Aroma Hops

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Aroma you use em?

  • Hells yeah

  •'s just fluff

  • Take em or leave em

  • Ralph Nader's nose

Results are only viewable after voting.


Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2006
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With the price and availability of hops and not really giving a crap about aroma,we gave up aroma hops altogether over 6 months ago.I'm curious how many veteran homebrewers use em.
I voted Nader...but with good reason. I use aroma hops when the style calls for it. I mean, you just CAN'T brew an IPA without aroma hops, but hop aroma is completely misplaced in a lambic or porter.

Since some hops are a little hard to find right now, I suggest changing the styles you brew rather than eliminating what could be a crucial part of a recipe.
Yes, I just added 2 oz of Amarillo to 5 gallons of DIPA for a dryhop. All that was lacking after fermentation was that hop nose. If I'm taking the time and investing the money to make an outstanding beer, I'll spare no expense.
I have not given up on aroma hops, granted, I don't brew hoppy beers very often but I do use aroma hops when needed.
I tend to approach hops in the British Isles style: as a minimum, not a maximum. In other words, hops are there to cut the cloying sweetness of the malt, in flavor and in aroma, to make crisp balance, not a focus. So I use 'em to do just that. But I freely admit I never got into these highly hopped West Coast craft brews, where the freshness of PNW hops are the focus of the beers rather than the malt or malt + yeast profiles, though I respect the skill and abilities of some of those brewers.

So I like aroma hops, but don't use them to create a new and distinct aroma that distracts from the foundation of the beer.
Aroma and taste are awfully hard to separate, particularly when it comes to hops. So if the style calls for a hoppy beer, I don't think you can get away with skipping the aroma hops (dry hopping -- maybeeeeeeeeee.) :D
+1 to Yuri. If the style of beer you wish to brew calls for late hops additions, you're not doing yourself any favors by omitting the aroma or dry hops. It's false economy.

+1 to Faber. I don't brew hop bombs because I really can't stand them. Neither my brain nor my palate like them. Intellectually, loading a beer recipe with hops until you can't taste anything else is the same as just dumping chili powder into a pot of chili con carne. Flavor-wise it's one-dimensional and boring, as well as completely overpowering your taste sensors. What's the point?

Real mastery of the art of brewing is finding balance. I freely admit I sort of hit all round the mark, and haven't mastered balance; I've been brewing for quite a while and still don't have a real grasp on it. But to me a complicated recipe that has all the flavors and aromas in balance is a showcase of the brewer's mastery of his art.

Plus I like to drink flavourful beer, not either overwhelm my palate or get schnozzled right quick. When I want a hoppy beer I reach for an Ordinary or Special Bitter; when I want a bitter beer I reach for a Dry Irish Stout; when I want a malt-flavored beer I grab one of my Milds; when I want a balanced beer I look for a well-made Porter - you won't find mine as balanced as I'd like, because I'm still learning how to meld the complicated assortment of flavors into one distinct whole - what I do not do when I want a beer is reach for an Imperial IPA, because I can only have one or two before my palate shuts down and my nose starts to tingle from the buzz. Evening over in two glasses.

There's a time and a place for big beers. I like barleywine and Quadruppel beers in a snifter after dinner or with a sweet dessert. I like Imperial Stout in small quantities, in a snifter or gently poured into a glass with a scoop of double-chocolate-fudge ice cream (yum! float!). But an 85 IBU IIPA for everyday drinking? No, thanks.

Anyway, [/rant]. Yeah, I use late hops additions in my Bitters, because I want hops flavor and aroma in there. Be damned the cost! Since it's Bitters it's, what, one more ounce? Gimme. ;)


Another option to save on hops is to not brew beers that are so damned strong! The lower your SG, the less hops you need for a similar affect. What is important is the Bittering Unit:Gravity Unit ratio

Last summer I made a Loose Cannon DIPA clone that turned up quite well and had an alcohol content at 7.8%. I'm going to brew it again this Spring but I'm going to shoot for something finishing around 6%. I'll keep the same BU:GU ratios. I realize that the higher alcohol is part of the flavor/feel of these beers, but they dont have to be quite that strong.
I use plenty of aroma hops for IPAs and other hoppy beers. I tend to skip them for many English styles and stouts. Belgians usually do not have any aroma hops.
So yes and no. Depends on the style. I have a decent supply of both bittering and aroma hops so I think I can brew this year without much affect from the hops shortage. If prices and availability are still a problem next year then I will just brew more styles requiring less hops. I'll probably have to make a few smaller Pale Ales to get my hoppy brews in.

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