Waste not, want not, why not drink it? (I did a thing. It ended up surprisingly tasty, so I thought I'd share.)

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mendelec

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So, I was firing up a smallish, 1 liter starter of Denny's Fav 50 a couple weeks back. As I was getting ready to decant the liquor I thought, y'know that's gotta be right around 4%. Be a shame to waste it. I mean, that's session beer territory and I could go for one after my evening workout. Looked around and remembered that I'd never put away that bag of home grown Columbus hops from the last brew day. So, I decanted the liquor into my 20oz water bottle, poured in a healthy amount of Columbus cones, squished them a bit to get them thoroughly hydrated, and left it for an hour or two, inverting the container periodically between sets of the workout. Drank about half of it that evening (within a few hours of adding the cones), room temp, and let the other half sit overnight in the fridge, cones still in the container.

I don't know what I was expecting, precisely, but it was surprisingly tasty. I mean, really tasty. Refreshing. Clean. Fresh. Lightly carbonated (probably pulled the starter before it was completely done, as it was building a bit of pressure in the water bottle). Best part, was that it totally captured the great aroma that I get from the Columbus that never seems to fully translate into the beers I've made. Screamed summer to me. As good at room temp as it was chilled. It's definitely making me rethink how I use Columbus. Might have to try a SMASH with a basic 2-row or something bland, heavily or entirely hopped after flameout; perhaps only dry hopped (gasp!). If the latter, I'd probably be inclined to dry hop during active fermentation, but I'll have to ponder that a bit. I'm also going to have to give this a try with other varieties of hops.

Very very intriguing...
Elliot
 
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mendelec

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Kind of what I was expecting too. Yet, it was pretty darn tasty. I mean, I won't be making a 5 gallon batch of it or anything, but I thought it was fascinating and refreshing in a very unexpected way. Think of it as a dry hopped lightly sparkling malt beverage, rather than beer. I'm sure the yeast strain is part of what made it work. A lower flocculating yeast, one with less of a clean flavor, or if I'd had any contamination in my culture would probably have given me something, well, icky. It certainly has me thinking of some out of the box possibilities.

One of the things I liked about it was how devoid of the grassy notes dry hopping can sometimes give. I'm pretty sure the super short steeping time with what was probably a crazy amount of hop cones is why. But, I may have to do some 'sperimenting.

Side benefit: My water bottle still has a lingering hop aroma to it, weeks later, and that isn't exactly a bad thing either.
 

Brooothru

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If the starter was on a stirplate it would be oxidized, but if not, it would just be unhopped beer.
I was thinking exactly the same thing. It seems like the smell of my step starters is always anything but appealing. I hate throwing 2~3 liters (or more) of spent starter wort down the drain, but I don't want those tastes anywhere near my unfermented wort. The yeast always smells good and looks great once the supernatant is decanted, but I can't imagine I'd like drinking the supernat.
 
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