Nugget Pale Ale

Using a single variety of hop in a beer really gives you the full circle of what flavors you get from a hop variety. In today's pale ale I'll be using Nugget hops. This is an old school hop variety. One of the first high alpha acid west coast hops to be embraced by craft brewers. The hop was originally released in 1982. A cross between female Norther Brewer hop and a male high alpha acid hop with good storage property's. The aroma is described as heavy, pungent, and herbal. I'll be using a very basic grist bill for this pale ale recipe using pale and amber malt, as well as some flaked barley for mouth feel. Generously hopped throughout the boil with aforementioned Nugget hops. I'm looking forward to their pungency. The yeast is Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley which from their website they claim. It "Produces classic British bitters, rich complex flavor profile, clean, light malt character, low fruitiness, low esters, well balanced."

Single infusion mash at 145 degrees to promote alpha amylase so make sure this beer dry's out. A nice west coast style dry pale ale. Right now to vorlauf the wort I use two kitchen bowls to collect the wort. This way I don't have to stop the process and it clears up very quickly. Fill up one bowl while pouring the other. You just have to be sure to run it off really slow during this process or the bed will collapse. Had a great runoff for this batch, but could always go a little slower as to not leave any extract behind. These hops are extremely spicy and herbal, a little mint. Should be interesting to see what happens when a malt accentuating English yeast strain is put under the distress of all those alpha acids. This ale will need some time to mellow out in a bottle and take off the rough hop edges. Nugget is an ancestor of norther brewer though which is a classic English bittering hop. Overall looking forward to tasting this single hopped ale. The recipe kept evolving has I was brewing. Well the hop bill kept getting larger is what I should say. Kept adding more and more hops. Ended dumping a quarter pound of hops in the kettle. With a sack of hops that big is was hard to not put more in. I've never had a pillow of hops that big before. It was 1/2 a pound but since the cones were not compressed it looked impressive.

Kegged the nugget ale tonight. Twenty two day after brewing. The taste was balanced between the malt and hops. Still heavy on the hop hand, more like a British IPA. To the keg I added an ounce of, well more nugget hops of course. Let sit for five day's then put in the fridge, carb and enjoy. Looking forward to how these pungent hops play out in the final beer. Really amazing how the yeast just destroyed the quarter pound of 13.5% aau nugget hops that went in the kettle. What was left though is a malty, hoppy beer.


  1. Holy smokes! 8oz of hops in a 5 gallon batch? How many were in for bittering, flavor and aroma approximately? Are you going to dry hop?

  2. Only 4oz made it in the batch. I had to contain myself from dumping the whole bag in though.