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Old 10-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
lactardjosh
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Default US Brewer's Gold vs German Brewer's Gold

I ordered Northern Brewer's Brickwarmer Holiday Red All Grain kit to brew as a holiday brew. The kit arrived today and as I was going through it, I noticed that I received German Brewer's Gold hops instead of US Brewer's Gold as the recipe calls for. I know they're different and I'm inclined to call NB and get it straightened out. However, since they're closed for the day at this point, I figured I would take the time to see what the consensus was here.

I'm curious how it would change the beer. I'm still new to brewing (hence the kit), so I've been sticking to recipe kits while I get my technique down.

What are the differences between the two hops and how might they change the beer?

8 lbs. English Maris Otter
1 lb. Torrefied Wheat
1.5 lbs Ashburne Mild
0.5 lbs. English Dark Crystal
0.25 lbs. English Medium Crystal
0.25 lbs. Fawcett Pale Chocolate Malt
1 oz. US Brewer's Gold (60 min) - received German Brewer's Gold instead
1 oz. Styrian Goldings (10 min)
1 oz. Sweet Orange Peel (0 min)

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Old 10-19-2012, 12:54 AM   #2
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While my preference is the German grown, I doubt very much you will notice any significant difference from the bitterering addition only. BTW Brewer's Gold were originally developed in the UK but are no longer grown there, just in Germany and the US.

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and the info, BigEd.

I ended up calling NB and they're sending me the US Brewer's Gold free of charge. As much as I realize it might not make much of a difference in this case, I'm really trying to stick with recipes as they've been written and intended as I get my technique down.

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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What's the difference between these when used as flavor/aroma hops? My LHBS only sells the US varietal, but the description on their bags seems to be the same as what I have read online for the German varietal. I was thinking of using these as flavor hops in an old ale/winter warmer thing soon and would like to make a more educated hops choice.

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Old 10-19-2012, 11:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNuke View Post
What's the difference between these when used as flavor/aroma hops? My LHBS only sells the US varietal, but the description on their bags seems to be the same as what I have read online for the German varietal. I was thinking of using these as flavor hops in an old ale/winter warmer thing soon and would like to make a more educated hops choice.
BGs really aren't intended for late additions but are a great bittering hop for many ales. They have an "old time" subtle flavor of dark fruit/berries that lends a nice character to pale ales, stouts and porters. BGs are also a necessity when brewing one of the old Ballantine XXX or IPA recipes.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:58 PM   #6
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So if they have this dark fruit/berries flavor, wouldn't you be acheiving that flavor by using them as flavor hops? And just because they are inteded for bittering doesn't mean they aren't good for late additions. I have a rye ale brewing right now with all brewers gold in the latter half of the boil since my LHBS doesn't carry bramling cross, and I have to say it has the most interesting aroma. I am just trying to get a better understanding for the flavor/aroma qualities between the german and us cultivars (the us cultivar seems to have a drastically different description, depending on who you buy from).

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Old 10-20-2012, 01:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNuke View Post
So if they have this dark fruit/berries flavor, wouldn't you be acheiving that flavor by using them as flavor hops?
The flavor is subtle, it's not like it tastes at all like fruit was added to the beer.

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And just because they are inteded for bittering doesn't mean they aren't good for late additions.
While that is logically true, BGs are characterized as having poor flavor and aroma. That doesn't mean you can't use them for that purpose and like it. I like BGs very much and always have them on hand but for my tastes would not use them for late additions. YMMV.

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I have a rye ale brewing right now with all brewers gold in the latter half of the boil since my LHBS doesn't carry bramling cross, and I have to say it has the most interesting aroma.
Again, if you like them the Beer Police aren't going to bust down your door. The Crouch Vale Brewery in the UK makes an all BG pale ale and it isn't half bad. However, the traditional and newer UK flavor/aroma varieties are to my tastes far superior for that purpose.

http://www.crouchvale.co.uk/?page_id=24

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I am just trying to get a better understanding for the flavor/aroma qualities between the german and us cultivars (the us cultivar seems to have a drastically different description, depending on who you buy from).
I haven't used US BGs, only smelled them but to generalize the US grown versions of UK and German hops never seem to have the quite the same finer qualities. They often seem coarser, less floral and more earthy. I have used and compared US and UK grown Goldings and IMO it is certainly true for that hop.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:13 AM   #8
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I agree with BigEd. I bought a pound last year, and they're the only hop of many I still have left. I used them for a batch and put plenty in for late additions. I didn't really like it. I drank it of course. It was more along the lines of a slightly hoppy, spicy pile of dirt. I'm just sayin'. Not the best aroma.

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Old 10-20-2012, 01:33 AM   #9
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Interesting. When I spoke with the guy at NB, he said the German variety were earthier than the US variety.

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Old 10-20-2012, 05:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for the more detailed response BigEd. I was thinking of modifying my ESB recipe to include some BGs mixed with EKG. Do you think the following hop schedule would be worthwhile to try, or should I wait till I can get my hands on some Bramling Cross? .75oz Challenger @60, .75oz BGs @15, 1oz EKG @ Flameout.

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