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  • Writer's pictureFaffy

Brew #8 Mosaic SMaSH IPA

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

So we decided it was time to take it back to basics with another SMaSH IPA. SMaSH stands for single malt, single hops, so it is as simple as an IPA can get. For this beer we went with Maris Otter for the malt and Mosaic for the hops.

The last time we made SMaSH IPAs were Brew #2 Citra SMaSH IPA and Brew #3 Simcoe SMaSH IPA. It feels so long ago since we last brewed a SMaSH now especially as we are getting close to double digits in our brew numbers.

This time we decided to go with Mosaic given we have used it in the Juicy Pale ale and were pretty happy with the flavour combination but wanted to have more of an idea of how it actually contributes flavour to a beer. Looking at the Beer Mavericks hop database for hop profile information it was clear that the mosaic hop is a super popular hop, known for citrusy, piney and tropical flavours. So why not! Also it meant we could use what we already had it stock and freezer space for hops is starting to reach its limits!

Recipe Planning

Method: All-grain BIAB

Batch size: 10 litres

Estimated OG: 1.066

Estimated FG: 1.018

Estimated ABV: 6.3%

Estimated IBU (Tinseth): 123


2.7 kg Maris Otter (Extra Pale)

Hop schedule:

15 g Mosaic pellets at 60 minutes (AA: 11.4%)

15 g Mosaic pellets at 30 minutes (AA: 11.4%)

15 g Mosaic pellets at 20 minutes (AA: 11.4%)

15 g Mosaic pellets at 10 minutes (AA: 11.4%)

30 g Mosaic pellets for 3 day dry hop after fermentation complete (AA: 11.4%)


Pacific Ale (White Labs WLP041)


1/2 tsp Irish Moss at 15 mins remaining of the hop boil


Mash at 65°C, mash out to 75°C

90 min hop boil.

Fermentation 14 days at 20°C

Carbonation - 2.4 CO2-vol

Brew day - 11/07/20

Brew day beer this week was London Pride from Fullers Brewery. I love this beer so much that it was even my first post-lockdown pint in a pub!

It was the usual brew day set up where we mashed the maris otter grains at 66°C with 7 litres of water, sparged with 8 litres of water and had a 90 minute hop boil. There were 4 Mosaic hop additions at 60 mins, 30 mins, 20 mins and 10 mins left in the boil. Each addition was 15 g.

The boil was super vigorous and there was a fair bit of spillage which is always sad! No one likes wasting all that tasty wort!

After cooling the beer we took a hydrometer reading and after topping up with more water to lower the original gravity it came in at 1.054! So we pitched our go to yeast WLP041 and kept it moving!

This beer was left in the fermenter for 2 weeks and really benefited from several cooler London days and nights so it fermented consistently between 23°C and 24°C. This is such a win because temperature control is still our biggest homebrew fail!

Dry hopping - 22/07/20

We normally dry hop our beers for 3 days but as we were super unorganised on this brew we ended up running out of Mosaic hops. So we had to get a Malt Miller order in ASAP and as soon as it arrived we threw the hops into the beer! Thank gosh they have incredibly fast delivery times!

We ended up dry hopping with 60g of Mosaic, which was pretty close to 6g per litre. Much more than usual but we were experimenting with doubling our dry hop step. Also given we were losing a whole extra day for the hop oils to infuse with the beer this was probably not a bad idea.

Bottling day - 25/07/20

This brew did not have the clarity that we would normally expect from our beer and a fair bit of the yeast was still floating on top of the beer. We took a final hydrometer reading and we ended up with an FG of 1.010 and a final ABV of 5.8%.

When bottling we kicked up a fair bit of trub which was not ideal and meant that we ended up getting a lot of sediment into the bottling bucket and the final bottles. We ended up with 24 bottles between 330 and 355 ml in volume.

Beer day - 08/08/20

The best way to describe this beer is that it is just OK. The first thought that comes to mind when I think about this beer is that it lacks complexity. Going from experimenting with up to 3 hops in our beers back to 1 meant this brew tasted quite basic. While, it is clear that we have technically improved since our first SMaSH beers I feel like for me Mosaic is not a strong enough hop to carry a whole beer on its own. The beer had stone fruit flavours such as nectarines and peaches but was incredibly bitter. Way way too bitter! For some reason and I am not entirely sure why we failed to change the hop timings for this brew based on everything we have learned to date. Lesson finally learnt! I think this might be the last SMaSH IPA that we brew for a while. I don't think they are interesting enough but I don't want to say we will never brew this style again because I know it can be done well.

Overall this beer did not have the clarity of our other beers, possibly because of the trub that we kicked up during the bottling process. There is a fair bit of yeast sediment and debris floating in this beer which means this is not a beer to share with friends. However this might improve with time. Overall this beer is fine but a feels like a bit of a step backwards after our last 2 really successful brews. Ah well! On to the next brew!

Tasting notes:

Colour: Straw coloured

Clarity: Not clear, yeast sediment floating the beer

Carbonation: Very light carbonation with thick head which was well retained.

Smell: Mildly fruity

Taste: Stone fruit

Alcohol level: 5.8%

Perceived alcohol level: Not too alcoholic

Desirable: Nah

Would I pay money for it?: No

Rating: 3/5

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