America Discovers Columbus


The purpose of this batch was two-fold – compare Wyeast’s new #1272 American Ale to #1056 American Ale and try Columbus as a bittering, flavor and dry hop. This was inspired by all the talk of Columbus hops in IPA’s (Rogue, Anderson Valley) and Delano Dugarm’s recipe posted Nov. 28, 1995.

The departure from Delano’s recipe was Columbus for the late and dry hop vs. Cascade.

They’ve been in the bottle for 5 weeks. The 1272 version is great all around – hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma. No grassy notes from dry hopping. I’d have to say the hoopla over Columbus is well justified. The 1056 version is just a little too harshly bitter. Could be due to it being a little drier (lower gravity) or the 1056 yeast is letting all the flavors come through unscathed. In any case it should improve as it ages longer.

I don’t think the slightly different finishing gravities are entirely due to yeast strain. The 1056 was started from a fresh smack pack and probably a little healthier than the 1272, which was started from a 4 month old 20 ml tube of “beer”. I typically add a fraction of a ml from a Wyeast pack to autoclaved wort in 20 ml screw top tubes and allow to ferment out before storing in the fridge. Not optimum yeast technique, but it works.

  • 11 lb Schreier 2-row pale malt
  • 1 lb DWC Munich
  • 0.6 lb DWC CaraVienne
  • 0.5 lb DWC Biscuit
  • 0.5 lb Gambrinus Honey Malt
  • 0.25 lb DWC carapils
  • 1.5 ounce Columbus hop pellets (12.5% alpha, 60 minute boil)
  • 1/2 ounce Columbus hops (15 minute boil)
  • 1/4 ounce Cascade hops (4.1% alpha, 15 minute boil)
  • 1/2 ounce Columbus (finish)
  • 1/2 ounce Columbus (dry hop one week in primary)
  • ale yeast (Wyeast 1272 or 1056—see notes)

Mashed at 157-155F for 65 min. Water – essentially deionized with = tsp gypsum

I split a 5 gallon batch into two glass fermenters. Wyeast 1272 was pitched into the first 2 gallons siphoned out of the kettle and Wyeast 1056 got the last 2.5 gallons with a little more trub. Both yeasts were pitched from 3 cup starters.

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