Hartwick Hops

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Kaz15

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I’m starting this thread to discuss growing the unique hop variety, Hartwick. And of course to discuss the sensory and flavor profile.

Hartwick is available from Great Lakes Hops in their heritage collection. As best as I can tell, this variety is either a lost variety brought over from Europe or a feral North American plant found somewhere in Michigan.

I bought a crown fron GLH 2 years ago. So it’s coming up on it’s 3rd season. We live in the Denver metro area in Colorado. The production so far hasn’t been crazy. 1.75 oz dried in year one, 6.4 oz dried in 2020.

The Hartwick plant got brutalized last June by a weeks worth of 30-40mph winds and a derecho with winds over 60mph. Despite that, it produced fairly well.

I finally had a chance to brew a 5 gallon test batch last month using all 6.4 oz.

Aroma: I don’t get a ton of aroma. It’s a nondescript light and fruity aroma.

Flavor: I kegged the beer at 2 weeks and burst carbed it so it was ready to drink at 2.5 weeks. For the first two weeks it was ok. Fruity with a slightly grassy/vegetal flavor. However, around week 4-5 (now), the grassy/vegetal flavor has faded out completely. I now get a very prominent and readily apparently pineapple flavor (which is what’s advertised on GLH’s website). I’ve shared this beer with others, and without prompting, “pineapple” is the number one descriptor others come up with as well. It’s incredibly refreshing and enjoyable.

I would rate the overall pungency as mild to moderate. I think that could possibly change with a more mature plant in this third year. The pineapple is slightly reminicent of the smooth coconut finish I get when drinking a Sabro pale ale. This is NOT a Sabro replacement, but it has an awesome tropical component that I think others will really appreciate.

With regard to the vegetal flavor; perhaps I didn’t dry the hops enough before vacuum sealing. I’ve had similar experiences with my Cascade plant; vegetal for the first few weeks and then a nice citrus flavor over time.

Anyway, some of you may have read my Arcadian thread. I fully intend to rip that plant out come springtime. Hartwick on the other hand, will be staying put for years to come.
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1galbrewer

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Just came across this. I have a 3 year Hartwick plant and a 2 year (as well as some others in small pots). My plant looks much fuller than yours, but I don't know if I got any more hops. I'm on the east coast, so I likely have weather more similar Michigan than you.

I think the hops smell awesome. Not much pine, spice, or hoppyness, but a nice fruity smell that might be pineapple like. It actually smells pretty similar to AlphAroma (Rakau) to me. I get that "whole orchard" nature from Hartwick that I get from Rakau. I have both plants, though AlphAroma barely produces hops for me.

I've made some beers with it and found them to be pretty neutral and clean like yours. I made one batch that used Hartwick for bittering and found the bitterness of the beer to be perfect, better than many of my beers with measured IBU levels.

This year the 2nd year plant might be outperforming the 3 year plant. I still have some hops that I'm hoping to make another beer with to try to coax out more hop flavor. I have the suspicion that, like Rakau, this hop won't be too pungent.
 
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Kaz15

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Glad to hear from someone else who’s growing these varieties. My Hartwick has gotten off to a much stronger start, this being it’s third year. If you look closely at my Hartwick from last year, the lower leaves were ravaged during a derecho last June. 60+ mph winds. You can see they look pretty tattered. Here’s a pic from this morning of this year’s growth. Expecting it to fill out a good bit more.
7B9568F4-36AB-489A-A331-8B1F988289CC.jpeg


My Alpharoma plant is growing steadily and healthy. Alpharoma has always trailed in growth by a couple weeks from my other plants. But it’s also advertised as a late harvest plant.
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I found my Alpharoma to have a distinct Apple flavor. Very interesting and very tasty. Probably a terrior thing.
 

NitrogenWidget

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I just kegged a brew with last yrs hartwick crop.
unfortunately i think i didn't dry them enough before vac-sealing and freezing because every pouch i had in the freezer expanded and was full of ice crystals.

i made beer with them anyways.
just some pale malt and flaked oats with tropical ipa yeast.

1 oz at 60 mins.
3 oz at 5 mins. plus left to steep while cooling.
1 oz dry hop after fermentation.

it didn't smell or taste like much out of the fermenter.
just a hint of fruitiness.
2nd day on the gas though and there is a great aroma of fruitiness and a little more flavor.
i get a hint of pineapple.
i'm thinking of giving it a few more days then see where it is and if it's too bland i'll toss in some pineapple.

my plants are on the third yr and going crazy.
i've had to trim extra bines now almost weekly down to the base root.

i planted one of the cuttings next to my fence.
it gets sunlight only half the day but it's still growing.
I just wanted to see how it looks spread out on a fence.
 
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Kaz15

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I just kegged a brew with last yrs hartwick crop.
unfortunately i think i didn't dry them enough before vac-sealing and freezing because every pouch i had in the freezer expanded and was full of ice crystals.

i made beer with them anyways.
just some pale malt and flaked oats with tropical ipa yeast.

1 oz at 60 mins.
3 oz at 5 mins. plus left to steep while cooling.
1 oz dry hop after fermentation.

it didn't smell or taste like much out of the fermenter.
just a hint of fruitiness.
2nd day on the gas though and there is a great aroma of fruitiness and a little more flavor.
i get a hint of pineapple.
i'm thinking of giving it a few more days then see where it is and if it's too bland i'll toss in some pineapple.

my plants are on the third yr and going crazy.
i've had to trim extra bines now almost weekly down to the base root.

i planted one of the cuttings next to my fence.
it gets sunlight only half the day but it's still growing.
I just wanted to see how it looks spread out on a fence.
For what it’s worth, it took about 3-4 weeks kegged before the pineapple flavor reached it’s best level. I hope that’s the same for you.
 

NitrogenWidget

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For what it’s worth, it took about 3-4 weeks kegged before the pineapple flavor reached it’s best level. I hope that’s the same for you.
you know what, i forgot, i made a dark DIPA with my 2019 crop last fall.
i tossed something like 8 oz of hops in at the last 5 mins to make room for the new crop.
it tasted horrible after kegging but i let it sit for a few months and by winter time it was very tropical and tasty.
but also 8% so the keg lasted all winter.
 

1galbrewer

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A moment of silence for the first empty keg of summer.
my hartwick pale ale.
How was it. I keep not getting around to brewing with them cause the rest of my recipe isn't there yet, I feel. That and I have no temperature control :/
 

NitrogenWidget

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What were your impressions of the hop?
there was a weird skunk taste at the forefront of the beer that appeared after i dry-hopped with 1 oz. but it faded and towards the end of the keg I started to get the tropical notes and pineapple.
my next batch will be a 10 gallon batch and I will load up the hops at flame out for a stronger aroma and skip the dry-hop.
plus i expect a bumper crop this yr and need to make room.
 

NitrogenWidget

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How was it. I keep not getting around to brewing with them cause the rest of my recipe isn't there yet, I feel. That and I have no temperature control :/
Don't over think it.
I used pale malt and rolled instant oats with tropical ipa yeast.
that was it.

the keg kicked quickly.
people liked it.
 
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Kaz15

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there was a weird skunk taste at the forefront of the beer that appeared after i dry-hopped with 1 oz. but it faded and towards the end of the keg I started to get the tropical notes and pineapple.
my next batch will be a 10 gallon batch and I will load up the hops at flame out for a stronger aroma and skip the dry-hop.
plus i expect a bumper crop this yr and need to make room.
Glad to hear your experience was similar to mine. I’d definitely call it “earthy pineapple”. I’d love it if I got a little dankness from the hop, like you did.

I’m hoping this 3rd year to get at least 16oz. So I can play around with it and try pairing it with other hops.
 
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Kaz15

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So far it’s growing well. Hasn’t started the flowering phase yet.
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NitrogenWidget

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Glad to hear your experience was similar to mine. I’d definitely call it “earthy pineapple”. I’d love it if I got a little dankness from the hop, like you did.

I’m hoping this 3rd year to get at least 16oz. So I can play around with it and try pairing it with other hops.
dank is the perfect word for what i tasted.
 

1galbrewer

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Don't over think it.
I used pale malt and rolled instant oats with tropical ipa yeast.
that was it.
I only have so much left, so I don't want to waste them. That said, I'll get the new ones flowering in August so I'll likely end up using them soon.

I made a two test batches, each with a different base malt, and citra and cascade. I think my bitterness levels were pretty on point, but the flavor was surprisingly bland. It was almost like lemon cleaner. No grapefruit from the cascade or anything interesting. Also had a weird off flavor I often perceive. I want to rethink the grist or yeast to give more complexity, especially if I'm using just one hop. I'll stay away from using oats to reduce the chances and intensity of oxidation (I believe Scott Janish mentions this in his book). Might bring in a slightly stronger crystal malt flavor or use a NEIPA yeast strain over US-05. I don't like US-05, just thought it'd let the true flavor of the hops come through more clearly.
 
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Kaz15

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I only have so much left, so I don't want to waste them. That said, I'll get the new ones flowering in August so I'll likely end up using them soon.

I made a two test batches, each with a different base malt, and citra and cascade. I think my bitterness levels were pretty on point, but the flavor was surprisingly bland. It was almost like lemon cleaner. No grapefruit from the cascade or anything interesting. Also had a weird off flavor I often perceive. I want to rethink the grist or yeast to give more complexity, especially if I'm using just one hop. I'll stay away from using oats to reduce the chances and intensity of oxidation (I believe Scott Janish mentions this in his book). Might bring in a slightly stronger crystal malt flavor or use a NEIPA yeast strain over US-05. I don't like US-05, just thought it'd let the true flavor of the hops come through more clearly.
Regarding the weird off flavor, Citra tastes like cat piss to me about 80% of the time. Sometimes it’s amazing… usually when paired with Mosaic. I brewed a batch with Citra and Cascade years ago and it’s the only homebrew I’ve dumped down the drain. Anyway, maybe that’s what you’re detecting.

If your LHBS has it, I strongly recommend Imperial yeast. Really high quality yeast. Imperial A07: Flagship, is a much better alternative to US-05. Definitely brew something simple to let the Hartwick shine!
 

NitrogenWidget

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I only have so much left, so I don't want to waste them. That said, I'll get the new ones flowering in August so I'll likely end up using them soon.

I made a two test batches, each with a different base malt, and citra and cascade. I think my bitterness levels were pretty on point, but the flavor was surprisingly bland. It was almost like lemon cleaner. No grapefruit from the cascade or anything interesting. Also had a weird off flavor I often perceive. I want to rethink the grist or yeast to give more complexity, especially if I'm using just one hop. I'll stay away from using oats to reduce the chances and intensity of oxidation (I believe Scott Janish mentions this in his book). Might bring in a slightly stronger crystal malt flavor or use a NEIPA yeast strain over US-05. I don't like US-05, just thought it'd let the true flavor of the hops come through more clearly.
I got ya.
I got over a lb from my plants last yr. and expect even more this yr so my hop hand can be heavy. :)
 

NitrogenWidget

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Regarding the weird off flavor, Citra tastes like cat piss to me about 80% of the time. Sometimes it’s amazing… usually when paired with Mosaic. I brewed a batch with Citra and Cascade years ago and it’s the only homebrew I’ve dumped down the drain. Anyway, maybe that’s what you’re detecting.

If your LHBS has it, I strongly recommend Imperial yeast. Really high quality yeast. Imperial A07: Flagship, is a much better alternative to US-05. Definitely brew something simple to let the Hartwick shine!

I have a fermenter with lutra kviek yeast cake in it.
thinking of brewing up 10 gallons of a session ipa with say 8oz or more of hartwick for aroma since i still have almost a lb left this weekend.
 
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Kaz15

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That’s awesome. I actually just used Lutra for the first time a few months ago. Good clean strain.
 

NitrogenWidget

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That’s awesome. I actually just used Lutra for the first time a few months ago. Good clean strain.
checked it 3 days in the bucket.
still fermenting, lots of yeast in suspension in the sample i poured from the spigot on the fermenter so the gravity reading is probably off.
I gave it a taste though.

it's an IPA!

edit: 10 gallons of dank.
will keg then forget about it until august i think.
 
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