A SMaSH is a simple home brew: Single Malt, Single Hop. It’s a way to study the characteristics of one type of malt and one type of hop in a simple beer. You can really concentrate on how malt and hop waltz across your tongue and linger, possibly, intimately in the back of the mouth.
I didn’t make a SMaSH. I made a SMaTH. It was a simple. I just mis-measured. I though I had enough Cascade hops; I wasn’t quite there. I had to add a bit of Centennial just to get the IBUs to an acceptable level. That is why it’s Two Hops.
I also didn’t use a neutral yeast. I should have used a S-04 or something similar. It wouldn’t affect the flavor much. I used a Belgian yeast, a yeast that ended up dropping hints of banana into the brew.
I could have written about this little experiment a month or so ago but I wanted time to let it mature a bit. I also wanted to be able to taste it at various stages of development.
The initial impression is of a very light beer with slightly higher than Budweiser or Miller level hops. I figured out, and it was later commented on by friends, that the slight hoppiness is probably due to the base malt only light-to-none body. An inefficient mash is most likely the culprit. I didn’t sparge the brew-in-a-bag mash so next time I will start doing that and seeing what the outcome is. I liked the hoppiness actually. My wife did, something she usually has a problem with.
As the beer has aged, it has improved a bit, though the flavors and aromas have mellowed.
In a few months, once the humidity and intense temperatures of summer have retreated, I will return to a new brewing season with some fresh ideas and improved methods. One is the importance of sparging for efficiency. I’m looking forward to it and the beers I hope to brew.