Hops - recommendations?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

drocu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
285
Reaction score
2
Location
Rochester
I've recently begun this addictive journey into homebrewing and want to start crafting my own recipes by buying light DME/LME in bulk and steeping different specialty grains to achieve different ales via experimentation.

My question is: what essential hops would you recommend to brew an assortment of ales? I'm planning on buying bulk from HopsDirect to save money. I know this is a very open question, but I'd like a variety that will encompass a large number of styles, if possible, to give me lots of flexibility. The only obvious one to me so far is Cascade.

And I enjoy all types of beer, except for the fruity ones.
 

joey11bball

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston
First of all let me start out by saying that if you are going to buy extract in bulk go with DME. DME has a much longer shelf life then LME. After time LME can develops the "extract twang" that people speak of.

Its a tough call to make on what kind of hops to buy. If you are making an american style beer pretty much any american hop would work. If you are making a British style beer then any British hop would work, etc. Its all just personal preference.

That being said I generally make american style beers and my favorite american hops have to be chinook, amarillo, and simcoe.

Also if you are going to buy hops in bulk make sure you keep them in your freezer and hopefully in vacuumed sealed bags. Temperature and oxygen can cause the alpha acids in the hops to decrease which diminishes the bittering quality of hops.
 

Boleslaus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
1,302
Reaction score
35
Location
Atlanta
I would keep it simple at first until you start to figure out what you like. You could definitely buy Cascade or Centennial in bulk, since they work for so many different beer styles. You might like other hops better though...and you won't know until you try them.
 

unionrdr

Homebrewer, author & air gun collector
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
39,152
Reaction score
3,788
Location
Sheffield
First of all,"extract twang" is NOT caused merely because it's LME & getting old. That's false. Extract twang is more of a user error due to incorrect temps,etc. I've used LME that was years old,some folks decades old,& it came out great. So that dawg don't hunt.
Keep LME in the fridge,DME sealed in a cool,dry pantry. That's what I do. IDK about buying large amounts of either,though. You'd have to brew a lot to use up mass quantities. How much were you thinking of?
 
OP
D

drocu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
285
Reaction score
2
Location
Rochester
Its a tough call to make on what kind of hops to buy. If you are making an american style beer pretty much any american hop would work. If you are making a British style beer then any British hop would work, etc. Its all just personal preference.

That being said I generally make american style beers and my favorite american hops have to be chinook, amarillo, and simcoe.

Also if you are going to buy hops in bulk make sure you keep them in your freezer and hopefully in vacuumed sealed bags. Temperature and oxygen can cause the alpha acids in the hops to decrease which diminishes the bittering quality of hops.
So would it be worthwhile to buy some American (such as what you suggested) and some British (e.g. Fuggles?) to keep things flexible?

And yeah, I have plenty of freezer space and vacuum seal bags for the extra hops.

Keep LME in the fridge,DME sealed in a cool,dry pantry. That's what I do. IDK about buying large amounts of either,though. You'd have to brew a lot to use up mass quantities. How much were you thinking of?
Well, if I find a good price for DME, I'd buy 50lbs. LME seems to be more difficult to buy in "bulk" but it's significantly cheaper I've noticed. I'm trying to make this more economical because right now I'm getting hosed at the LHBS. As for quantity, I'm brewing a 5-gal batch every weekend and don't have any intention of changing that routine until my basement cellar is filled with bottles/kegs. So even 50 lbs. DME would go reasonably quickly.
 

Boleslaus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
1,302
Reaction score
35
Location
Atlanta
So would it be worthwhile to buy some American (such as what you suggested) and some British (e.g. Fuggles?) to keep things flexible?

And yeah, I have plenty of freezer space and vacuum seal bags for the extra hops.



Well, if I find a good price for DME, I'd buy 50lbs. LME seems to be more difficult to buy in "bulk" but it's significantly cheaper I've noticed. I'm trying to make this more economical because right now I'm getting hosed at the LHBS. As for quantity, I'm brewing a 5-gal batch every weekend and don't have any intention of changing that routine until my basement cellar is filled with bottles/kegs. So even 50 lbs. DME would go reasonably quickly.
If you are doing it because your LHBS sucks, try buying online. There are plenty of good options (Norther Brewer, Brewmasters Warehouse, etc.). They have pretty good prices, and you can buy hops as you need them so you have more flexibility.
 

rexbanner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
101
Location
DC
Cascade and EKG.

That's what I've found that I use the most and am currently growing. I only brew American, English, and Belgian, and most Belgian styles don't need a lot of hops.
 
Top