#163 Kowhiti Brewing – Grasshopper

Name: Grasshopper
Brewery: Kowhiti Brewing (Greytown, New Zealand)
Style: Aotearoa Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5%ish

Hey guys, guys, guys!

Guess what?

I made this beer myself!

The Grasshopper (because it’s hoppy, geddit?!) is my first attempt at homebrewing. I made it with my Dad out in Greytown (his place out there is called Kowhiti), where he conveniently has a cider orchard and so most of the equipment that we needed to make beer.

Neither of us had any idea what we were doing. That was fine though – because I had John Palmer’s “How to Brew”, a great recipe from a book called “Clone Brews” by Tess and Mark Szamatulski, and the most important thing of all – lots of beer to drink while we brewed a Can Do attitude!

The recipe was a clone for Sierra Nevada Pale (which I wrote about here), and used Cascade, Perle and Nugget hops, and a mix of crystal malt and dried malt extract. I got everything from the nice folks at Brewers Coop in Ellerslie – who sensed that I didn’t know anything about anything and kindly steered me around the store finding everything I needed. Because of TGAHS (I hope you remember your acronyms!), we used NZ Cascade instead of American.

Making the beer was really fun. My sister did actually document this fun with photographs – but they’re still on her camera so you’ll just have to take my word for it until I upload them later. The bubbling wort smelled and looked amazing, as did the hop pellets, and even though we botched a couple of things up (straining the wort through muslin was a shitty idea which came close to giving me third-degree burns), everything was A-OK in the end.

I think we feremented it for a couple of weeks, then dry-hopped it liberally and transferred it to a secondary fermenter for another week. In the end we had about 20L, which we bottled in the 500ml glass bottles Dad uses for his cider.

And how did it taste? Only like THE BEST BEER IN THE WORLD!

OK, so it could be a bit maltier. And there’s a bit of astringency at the finish which I’d like gone.  And although Dad disagrees – I think it smells like apples (less so now, a month or two on) which is probably a sign of acetaldehyde.

Despite all that, it has a lovely colour, a fruity aroma (citrus as well as apples), a satisfying chewy toffee malt flavour and a nice crisp, refreshing mouthfeel.

Best of all – we made it ourselves! And that’s why it tastes like the best beer in the world.  (Awwwww.)



Published in: on January 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good stuff Alice
    I’ve made a couple of batches from the same recipie and I like it too. Will have to come up with a name and label and send you one. I used syrup malt extrct rather than dry malt and also was lucky enough to use American hops. Let me know where to send a bottle to.


    • Hey Dan,
      I’d love to try your version and compare them! If you can give me your email (post it here or send it to beer4ayear@gmail.com) I’ll send you my address. Thanks!

  2. Excellent. Now that you have made the best beer in the world you will have to keep making more! Congratulations on your brewing success!

    Would you have been so keen to brew if a few homebrewers had not sent you a few good brews to try?

    • Haha, possibly not. That reminds me – still got your Weemix in the pantry to try!

  3. Awesome! Can I please try some of this one day?

    • My Auckland supplies of this are all gone! But future brews (which should be better anyway) – definitely.

  4. Alice Galletly: writer and BREWER. Nice!
    Hiding behind beer since 2010.

  5. Congratulations! I’ve been waiting for this post.

    By the sounds of things your first batch turned out a lot better than mine did. I made all kinds of egregious errors which ruined the beer and I ended up tipping about half the batch down the drain. I’ve got a new batch almost ready for drinking so hopefully this one comes out a bit better.

    It’d be interesting to see how the NZ Cascade changed the flavour of the beer because by all reports it’s a very different hop from the US strain.

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