Thursday, March 20, 2008

The 4 Varieties of Hops I Will Be Growing This Year

From my Hop Trellis post yesterday, you all now know I am growing hops this year. I think it going to be a big trend this year due to the hop shortage. I ordered my hops rhizomes (root cuttings) from the Thyme Garden in mid February and they should be here any day. I went for all high-alpha hops that are hybrids with both clean bittering and pleasant aroma characteristics. Thyme Garden is an Organic company, so the rhizomes were raised without chemicals. I'm not expecting much this first year growing them. But with in a couple years, I am expecting to harvest a couple pounds from each bine.

Below are the hops I chose and a brief description.


Alpha rating: 5–7
Description: Unique flowery, spicy, citrus-grapefruit, herbal, perfumy aroma. Soft, well-balanced bitterness. Good dry hop.
Use: A must for American pale ales and IPAs, especially Northwest versions. Also good in steam beer, porter, American wheat beer, barley wine.
Substitutes (bittering and aroma): None, but Centennial is closest.


Alpha rating: 7–11.5
Description: Smooth bitterness, flowery citrus aroma. Similar to (and blends well with) Cascade. A pleasing hop that many brewers ignore.
Use: Bittering and aroma in American pale ale and wheat beer, stout and porter.
Substitutes (bittering and aroma): Cascade.


Alpha rating: 11–14
Description: Very bitter; medium-heavy aroma with a spicy, resiny, grapefruit character.
Use: Primarily for bittering, although some brewers appreciate the aroma, even using Chinook as a dry hop. Use in pale ale, IPA, lagers, steam beer, heavy-bodied dark ales.
Substitutes (bittering): Galena, Nugget, Cluster.


Alpha rating: 12–14
Description: Extremely bitter. Mild flavour. Pleasant herbal aroma.
Use: Bittering for all types of beers, especially English ales. Aroma good for many beer styles (but not light lagers).
Substitutes (bittering): Galena, Chinook, Cluster, Cascade, Centennial.


Jason said...

Jeff...I too am growing some hops this year. I purchased 4 rhizomes, 2 cascade and 2 centennial. They came in the mail the other day but I was not expecting them until next week at the earliest. I don't have much space in my yard, but was going to try a sort of zig-zag approach to gorwing the vine. Not sure it's going to work, but we'll see.

Keep us posted on how they are growing. I will do the same.


Jeff Louella said...

I just received mine yesterday. I will also be at home depot this weekend.