Anyone have experience with Zappa or HBC-586?

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tyrub42

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Just got a half pound of each. Love the descriptors, but I'm looking for experience from other brewers. Wondering both about flavor and potency/pungency of these varietals compared to other IPA staples like Citra/Mosaic/Simcoe/CTZ/etc. I do around 27 liters at a time, so a half lb puts me around 2lbs/bbl. Will likely do 2-3oz in the whirl and the rest as dry hop additions. Zappa was lower AA than I expected at 4.9, but I don't use these for bittering additions, so as long as they have a nice pungent oil content I'm happy. My only concern is that we've all read amazing flavor descriptors before, only to find out the hops were way milder in flavor than we expected.


TL/DR: Anyone make any pales/IPAs with either of these? How potent were they? How'd they taste? Thanks!!!
 
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tyrub42

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Seems like radio silence on these. I'll use Zappa in a NE amber ale next month (probably). I'll report back when I do
 

marchuk96

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I have used Zappa in a Pale Ale by itself and have to say it is on the level of Citra and Mosaic...I was very impressed on how it performed alone...it has some dank and definitely tropical flavors and aromas...the fruity pebbles descriptor I'd say is fairly accurate as well..I would recommend it 100%...can't comment on the other hop since I have never used it...cheers
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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Oh wow that's great to hear! Did you feel it stacked up to citra and Mosaic in terms of potency or just in terms of being a great candidate for a single hop beer? If you don't mind me asking, how much did you use, and what was your hopping schedule like? Thanks!

I have used Zappa in a Pale Ale by itself and have to say it is on the level of Citra and Mosaic...I was very impressed on how it performed alone...it has some dank and definitely tropical flavors and aromas...the fruity pebbles descriptor I'd say is fairly accurate as well..I would recommend it 100%...can't comment on the other hop since I have never used it...cheers
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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I did a beer with half a pound of zappa alone. Came out with too much of a green pepper note.
That's interesting, I also have a half pound to use. Did you go heavy on dry hopping or use it mostly in the boil?
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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I had a 4 pack from a local brewery that featured Zappa. 7.2% NEIpA. It was very, very difficult to drink. I’m not sure what happened but it was extremely harsh and unpleasant to consume. For whatever it’s worth their other beers are generally very good. May have just been a one time Thing.
https://untappd.com/b/jughandle-brewing-co-hopshorne-zappa/3545191
Wow those untapped reviews are not good lol. Hopefully just a bad batch. Would hate to have a beer that bad with hops this expensive.
 

marchuk96

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Oh wow that's great to hear! Did you feel it stacked up to citra and Mosaic in terms of potency or just in terms of being a great candidate for a single hop beer? If you don't mind me asking, how much did you use, and what was your hopping schedule like? Thanks!
I do think it stacked up to those big guys in all aspects for sure....now would it probably be even better with one or both of those together...of course but by itself works great...I used 8 oz for a new england pale ale...I bittered with .25 oz Nugget...then I hit it with 1oz [email protected] mins..Then 4oz. In a 1 hr approximately 150 degree whirlpool...and then dry hopped with 3oz. for 2 days...cold crashed and then kegged
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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I do think it stacked up to those big guys in all aspects for sure....now would it probably be even better with one or both of those together...of course but by itself works great...I used 8 oz for a new england pale ale...I bittered with .25 oz Nugget...then I hit it with 1oz [email protected] mins..Then 4oz. In a 1 hr approximately 150 degree whirlpool...and then dry hopped with 3oz. for 2 days...cold crashed and then kegged

Sounds great! My plan is similar except it'll be an NE style amber and I'll throw a little Mosaic cryo in with it. Still letting Zappa be the star of the show though. Thanks!!!
 
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Quick update here. I just bottled the beer I made with Zappa. It's not carbed yet, but from my experience so far I can report some things.

-I made a 29-liter batch that included 8oz of Zappa with 2.5oz of Citra to compliment. I chose Citra because it has such a recognizable flavor that I felt it would be the best way to add a bit of hoppiness and complexity to the beer while still being able to detect what Zappa brings to the party.
-Smell of the pellets out of the bag reminded me of a less-potent combo of simcoe and ctz. While that alone certainly doesn't warrant the price Zappa commands, I was pretty happy about it.
-FG sample, as well as a taste yesterday at bottling (and the smell), so far suggest a hop that doesn't have the pungency of Simcoe or CTZ (as expected), but is very very fruity in a way that it different than most other new hops coming out. To me it came off as tons of dank berry and some stone fruit. 'Forest fruits' is usually how I describe this, and I usually find that when it's presented in a hop, the hop will also have a ton of dank and/or pine (or other more-conventional fruit notes like citrus etc). From what I've tasted so far, those forest fruits are the biggest contribution of Zappa, while the dankness is more of a complement to the fruit. This was in an Amber Ale that finished at 5.8 percent, and was fermented with Conan as well as having Citra. Because of this, there were definitely some classic Citra notes in the beer and some very peachy esters from the yeast, but to the best of my ability, I can say the forest fruit flavors were from the Zappa.

Zappa seems to play in the same ballpark as Simcoe or Eureka, while being the fruitiest but also the least pungent of the three. I would probably say Zappa is also the most unique of the three though, although that may just be because I want it to be interesting for the price haha. I feel like the hop with the closest flavor to Zappa that I've used so far is Eureka. I loved the beer uncarbed and I think an Amber Ale was definitely a good choice for the hop. I don't think I'd buy it again at its current price, though, considering it's in Nelson/Galaxy price range.

I'll update this thread when I try the finished beer (1-2 weeks from now). I'll also be making a HBC-586 single hop beer in anticipation of it being substantially more pungent than Zappa.

Pics are up on Instagram but none of the finished beer yet.

Thanks!
 

couchsending

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Both of these hops are neomexicanus or have neomexicanus roots..

To me all the neomexicanus hops have this slightly odd underlying almost wood/vegetal like character. It’s hard to describe but once you understand it’s easy to pick out in all of them. It’s stronger in some, lighter in others, and presents slightly different in others. I’ve used 586,692, Sabro, 472, Zappa, and recently had a single hop Medusa beer and it’s synonymous with all of them.

Even when used as a small portion of the hop blend it’s easy to pick out.

One thing I will say is all of these hops are incredibly potent. The ones I’ve used are all more potent than even Galaxy which I would have previously said was as potent as it gets. IMHO you can almost get away with using considerably than say a Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, etc.

They also have crazy staying power. There are certain hops that tend to fade over time, Citra being one of the worst. A lot of these neomexicanus hops seem to not fade. Local brewery funded the development of 692 I believe. They released a beer early last summer that was a singe hop 692 beer. Brewer gave me one 4 months after package that hadn’t even been kept cold the whole time and it was incredibly aromatic still. I’ve had similar experiences with the beers I’ve made. I think there’s something in these hops that keeps the aroma/flavor around longer.

586 might actually be my favorite of the bunch. It seems to have less of the “woody/earthy” aspect and is very tropical. I like it more than Sabro at the moment. I just kegged a beer that was 80/20 Citra/586 and the 586 ended up dominating (and it was extremely good Citra).

I got awesome tropical character from Zappa but also lots of grassy/ditchweed character. Not dank or diesel necessarily.

edit: just looked and no where does it say 586 is neomexicanus but it’s parentage is a bit blurry.. sure seems like it has some neomexicanus dna??
 
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tyrub42

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Thanks for all the thoughts! It can definitely be tough keeping up with lineage. I was surprised when I looked up neomexicanus and found some varietals that have been around for awhile. For the experimental hops, I'm just thrilled if I can get accurate descriptors and even an oil content. 586 doesn't have an oil content available but I've heard great things, and its nice to hear that you also loved it. I'm still struggling between using a more traditional APA malt bill, and a newer "pale and oats" NE pale ale malt bill. Seems like with all of that fruit, it would be better suited to the latter, although I never turn away a fruity classes APA...

Zappa so far is a total wait-and-see hop for me. First I liked it but was a tad underwhelmed in an early sample, then loved it as the yeast dropped a bit, and then last night I had a test bottle to see how carbonation was coming along. It had a note to the aroma at first that I was not a fan of. It was dank in a way that was totally different to other hops, and had a more skunk spray/sulfur kind of dankness that really put me off. So I drank it, and as I drank it and it warmed a tad, that weird quality blended so nicely into the berry character. By the end, the best descriptor for both aroma and taste was fresh blackberries. Love it or hate it, it's definitely unique (although I of course hope I end up loving it :) )
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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Awesome! Good to have that available for these newer hops.

On my end, it's seeming like that overly-skunky character is fading as the bottles are carbonating properly. Since they're using a yeast blend of mostly Conan, it may have been a byproduct of early bottle conditioning. Off topic, but it's always a trip when a yeast strain does that! I bottle conditioned a 6 percent hoppy beer last year that I fermented with Hothead. I tried a bottle after 4 days and had to drain pour it. It was carbonated but absolutely awful. Luckily I had heard that Kvieks tend to take awhile to bottle condition properly, so I let them site another 10 days and they were absolutely delicious! It was my only time bottle conditioning a Kviek, so I can't say how normal that is, but I had heard before brewing that it takes a long time to bottle condition. I can't remember if I conditioned them at normal conditioning temps or Kviek temps, though. Knowing me, it was probably around 25c (a compromise between the two).

I'll try another Zappa tonight, but FWIW so far I've had two, and as carbonation is getting higher, the berry flavor is getting cleaner and more uniquely delicious.
 
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tyrub42

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Alright Zappa is all carbed and ready and it's a wild wild hop. First of all the purple berries and ditch weed descriptors are definitely accurate. The dank of it is much much 'skunkier' than normal dankness in other hops, and it's not something I find to be very pleasant at the strength it's presenting in in this beer. When I was searching for descriptors, sulfury came to mind at first, before realizing it was more like what I'd call skunky. Almost like a plate of fresh blackberries that you eat when you can smell that a skunk sprayed off in the distance somewhere. That isn't to say it's not an enjoyable flavor profile; more to say that this is a hop for pairing. A 50/50 blend with Eureka would be heavenly, as would anything from Mosaic to Simcoe to CTZ all the way to something like El Dorado. Potency is what I'd call medium-high. Not up to the level of citra or mosaic, but it's much closer than I expected from the AA and the smell of the pellets. More potent than Cascade, Cashmere, etc. Would add a unique twist to any hop profile and would be difficult to overwhelm in a blend because of how unique the flavor profile is.

@HopsAreGood does any of this sound like the Zappa NEIPA you found hard to drink? I could see the negative aspects intensifying if it was hopped at 2-3x the rate I did (which would probably be what they went with for that beer)
 

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I have brewed with Zappa several times now. On every batch, without exception, the flavor profile is quite aggressive when the beer is young. Give it some time in bottles and drink one a week to see how the flavors morph over time. With a few weeks of age, it will mellow out quite a bit and you will find that the beer is a far cry from what it was when fresh. I absolutely love this hop, and I agree with @tyrub42 that Mosaic, Simcoe or CTZ would be a perfect hop to blend with.
 
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@BrewerBrad82 It's funny you say that, because I tried another tonight, after a few days of cold conditioning, and honestly the fruitiness is there in full force but the skunkiness honestly seems to have calmed down significantly. I'll post again in about a week to update.

Off hand, was the aggressiveness you noticed when you brewed with it along the same lines as that overly skunky quality I described?
 

BrewerBrad82

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@tyrub42 absolutely it was. To me it is kind of catty/dank/piney/resinous all at the same time when young, but that tends to dissipate and the fruity characteristics start to stand out more and more with a little age. It certainly is one of the most interesting hops I have ever brewed with, and I love it!
 
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Just brewed up the HBC-586 beer yesterday. went with a Red X SMASH beer (1.052 OG). I can't say much now except that the hop pellets smell ridiculously good. Almost Citra-y but without the catty mango and with a pronounced sweet red grapefruit note. As pungent smelling as Citra as well. Obviously the smell of the pellets usually doesn't align super well with the smell of the hops in beer, but I am very excited now. I'll report back when the beer is finished (3-4 weeks)
 
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On the Zappa topic, the Zappa Amber did exactly what @BrewerBrad82 predicted. It's now got all the rich purple berry but the skunky weed dankness is much more subtle and the beer is a joy to drink. Still wish I had more so I could do a red IPA with 50/50 Zappa/Eureka. That would be heavenly!
 
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HBC 586 beer is cold crashing now. Did a red x smash and so far I am extremely impressed with the hop in every way. Will have more to report when the beer is all finished and ready in a week or two, but so far it strikes me as a strong contender for the next 'it' hop. It has the fruitiness and single hop/blending potential of Citra or Mosaic and seems to be just as potent as well. Fermenter samples taste like eating gushers fruit snacks. Can't wait to hopefully get my hands on more in the future
 

wardens355

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HBC 586 beer is cold crashing now. Did a red x smash and so far I am extremely impressed with the hop in every way. Will have more to report when the beer is all finished and ready in a week or two, but so far it strikes me as a strong contender for the next 'it' hop. It has the fruitiness and single hop/blending potential of Citra or Mosaic and seems to be just as potent as well. Fermenter samples taste like eating gushers fruit snacks. Can't wait to hopefully get my hands on more in the future
I have made pale ales with Exp 586 only and Exp 692 only. The 586 pale was one of my favorite beers for the last year, it had a great flavor and aroma, hard to pin it down exactly but interesting fruity and extremely tasty. Recipe had 0.75 oz @ 5 min, 2.5 oz whirlpool, 2.5 oz dry hop. I am planning to make a pale tomorrow with 1:2 Strata:586 to see how they taste together, but the hop can stand up on its own and have a really complex flavor. The 692 pale was also really good, citrusy and gingery, seemed like a mix between pale ale and ginger beer but extremely refreshing.

I have made several beers with Zappa. The first was a pale with Zappa and Amarillo hops (Amarillo Brillo) that was one of my favorite beers. It had citrus but also a bit of wild undertones and the 'fruity pebble' flavor. I made a Galaxy/Zappa pale that was a bit harsh and never really came into its own, a Simcoe/Zappa pale that was decent but had a bit of a dirty character in the background, a Strata/Zappa pale that was really interesting, tasty with a faint BO-dankness. Going back for a third-round of the Zappa/Amarillo combo tomorrow to go with the Strata/586 batch.

I also recommend trying out an amber ale with Sabro hops. I plan to do my 4th Sabro amber in the last 13 months next weekend. The coconut/citrus/cedar flavors of the Sabro go really well with the amber ale malt bill.
 
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I have made pale ales with Exp 586 only and Exp 692 only. The 586 pale was one of my favorite beers for the last year, it had a great flavor and aroma, hard to pin it down exactly but interesting fruity and extremely tasty. Recipe had 0.75 oz @ 5 min, 2.5 oz whirlpool, 2.5 oz dry hop. I am planning to make a pale tomorrow with 1:2 Strata:586 to see how they taste together, but the hop can stand up on its own and have a really complex flavor. The 692 pale was also really good, citrusy and gingery, seemed like a mix between pale ale and ginger beer but extremely refreshing.

I have made several beers with Zappa. The first was a pale with Zappa and Amarillo hops (Amarillo Brillo) that was one of my favorite beers. It had citrus but also a bit of wild undertones and the 'fruity pebble' flavor. I made a Galaxy/Zappa pale that was a bit harsh and never really came into its own, a Simcoe/Zappa pale that was decent but had a bit of a dirty character in the background, a Strata/Zappa pale that was really interesting, tasty with a faint BO-dankness. Going back for a third-round of the Zappa/Amarillo combo tomorrow to go with the Strata/586 batch.

I also recommend trying out an amber ale with Sabro hops. I plan to do my 4th Sabro amber in the last 13 months next weekend. The coconut/citrus/cedar flavors of the Sabro go really well with the amber ale malt bill.
Yeah my 586 beer is just about carbed up and the first bottle I tried was phenomenal. That hop could be the next Citra for sure. It's potent and fruity and stands on its own as a single hop. I absolutely love it so far and can't wait to try it in more styles.

The Zappa beer started a bit too much with the skunky weedy dankness (a very unique incarnation of 'dank' that is unlike what I've found from other hops), but it has really mellowed nicely and is super fruity. Overall, though, 586 is much more pungent, much more pleasant, and about half the price of Zappa. Zappa is more unique. Still think a red IPA with 1:1 Zappa: Eureka would be fantastic, but for now these beers were great to get acquainted with these hops.

Definitely looking forward to Sabro. Hoping I can get a hold of some in the near future. Thanks!
 

reuliss

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I know this is an old thread but recently bought a lb of Zappa and ever since then have been hearing negative, including the brulosophy hop chronicle post. How has everyone’s experience over the past year been since brewing with this hop? And have any great combos been identified? I know some above speculated about Mosaic, CTZ, or Eureka would work well. Seems obvious at this point that I won’t be using it as a single hop.
 
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I have a Zappa beer in a keg waiting for space to free up in the kegerator. I called it yellow snow, so if it blows, it is aptly named.
 
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I know this is an old thread but recently bought a lb of Zappa and ever since then have been hearing negative, including the brulosophy hop chronicle post. How has everyone’s experience over the past year been since brewing with this hop? And have any great combos been identified? I know some above speculated about Mosaic, CTZ, or Eureka would work well. Seems obvious at this point that I won’t be using it as a single hop.
I really liked it, but would definitely use it for half the hop bill or less. The hops you mentioned would all be great to pair, but fruitier hops could work well, too. Zappa has great berry notes from my experience but also a really earthy, musty quality that was a but too strong in my beer (I think it was 80:20 zappa: citra). Equal parts zappa, Mosaic, ctz would be super dank, earthy, and berry fruity esp in a red IPA or a beer with lots of crystal malts imo. It could be super cool with lots of other hops I'd say.

That said, this was the 2018 crop so it may also be very different year-to-year
 

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I presently have two single hop beers on tap or in cans with both these hops.

zappa: made a “modern” hoppy lager with mostly Zappa in WP and DH with a bit of Sterling at the start of the boil. Just like a lot of the Neomexicanus hops it’s insanely strong. It was dry hopped at maybe .7oz/gallon and the hop intensity is crazy. It’s is very fruity but also very “herbal”. Ditch weed might be the best description for it honestly. It’s like crappy weed. Sounds terrible but in a lager to me it ends up being more interesting than it sounds. The herbal character seems to go with lager yeast character really well. I’ve given this beer to at least 5 different people with different levels of craft beer experience or “education” and the response has been “wow” across the board, which I didn’t expect. Shocking levels of hop intensity that somehow still works well with the cold lager fermentation. For me it’s too intense but is definitely a hop to experiment with more. Just like Sabro you can use really small amounts of it in a blend and still pick it out.

HBC586: This might be the best new HBC hop to come out in a while. I’d use it over Talus (692), Sabro (438), 472, 440, 522, 630, etc. I believe Shaun Hill said it’s his favorite PAC NW hop since Mosaic. It has a lot of the tropical qualities of Sabro but without the woody/coconut/vanilla character. It’s rather potent, very tropical, but has this weird sulfur/flinty character to it that’s unlike anything I’ve ever used. It really changes and evolves. I recently poured a pint off a keg that’s been on gas for a month that was as close to lavender as I’ve ever experienced in a beer. Was crazy. A hop that needs to be explored more for sure
 
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tyrub42

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Yeah 586 was just awesome all around. I cant wait to see it get pushed a little harder and then named. Will likely be a star in IPAs of all kinds in the near future
 

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