Simple SMaSH Brew

So I figured I’d start trying my hands at some easy SMaSH brews to learn a little more about malt flavors and hops.

I came up with the following just looking around and trying to get some ideas. I think it will make a pretty decent little session APA.

OG: 1.048
IBU: 32.4
Est ABV: 4.9%

9 lbs Maris Otter
0.5 oz Citra @ 60 min
0.25 oz Citra @ 15 min
0.25 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 min
0.25 Citra @ 5 min
1 oz Citra whirlpool hops

Ferment with US-05 in the low 60’s

Dry hop with 1 oz of Citra hops

I would personally move all the hop additions, aside from the bittering, to the flameout and whirlpool (maybe even as much as 3-4 oz). Citra will behave beautifully in that context :mrgreen:

Also, I can’t with absolute certainty pin this on MO, but I have not had good results using it in American hop-forward beers. Porters, british bitters, stouts, sours…bring it, but I just have had a few ‘meh’ batches when trying to use it with American or New World hops. It just has this slightly tangy+caramelly character that I don’t dig in those beers. I would lean more toward using 100% Vienna or my fave, Thomas Fawcett Pearle if you want to do a SMASH with Citra. Our latest IIPA uses 90% TF, 100% Citra and it is the best beer we have made in 70+ batches, by far.

If you are dead set on doing a MO SMaSH, I would lean more toward fuggle or EKGs for hopping.

All good points. If I increase the bittering addition a little bit (to stay around 35 IBU), then put the rest to flameout/whirlpool, I think it’ll be great.

I’ll have to double check and see what my LHBS has as far as malts as I don’t go there very often (by local I mean about 50 minutes away, it’s the closest store). I know they have MO and Vienna, not sure about the Pearl. I am a fan of the Fawcett Pearl as well, that might actually be better. I’ve never made anything with MO so I am tempted to try it, but as you said it may be better for a porter or stout.

Alrighty, so my LHBS was out of pearl. Decided to go with Vienna. I grabbed 10 lbs, just a tad more than the orginal plan. Going out of town for the weekend so it will probably wait until next week.

I did a SMaSH with Vienna and Horizon hops last year that I really liked. Very different hop character than Citra, obviously, but my results suggest that what others are saying about the hop schedule makes sense (depending on what you’re going for).

I didn’t do a ton of late addition hops by design, but based on my early tasting, I decided to dry hop in the keg later. Initially, it was pretty malt-forward, which certainly showcased the vienna, but maybe too much so for my tastes. I also overshot the dry hopping and had to wait a bit for it to mellow out, but in the end it was very nice.

To me, vienna is a very distinctive malt…certainly wouldn’t recommend it for everything, but it was cool to experience it on its own.

Best Malz Red X. The color is great and IMO tasted like toasted malt. Not as strong as victory or biscuit, though.

I’ve had it with Amarillo and brewed with Pacific Jade.

Castle pale ale malt and Simpsons Golden Promise also works well as a single grain in a SMASH beer. Be careful what single hop you use though. Some need a supporting cast. Hops that work solo though are citra, Amarillo, centennial. My club did a SMASH project and some of the results were interesting. For example, an all cascade beer doesn’t taste as good as one would assume. Plays well with others though! Can’t remember which month, but BYO did a huge spread about SMASH beers.

2 weeks into the primary and all seems to be finishing up. I actually changed the recipe a bit and mashed a little low, so my final product is a bit drier but still good.

I’m on the fence about dry hopping though. The flavor with the vienna is good and it seems well balanced by the citra hops. I get some hop aroma and some flavor but it’s not too much, which is good for a PA, for me anyway.

I’m thinking I may cold crash to clear it up, then keg and taste to see how I feel. I can always add some dry hops in the keg if I don’t like it. I still have extra citra hop pellets. I have a feeling this is a winner though. Here is what I finally did:

10 lbs vienna
0.5 oz citra first wort hop
0.25 oz citra at 15 min
irish moss at 10 min
0.5 lb corn sugar at 10 min
1.25 citra whirlpool after wort was chilled to 180

Fermented with one packet of rehydrated US-05

OG was just shy of 1.058, efficiency was a bit better than expected.

Fermentation start was slower than I am used to (been using liquid yeast with starters a lot recently). It took a whole 24 hours for fermentation to start and I’m usually about about 12 hours or overnight. It lasted a good week and a few days before it started to slow. At two weeks the foam subsided. Took a sample and current gravity is at 1.010 and the sample tastes good.

Pulled the first pint. A little murky, but more will settle in the keg. I actually added gelatin so after the murky pull it ran pretty clear.

The vienna definitely made this a bit of a different PA. Not in a bad way, just different. No need to dry hop this IMO, as it has a nice hoppy aroma with a decent malty flavor to balance it. Looking forward to drinking this more!

Sounds tasty to me! :cheers: