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How to Choose the Right Hops

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danielthemaniel

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Do you choose the more intense and higher alpha acid hops for the more hop forward beers? Do you choose lower alpha acid and less intense hops for session IPAs? How do you go about choosing the right hops for the right beers?
 

day_trippr

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A session IPA can be the little hop brother to an imperial. Same hops, just less of them, to balance with the lower alcohol intensity and body. Ie if I were to brew a session version of one of my WCIPA recipes I wouldn't change the hops used, just the amounts.

fwiw, I pick hops by function (bittering vs flavor/aroma) and then to fit the style (mostly so consumers' expectations aren't floored ;))
Often the AA% may not be important - like for New England IPAs where intensity of character is important...

Cheers!
 

RM-MN

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Do you choose the more intense and higher alpha acid hops for the more hop forward beers? Do you choose lower alpha acid and less intense hops for session IPAs? How do you go about choosing the right hops for the right beers?
Most often I use two or more hops for each beer. I'll choose a relatively high alpha hop for bittering, then a different one or two to dry hop with and those I choose based on what flavor/aroma they will add to my beer. I'm particularly fond of Citra (mango aroma to me) and Cascade (grapefruit aroma) or Amarillo (orange aroma) but may choose others. I find that Citra accentuates the aroma from Cascade and Amarillo. Those would work well in an APA or IPA. For a porter or stout I usually just go with one hop for bitterness and will choose one with little residual flavor because any flavor would be out of place in those beers.
 

balrog

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And don't confuse alpha acid strength with flavor or aroma intensity necessarily

From here, for instance:
Flavors from Hops
Hops afford the bitterness (from the hop resins) and aroma (from the essential oils) to beer.
 
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