Forms of Hops
Buying & Storage of
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 &
Originally French, now grown in
Australia, high class flavour and aroma.
Ave.alpha 4-5% Ales, Bitters & Stouts
Appropriate for use in British
alpha 8% Lagers
classic European Lager hops. Used in most the European brands.
Ave. alpha 3.5% Lagers and German light
Excellent aroma and flavour very widely used in commercial
NUGGET: -- U.S.A -
Ave. alpha 13% General purpose
Heavy herbal aroma, appeals to
Ave. alpha 6% All English
as a disease resistant alternative to Fuggles, Goldings and has similar
Ave. alpha 4%. Pilsners and
Noble Bohemian Hop. Its aroma is almost
A requisite feature of
a �true� Continental Pilsner.
STICKLEBRACT: � NEW ZEALAND
Ave. alpha 13-14%. General
Quite distinct from other New Zealand
Unique aroma, characteristics similar to
Ave. alpha 5%. All Lagers also Light
of the Noble German hops, now grown
Successfully in the U.S.A. Retains its
Heritage and is an excellent aroma hop.
Ave. alpha 6-8% all Ales &
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 &
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
hops is the mainstay of the Australian Hop Industry. Most if not all Aussie
beers contain it.
is very versatile being an excellent bittering hop, which also has impressive
flavour  and also exhibits a good aroma.
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.
ALPHA: � NEW
Ave. alpha 12%. General
European style aroma with high alpha.
WILLAMETTE: � U.S.A.
Ave. alpha 5-6%. Ales
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.
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
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
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
beautiful marriage of hops and craft beer ...click on