hops in a way that highlights their features. No sense in buying specific hops to muddle it up! Plus this will be my first attempt at non-noble non-British hops in many years!

I picked up a NZ pale ale from a local brewery for “weekend research”! Hopefully it gives me an idea for one end of the spectrum.
 

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NZ hops are IMHO some of the best hops in the world. The quality has been getting better and better and they haven’t suffered from the wildfires and drought that hops from the Pacific Northwest have over the last few years.

A lot of the NZ varieties are essentially traditional European noble varieties just grown in NZ. Pacifica, Wakatu, Riwaka, Motueka, Wai-iti are all very much noble varieties, some crosses with a Native NZ hop and some just open pollinated.

I’d say the varieties you chose are some of the least popular varieties. Taiheke is just Cascade grown in NZ. It’s pretty cool and very different than American grown cascade. Not sure the Pacific Jade will bring anything too noticeable to the table honestly. It’s fine but the late Taiheke will drown it out. A lot of the NZ hops have a really cool lime character, and Taiheke has that in spades. If you want to amp up the lime character, Motueka is the way to go.

If you want a more expressive NZ hop;
Nelson, Riwaka, Nectaron are incredible. Taiheke, Rakau, Moutere, Southern Cross, Motueka, Waimea are kind of a step below but still unique and worth experimenting with. Wai-iti IKohatu, Wakatu, and Pacifica are all interesting but rather delicate and are better utilized in a super clean delicate beer.

Your grain bill is great. The bright lime character of Taiheke is best showcased by a very minimal malt presence. Personally I don’t see English malts and NZ hops really going well together. Maybe the more pine centric ones like Southern Cross and Waimea?? Taiheke does have some pine but the bright lime/floral character dominates. A pils/2row base with maybe 4% C15 or lower is all you need.

I’d up your DH amounts if you want to showcase the hops to at the very minimum 2.5oz.

At my brewery we use a ton of NZ hops because we’re fortunate to have access to some of the best through connections in the industry. We presently have 6 beers available that utilize a NZ hop in some way from IPA to Pale Ale, Pilsner, etc. Some to compliment blends and some single hop executions. The single hop beers we always use a base of just pils and a touch of carafoam and/or C10 and a very clean yeast. Certain Kolsch strains amplify the NZ hop character immensely. We used 34/70 fermented warm for the latest featuring Nectaron.

Don’t be surprised if your NZ hopped beer ends up a bit hazy and stays hazy. Certain NZ hops are incredibly high in polyphenols.
 

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Nice primer on New Zealand hops!
Will bookmark the post. I was lost in all those fancy names when choosing me one, so bought the most sought for, Nelson Sauvin. Now I'm thinking of trying the rest.
 
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That was a great really informative post! I like the sounds of the lime in taiheke.

I have to be honest that my initial thought was “hey I can take a basic Sierra Nevada pale ale recipe and swap the hops for NZ equivalent” - maybe get some interesting terroir differences between cascade and taiheke. The pacific jade is mainly for bittering and background notes…unless that’s just a waste of good hops.

I’ll have to sit and think about swapping the golden promise out. Initially my plan was to use Weyermann Barke Pils but then I read that British pale ale malts can be a good sub for NZ malts. Decisions decisions…
 
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I was a little confused by the commercial “NZ pale ale” from a local brewery. To me it was just a hazy IPA, no different from any other I’ve had before. I imagine the “real deal” pale ales and pilsners aren’t hazy messes?
 

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Many recipes of New Zealand beers (not just beers with NZ hops, but beers actually brewed by crafters in New Zealand) I've found when doing a similar search included sizeable additions of wheat, malted or torrefied, often at 30 to 40% of the grist. I tried that and didnt regret, I found the wheat complemented NZ hops (Nelson Sauvign particularly) just perfectly.
I haven't delved into any NZ style beer before but I can testify that a good slug of wheat can do wonders for some beers. I use red winter wheat in my Summer Wheat Ale (ironically) and a good heap in my Southern Farmhouse Ale. Personally, I like the red wheat better than the white wheat, but that's just my preference. Summers can sometimes get brutally hot here in Alabama, so a good wheat ale is great refreshment, especially after swinging a weed trimmer.
 

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It was definitely just like any other hazy which was a pretty big disappointment
Well you’re following the recipe for NEIPA. Large percentage of wheat or oats in the grain bill, new zealand hops just about all of which are added late boil or post boil in the whirlpool and dry hop. Switch your yeast to Wyeast 1318 and you got it 100%
 

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I was a little confused by the commercial “NZ pale ale” from a local brewery. To me it was just a hazy IPA, no different from any other I’ve had before. I imagine the “real deal” pale ales and pilsners aren’t hazy messes?

Like I said in a previous post certain NZ hops tend to make hazier beer. Riwaka, Nelson, Motueka in particular are much higher in haze forming polyphenols than almost any US variety. You can literally use a grist of just European Pilsner malt and as long as your dry hopping at a decently high amount (which every commercial brewery is doing for modern hop forward beer) you will generally get permanently hazy beer.

If you want a pure expression of the hop a hazy beer will always be better as long as the yeast is fermented correctly and dry hops are added at the appropriate time. Haze caries more hop flavor, plain and simple. Any knowledge brewer who brews clear and hazy beer will tell you that. The same beer that has been fined or filtered will always have less hop impact.
 
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rmr9

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I’ll admit my knowledge/experience in brewing hop forward beers is fairly limited. Not generally in my wheelhouse, but why not give it a try and see how it goes?

Perhaps I’ll keep any wheat I use to 10% or less if I use any at all, stay with my original hopping schedule and see where that gets me. I know 1oz of dry hops is fairly low by today’s standards but maybe it’ll work for what I’m after.
 

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