Originally Posted by cadillacandy
I have a hard time with my hops selections. I'm very partial to Williamette - goes so well with my stouts and porters. I've heard very good things about Simcoe though.
What's the general theory with hop progression as far bitter, flavor and aroma - is there a "best practice" that says to stick with a limited number of types? I'm totally ignorant when it comes to combining hops, so any thoughts and advice is appreciated.
I've read in a few sources that say you shouldnt really try to use more than 4 different varieties in a single batch. Too many different flavors can tend to overcompete with one another and the beer loses its nice complexity.
Certain hops do a better job with certain jobs than others, but there is no strict categories for what a bittering hop is vs strict aroma hops. Some hops have a great aroma and flavor, but dont offer the acids that promote strong bittering characteristics.
A great source is brew365.com. It will list out nearly all varieties of hops and give you a nice little graph of the taste they promote along with their most common uses (bittering, flavor, aroma). Also, it give you an idea for what beer styles it goes best with.
Remember... this is a fun hobby! Don't be afraid to stray from the books and try something unconventional! If everyone stuck with what has worked, we'd all be stuck drinking bud light all day