Forms of Hops 

                          Buying & Storage of Hops

                          Simple Finesse with Hops

                    Dry and Wet Hopping


Ave alpha 4-5% Use in Ales & Lagers

Excellent flavour with floral,spicy citric over-tones



Ave. 5-6% Light Ales & Lagers.

Originally French, now grown in Australia, high class flavour and aroma.



Ave.alpha 4-5% Ales, Bitters & Stouts

Appropriate for use in British styles.



Ave. alpha 8% Lagers

The classic European Lager hops. Used in most the European brands.



Ave. alpha 3.5% Lagers and German light Ales.

Excellent aroma and flavour very widely used in commercial German beers.



Ave. alpha 13% General purpose bittering hops.

Heavy herbal aroma, appeals to some.



Ave. alpha 6% All English Styles.

Bred as a disease resistant alternative to Fuggles, Goldings and has similar properties.



Ave. alpha 4%. Pilsners and Lagers.

The Noble Bohemian Hop. Its aroma is almost

A requisite feature of a �true� Continental Pilsner.



Ave. alpha 13-14%. General purpose.

Quite distinct from other New Zealand types.

Unique aroma, characteristics similar to

Northern Brewer.



Ave. alpha 5%. All Lagers also Light Ales.

One of the Noble German hops, now grown

Successfully in the U.S.A. Retains its German

Heritage and is an excellent aroma hop.



Ave. alpha 6-8% all Ales & Lagers.

The most widely used bittering hops used in the USA. Medium spicy aroma and flavour.                                                                                                                                                                                         Seems to appeal to brewers after a Victorian Bitter style.



Ave. alpha 3.5-4.5%. Ales Bitters & Stouts

Used in all English styles. Preferred over Fuggles for aroma.



Ave. alpha 14% Light Ales & Lagers.

Excellent bittering combined with a first class aroma makes this a good choice for brewers                                                                                                                                                                                   wanting to use one variety for both bittering and finishing.



Ave. alpha 5-8% Lagers.

US grown substitute for Hallertau Mittlefruh, very close resemblance to the real thing.                                                                                                                                                                                      Magnificent flavour with fine aroma, good choice for dry hopping.



Ave. alpha 9% Very good on all fronts.

This hops is the mainstay of the Australian Hop Industry. Most if not all Aussie beers contain it.

It is very versatile being an excellent bittering hop, which also has impressive flavour  and also exhibits a good aroma.



Ave. alpha 5%. German style beers generally.

One of the �noble� hops it is a German land race

Variety named after the area in which it is grown.

Excellent flavour and aroma.



Ave. alpha 12%. General purpose.

European style aroma with high alpha.

Used in Steinlager.



Ave. alpha 5-6%. Ales generally.

Triploid daughter of Fuggles. Characterized by low alpha and mild aroma similar to Fuggles.


This is just a few varieties available to the home brewer, there are many more varieties.

Check with your Home Brew Supplier.



Forms of Hops

Hops are available to the home brewers in leaf (whole), plug and pellets. Whole hops are the most traditional form and the most appropriate to home brewing. These are the hops cones, or flowers, in their natural state. They can be obtained from home brew shops loose, but the best samples are available compressed and vacuum-packed in hermetically sealed foil wrappers. This packaging keeps them fresh for much longer periods. Another stable form of hops, useful to the home brewer is a hop plug. These are whole hops that have been compressed under high pressure into 14g plugs of about 25mm diameter and then vacuum packed in foil sachet to preserve them.These expand into whole hops during the boil and behave in exactly the same way. The plugs are fairly accurate 14g, simplifying the weighing of ingredients and the packaging technique seals in freshness. Pellet hops are hops that have been ground to a powder and compressed into pellets about 25mm long by 5mm in diameter. This is the most common form of hops used by home brewers (kit brewers).  They come in foil packs of about 12g (tea bag hops) 25g and 50g packs from your home brew shop


Buying & Storage of Hops

When buying hops in a home brew shop, you will see that they come in two distinct forms-flowers, commonly known as cones because of their conical shape and pellets. The advantage of pellets is twofold: first, they take up much less space for their weight; secondly; they are likely to keep better. If exposed to oxygen, the oils in the hops will turn rancid through the process of oxidization. But because pelletization encloses most of these oils and keeps them safe from contamination by oxygen, the oils stay fresher for a longer period. Pellets have another advantage in that, because they have been already pulverized, they don�t need as long a boil to extract the bitterness.Hops should be stored in as cold a place as possible, away from the light and preferably in vacuum-sealed packs.The better home brew shops keep their hops this way and, to maintain their freshness, it is simply a matter of popping them into the freezer when you get home. It is almost impossible to put a numerical value on flavour and aroma, so hops are always rated by bitterness,That is, according to the proportion of Alpha Acid they have in their make up. This is recorded as the proportion of alpha acid per weight of hops. As a general rule, the varieties of hops considered to have the finest aroma and flavour are those with low acid ratings. So the famous Saaz hops from Czechoslovakia, regarded by most as being the finest aroma hops in the world, usually have an alpha-acid rating of around 3-4%, where as the standard Australian hop, the Pride of Ringwood,Rates at between 9-10%. The result is that to achieve a given amount of bitterness in the beer you must use a lot more of Saaz hops than Pride of Ringwood. As a consequence, most Australian brewers, aiming to keep costs down as far as possible, use the Australian hop with its high bitterness rating all the time. We home brewers, not being involved in massive sales wars and probably not having gone bankrupt, don�t have to worry quite so much about the cost of our hops.We can use virtually whatever we can lay our hands on.This freedom, in fact, is one of the great pleasures of home brewing.  However, it is no use just throwing in any old bunch of hops and hoping for the best, as you never know what will come out at the end.  At one extreme, your beer could be so bitter that it can only be poured down the sink; at the other end; it might taste like barley sugar. Fortunately, there is an easy way to stop these problems.

NOTE: Hop pellets are the same material as dried hops (flowers-cones) except that it has been milled to a powder then compressed into pellets. This process causes them to yield more flavour and bitterness than dried hops. Thus, when using pellets, you only need to use about 60% of the weight of dried hops.


Simple Finesse With Hops

The use of  fresh whole or pelletized hops in a knowledgeable manner can immensely improve the quality of your home brewed beers. It is relatively inexpensive and the procedures are virtually worry-free. Most kit beers are designed to have relatively low bitterness. Many are flavoured with hop extract, which contributes bitterness but none of the other often desirable hop characteristics to the beer. Along with substituting light malt extract or dextrose for the sugar that many kit instructions call for, adding a small amount of bittering hops will help balance the flavour. For a 23litre batch,12-14g of low to medium bittering hops such as Hallertauer, Cascade, Goldings or Willamette  boiled for 10-20 minutes will make a positive and noticeable contribution to your kit beer. Adding 12-14g of low to medium hops that are noted for their flavour during the last 5-10 minutes of the boil will contribute a complex hop flavour that will otherwise be lacking if hop extract is listed as an ingredient of the kit beer. Fuggles, Willamette, Hallertauer, Mt Hood, Cascade, Goldings, Tettanger and Saaz are among the more popular aroma hops. Finally, to add aromatic finesse to any beer, add 5-10g of aroma hops during the last minute of the boil, then immediately strain, spurge and transfer to your fermenter. By including this step in your brewing process, you will create a balance, complexity and depth of character in your beer that is missing from most kit beers. For those who choose to continue their brewing endeavours with simple kit beers, these three hop infusions may provide the complexity and satisfaction you have been seeking in your homebrewed beer.


Dry and Wet Hopping

There is a final way of extracting hop aroma, which is used by commercial breweries in Europe and Britain. This is know as Dry Hopping  because the hops themselves do not come in contact with the hot wort. Dry hopping is best done after the wort has fermented.   If you wish to dry hop and intend to bottle your beer, it should be transferred into a secondary fermenter in which you have already put a proportion of hops. This fermenter should well sealed with a lid and airlock to prevent any contact with the air, and the beer left for a minimum of 10 days for the aroma of the hops to infuse. (see notes on Racking)     If you are kegging your beer, just add the hops at the same time as you transfer the beer to the keg. If you don�t like the idea of adding unsterilised hops to your freshly brewed beer, there is an alternative way which is called Wet Hopping. Put the hops into a clean jug and pour boiling water over them,then stir the mixture  and pour it through a fine strainer into your beer.

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