Monday, November 22, 2010

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

Brother John from Tacoma suggested from his Facebook page that I give Lagunitas 'Hop Stooped' a try. He was halfway through a pint and raved about the great flavor. In search the next day, I found a bottle of it at 41st. Liquors in Capitola and thought I'd yak about it here.
This is a big beer, not just in the hop profile which I expected but also in the alcohol volume. It comes in strong with 8% abv. and boasts 102 IBU's. Hop Stoopid is a beautifully clear copper beverage with moderate carbonation. A good balance of caramel malts and fruitiness offset the huge and pungent hop flavors and an ending gravity of 1.020 leaves enough sugar in the mix to make for a round, full mouthfeel. But it's the hops that dominate the scene here and will definitely satisfy any serious hophead.

Hop Stoopid!

Some interesting information from the label reveals hidden secrets to brewing this beer at home. For instance, considering that the alcohol content is 8% and the original gravity is 1.085 you can calculate that the final gravity had to come in at 1.020 and that the attenuation was 76% . This leads me to speculate that the yeast used was probably not your typical California ale yeast like Whitelabs wlp001 or Safale us05 since these yeasts will attenuate in the 80%-85% range. This narrows the field slightly causing me to speculate that they may have used an English ale yeast like Whitelabs wlp002, this yeast would impart the fruit character in addition to the low attenuation which imparts the fullness in the mouthfeel, and possibly the incredible clarity.

Another component that deserves some attention is that fact that hop extract is used late in the process to achieve the over-the-top hop aroma/flavor. As a homebrewer, this could be duplicated by making a hop tea with a French press as discussed before on this blog.

I enjoyed this beer although I could not figure out what type of hops were used in the boil except to note the pungent/piney flavor. I would think that a decent amount of Columbus was used but this a wild guess on my part. If there are any experts out there (read Lagunitas brewers here) that could give us a clue on that aspect, I'm sure it would be hugely appreciated. Lastly, this beer did cause me to visit the edge of sobriety after consuming the 22oz. bottle by myself, not that there's anything wrong with that.


Dave Kramer-Urner said...

I'm so glad you reviewed this beer, Mark! It really is one of my favorites. And I will absolutely try your French press technique as I try to duplicate (or at least emulate) this delicious drink. I wonder if any brewers from Lagunitas would be willing to share their hop varietal suggestions.. I wonder about Cascade hops, and maybe Summit? For their wonderful citrus character...

My chocolate stout is ready to drink, and delicious! How can I get you a bottle?


Beer Diary... said...

Hi Dave,
It would be nice to hear from someone at Lagunitas but I'm not holding my breath. As far as getting me a bottle of your stout, I can come to you and would love to sample it with you. Let me know by sending an email.

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