Review: MoreBeer’s Soulless Hop, Zombie Dust Clone! – Homebrew Recipe Kit

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Soulless Hop has ‘Pale Ale’ in its name, but seems more like an IPA to me. The recipe is inspired by Three Floyds Zombie Dust, which tops best beer lists frequently. It’s brewed with 100% Citra hops, and uses a lot of them (5 oz in the boil and 3 oz dry hop). I’ve been lucky enough to have had it a couple times before and loved it, which drew me to try this recipe kit.


Get Pricing & Check Availability, Review Continues Below:


Unboxing and Kit Inventory

I ordered un-milled grains, to crush them with my mill. The base grains were unmilled, but the specialty grains were already milled. They had a good crush on them, but still my preference is to be in control of crushing my own grains just in case the shop doesn’t pay close attention. The malts were packaged in pre-measured bags, with malts from Briess and Weyermann. It used 4 different malts to bring complexity to the malt bill, in contrast to its singular hop variety. The hops came in light-proof, thick bags, where the hops were nitrogen flushed before bagging. There was also a tablet of Kick Carrageenan, a clarifier used in the boil kettle. The recipe kits from MoreBeer don’t come with a specific yeast, instead they give you a list of yeast recommendations from the different yeast vendors they carry (White Labs, Wyeast, Gigayeast, Imperial, Cellar Science Dry, and Fermentis Dry). I’ve never used dry yeast, as I had a preconceived notion that it wasn’t as good as liquid yeast. So I decided I’d give it a try based on MoreBeer’s recommendation, and got the Cellar Science Dry Cali yeast. It came in a 12g package, and the label said it was good for up to 5-6 gallons of wort, which contains 120 billion yeast cells. The directions on the package said for wort gravity above 1.060, the yeast should be rehydrated before pitching. And when brewing in the summer months, a key benefit of dry yeast is that it handles warm shipping much better than liquid yeast. In addition to the ingredients, there was a recipe card with basic brewing directions, a cut-out shape to go with the MoreBeer custom tap handle, and a sheet of basic brewing process tips.

Malt and Hops

Briess CarapilsBriess Caramel 60LBriess 2 Row


Related, Review Continues Below:


Weyermann MunichSoulless Hop Features 100% Citra Hops


Related, Hop Deals, Review Continues Below:


Easy to Follow Recipe Card + Tap Handle Insert

In addition to the ingredients, there was a recipe card with basic brewing directions, a cut-out shape to go with the MoreBeer custom tap handle, and a sheet of basic brewing process tips.

Brew Day

The recipe directions were very general. For example, they gave mash temperature, but didn’t specify a mash time. For seasoned brewers, this is a welcome flexibility, since we all have our particular opinions on certain process details. For newbies, this might mean a little outside research is required, which could be a good learning experience anyway. The recipe called for a 150F mash. Somehow I fat-fingered that into my brewing software and ended up with a mash at 156F for 45 minutes, followed by a mashout at 168F. I adjusted water with brewing salts to match a hoppy water profile and lactic acid to adjust the pH. I ended up with a measured pH of 5.4 in the mash, slightly lower than the 5.5 I was targeting. I then did a 60 minute boil, where I added the hops as per the schedule. I added the Kick Carrageenan tablet with 5 minutes left in the boil. It seemed to make clumps of hot break-like material in the kettle that I don’t normally see with my Irish Moss. I was a little low on the Original Gravity with a 1.059 versus a target of 1.061.

Fermentation

Related: Fermonster Review & BrewJacket Review

With the OG on the border of where they recommended rehydration before pitching, I wanted things to be successful. I added the yeast to a half cup of room temperature distilled water. I later read that distilled water was almost worse than not rehydrating, and it could lead to delayed start of fermentation. Oops. I followed the directions of letting it sit for 20 minutes before pitching it into the wort. It took about 11 hours before signs of fermentation starting (monitored via Tilt Bluetooth hydrometer), which is a bit slower than I would’ve expected. I fermented at 70F for about 2 days, then ramped it up to 75F throughout the next day. After a total of 4 days fermenting, the gravity indicated fermentation was finished so I added the dry hops. After sitting on the dry hops for 3 days, I transferred to an oxygen-purged keg to cold crash. After 3 days cold, I transferred into another oxygen-purged keg for serving. It finished fermentation with an ABV of 5.9% and FG of 1.014, with a yeast attenuation of just over 75%.

Oxygenating the WortCellarScience® CALI Dry YeastComplete SelectionFermentation Plot using TILT Bluetooth HydrometerHands on Review

Transferring to Keg

Transferring to Cold Crash Keg

Custom Tap Handle and Included Insert

Custom Tap Handle for Recipe Card Insert or Chalk Writing on Blank Inserts.  Note: All MoreBeer recipe kits include a free insert that works with this tap handle.Tap Handle with Included Professionally designed insertOn my kegerator.  Also: Hop Gatherer Review

Conclusions

Finished Beer

I enjoyed this beer. It had a bright and aromatic hop aroma. There was a clean hop bite, followed by moderate malt sweetness, and ending with lingering hop bitterness. Overall, it had fairly dry mouthfeel. I did however feel that the hop aftertaste had a bit too much lingering bitterness. I felt there was a slight “rawness” to the bitterness in the aftertaste. I don’t know if that could be attributed to the yeast choice or not, but if I brewed it again, I would probably go for the WLP-001 California Ale yeast. Sharing this beer with my neighborhood homebrew network, I received rave reviews for the quenching bitterness of it. You can’t go wrong with Citra hops in my opinion.

Get Pricing & Check Availability, Review Continues Below:

Related:

More Photos

Rehydrating YeastBack of Yeast PouchKick Carrageenan Tablet

More MoreBeer Reviews+Related:

morebeer.com reviews

More Homebrew Finds!

Special Thanks to MoreBeer for providing the kit used for evaluation in this review.

By Brad Probert.  Check out Brad’s website – beersnobby.com

More: Our Last Fifty Finds!

review:b3shpa tag:tpr

Leave a Reply