The Dyad Series

19th November 2020

The Dyad Series

Dyad - a group of two...a pairing that creates strength or power…

There are some great beers around that showcase a single hop. Oakham Ales Citra is an absolute belter and opened the UK’s eyes to the Citra hop and The Kernel are, as always, freakishly good when they do their single hop pales and IPA’s.

So, over a beer, we were “kicking around” how we might emulate these but with some new hop varieties. We really liked the idea of getting to know a hop by tasting it on its own, but every time we came up with a new hop someone would say “wouldn’t that be great with…”. Eventually we had to accept that we were just much more excited about creating 2 hop combinations.

That was the easy bit, agreeing a name for this new series of two hop beers took us ages! As always, the beer came first… Eventually we came up with Dyad; ‘something that consists of two elements or parts’ and a term used in music, chemistry, biology, sociology and philosophy. Also, as any Star Wars devotees will know, a dyad is a pairing of two Force-sensitive beings creating power as strong as life itself. So we can have some high hopes for our new series of hop dyads!

To really showcase the hops we chose a NEIPA (New England IPA) style and selected a malt base of Maris Otter Pale Ale; Wheat, Oats & Rye and a target ABV of around 5.2%. Unfiltered and unpasteurised (as always) and un-fined, so we get the freshest and fullest flavours possible and hazy juicy beer. After refining this base with a few pilot trials and experimenting with using our house ale yeast but fermented slightly warmer and with more oxygen at the start to encourage Ester formation, we were ready to start playing around with hops. We add the hops late (in no less than 5 kettle and whirlpool additions) for low bitterness and to make the most of the hop aromas on show.

Now we had our basic recipe we were ready to choose our first hop Dyad for a full-scale brew!

Citra Chart

Given our inspiration from Oakham Ales and The Kernel we wanted to start off with Citra, if only we could get hold of some! Until now we’ve only been able to get the occasional 5 or 10kg and even that has involved Alex bringing some back in from India in his suitcase, so we were left “open mouthed” when we read that Oakham Ales are now using 25 tonnes of Citra hops each year! Then Covid happened and to set against the enormous misery everywhere, there has been one small positive, we could buy some Citra!

What to pair it with? We wanted to avoid making the beer over-citrussy and after some deliberation we opted for El Dorado. Which was nice as we already had some in stock! El Dorado is ideal as, for a modern American hop it’s non-citrussy, whilst exhibiting some gorgeous soft fruit aroma’s. More subtle than many, but hopefully an ideal partner for the bold Citra.

DYAD # 1 turned out pretty much as we hoped, although to try increase the “juiciness” even further, we added an extra dry hopping stage to recipe for Dyad 2 onwards. We also decided to “tag team” the hops, so one hop will change each time and all the hops will gets two chances to shine.

DYAD #1 = El Dorado + Citra

Dyad #2 = Citra + Wakatu (bringing floral and lime aromas)

Dyad #3 = Wakatu + Hallertau Blanc

DYAD #4 = Hallertau Blanc +?? etc

We hope you will join us on the journey and find your favourite hops and combinations – keep a record as we may bring back one or two of the most popular.


Dyad Art

Just in case anyone wants to know about our can designs…

Out of necessity we’ve developed a simple (inexpensive) formula for our artwork. We get our team and/or others who have helped with the beer, to hand write a few versions of the name in their own style and we then pick which we think works best for the beer. Then everyone claims that it was their writing that was the one finally chosen.

The DYAD handwriting came from one of the team at Charles Faram “Hop Factors & Merchants Since 1865” and we like to think that they will now argue about whose.

We then had to choose colours. We used our ale yeast, so it had to be a black can. The beer is all about hops, so we wanted a hoppy colour for the writing. Then a lightbulb moment, Sean shot off to the beer garden and returned with a photo of one of our growing hop plants, which became our background image.


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