One of the first beers we brewed this year was a smash (single malt and single hop), from ingredients not far from where we live. Hops from Girona grown by Lupulina and malt produced by Grannaria in Las Grañeras, a village in the province of León. We already told you about the brewing process for this beer, so if you want to remember it you can go to the corresponding entry.
The color is light golden. In the beginning, as you can see in the picture, it was quite hazy. Nowadays, 6 months after bottling and after keeping the bottles in the fridge, the beer had cleared a lot and, although it is not crystal clear, the haziness is very low. Head is white and creamy with medium retention.
For the aroma, citrus tones from Cascade are upfront, with malt in the background. Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Hop is the predominant characteristic in flavor, again with the citrus and herbal character from Cascade hops, and a medium but assertive bitterness. Some bready tones from the malt balance the bitterness and hop flavor.
Now that we have only a few bottles of this smash pale ale left , I think I can say that, of all the beers we’ve brewed through these years, this is one of our favorites. It has also stood the test of time. Obviously, the hop character is not as bright as it was when it was fresh, but it keeps most of the properties that made it a great beer a few months ago.
As a final though, this beer confirms something that we’ve learned through time. A lot of times simple recipes are the most sensible thing to do. When you are new to the hobby, it is easy to get lost among the multiple kinds of malt and varieties of hops at hand and a lot of us made the mistake of planning complicated recipes with lots of malts and hops that were a mess. Nowadays, I think that, for most of the beer styles, one or two malts are more than enough, with three or four being a good number for the rest.