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Collab Brew: Mammoth Brewing Company

Mill 95 has teamed up with Mammoth Brewing to bring a new and exciting beer to market. Mammoth Brewing is located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and is well known for its multi-award-winning Double Nut Brown Ale. Using the latest and greatest experimental hops in the industry, YQH-1320, and Pink, we have collaborated to create a beer that is packed full of new aromas and flavors for the world to try. 
Christian Hawley, Sales Executive, Mill 95

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Mill 95 and I started planning for the collaboration with Mammoth Brewing in January of this year. We knew that there were plenty of unique Idaho varietals out there, and plenty of experimental varietals from the Pacific NW, but being able to work closely with someone with so much experience in the hop world was a huge opportunity for us. From the start Christian and the Mill 95 crew had Pink and YQH1320 on our radar. After discussing lineage, profile, acid content, and taking a look at the COA sheet, we knew we would be able to build an IPA around these hops. On Mill 95’s advice, we also chose to use a smaller portion of Idaho-grown Chinook as part of our whirlpool addition.

First, we started with our grain bill. We were a few pilot batches into developing another year-round hazy for one of our brands, and we wanted to keep playing with malted oats due to their texture, beautiful opacity, and the bonus of creating an incredibly lauterable grist even when loaded with high percentages of malted wheat and flaked grains.

Since we wanted this to be a sessionable seasonal brew we targeted 6.5% ABV for drinkability, and prefer that these beers are relatively dry (3-4 Plato) compared to some Hazies. This created a challenge to maximize hop compounds while limiting bitterness. Pink was measuring 13.2% Alpha Acid (AA) while YQH1320 was closer to 9% AA. While these numbers are nowhere near the AA of a dedicated bittering hop, they definitely had the potential to overstate their bitterness and wash out some of their aroma if we weren’t responsible.

With all of this to consider we decided to use Pink at the 15 minute mark at around ¼ lb. per barrel for a few IBU’s and a little aroma, and used the Idaho Chinook and YQH1320 in the whirlpool totalling just under 1 lb per barrel. We had been experimenting last year with Thiolized yeasts and testing the limits of survivable hop compounds in our kettle, so we were confident Chinook and YQH1320 would give some positive results in the whirlpool despite the non-thiolized yeast we use year round.

When the hops arrived the day before the brew, we immediately cut into the bags to see what we were working with. Pink was first up, and we found it to be spot on with the description we were provided: Soft tropical fruit and strawberries. We cut into YQH1320 next and found it to be very punchy on it’s citrus zest characteristics, lemon and lime specifically. Pink was the predetermined rockstar here and we dry hopped about 3:1 alongside YQH1320. The resulting beer had a lovely blend of soft tropical esters, mango, pineapple, melon/berries, complemented by the brighter zest characteristics from YQH1320.

While the beer had all of the aromas that we desired, we may reduce our late kettle additions in the future and move some of those hops to the whirlpool to slightly reduce the bitterness contributed by these hops. We were thrilled with the attributes and quality of each hop but of course we always see room to make hazies softer and more pillow-like, which is what makes this stye to much fun to play around with!

Big thank you to Christian, Amaya, the farmers, and the whole Mill 95 crew. The beer did great at it’s debut pouring at the California Craft Brewers Conference (CCBA) in Sacramento and we look forward to our continued relationship with them and cracking into more fun and experimental projects in the future!

Author: Garrett Margolis, Mammoth Brewing Group, Head Brewer

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