Maximum hops to still get an authentic German Pils?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

stickyfinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
576
Location
Hudson Valley
Hey, I brew a lot of Pils each year, but I usually load up the hop stand to make it a hop bomb. It's probably more of an IPL I guess. I usually use Ekuanot, but I was thinking about using some Saaz instead to make it a German Pils and cutting back the amounts some. I usually throw in 1 oz/gal Ekuanot to a hop stand at like 150F for 15 minutes. How much Saaz can I put into the hop stand and be on par with the hoppiest of authentic German Pilsners? I know I can do it however I like it, but I thought it might be fun to make it a little more authentic for once.
 

monkeymath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
278
Reaction score
239
The mass-produced German pilsners have a rather restrained hoppiness, but some smaller breweries (Schönram and Riegele come to mind) make fantastic pilsners using quite a bit of hops, I'd say.

I think the intensity of the hop character itself is not necessarily limited for a beer that claims to be an "authentic German pilsner" (whatever that may be), other aspects are much more important (light color, soft malt character, dryness, that slight waft of basement-must, assertive bitterness, grassy-herbal hop character with potentially floral notes).

I think up to 2.5g/l of Saaz is totally fine. If you like it extra hoppy, you might go higher. Haven't tried it myself, though.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,808
Reaction score
1,767
With noble hops it’s actually often wise to boil off some of the compounds they contain. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend adding them to a low temp whirlpool or even after 5 min left in the boil. I think you’d be surprised what sticks around when a lot is added at 10 minutes left in the boil. Certain pleasant hop compounds actually increase during the boil.
 
Last edited:
OP
stickyfinger

stickyfinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
576
Location
Hudson Valley
maybe i’ll stick with my ekuanot or some nelson then. I’m doing a split batch and can’t put any flavor hops into the boil unless i heat it all up again after racking off half.

With noble hops it’s actually often wise to boil off some of the compounds they contain. I would t necessarily recommend adding them to a low temp whirlpool or even after 5 min left in the boil. I think you’d be surprised what sticks around when a lot is added at 10 minutes left in the boil. Certain pleasant hop compounds actually increase during the boil.
 

Bramling Cross

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
242
Reaction score
515
Location
The 51st State
[Edit: Yooops, you posted the above while I was writing what follows.]

I'm with couchsending, I've learned that I have a preference for boil hops in my pils. I would also suggest a 20min addition. For whatever the reason, it seems to make a difference. It's subtle, I'll admit, I can't point and proclaim, "Ah, ha! There are the 20min hops!" However, I've noticed that there seems to be something missing when I don't add them.

You might also want to run softer water than usual if you're using a heavy hand with noble hops, the Czechs can get away with it because of their water.
 

giraffe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2014
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
227
Location
Portland
Most german pils wont have any hop stand hops. A more classic recipe would be 2/3rd the ibu at the beginning of the boil, 1/3rd the ibus at 20min. You still get alot of hop flavor from the 20min addition, its just a boiled hop flavor. That said you can make a nw pils, italian pils, ipl, etc, those are all good beers too.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,808
Reaction score
1,767
If you haven’t used the American Noble versions yet of Cascade, Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra I’d highly recommend them for some light lagers. I only ever add them at 10 left and not even that much. It is mind blowing to me how much aroma makes it through fermentation. Big fan of the cascade version specifically.
 

lagermanted

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
23
From a traditional German perspective, the Saaz flavor is very floral compared to Hallertauer Mittelfruh, which is the traditional German Pils with its Herbal and floral character. From a traditional point I would go Hallertauer Mittelfruh.

I am brewing one tomorrow and am going to use Edelweiss. A blend of 6 traditional lager hops (67% German flavors and 33% Czech flavors). It does, from a hop flavor, put you on the fence between German and Bo pils. Mid boil hops are a must as previously posted. My recipe uses .87 oz per gallon and it is a hoppy pils Edelweiss is my hop blend and available in pellets on EBay

Off putting flavors from lager hops, yes it can happen with our newer IPA type usage of hops. Old recipes always had high load of flavor hops for bittering. After 1 hour I never thought you would get the intensity of flavor you do. One of the Oregon breweries did an Helles Bock with just 60 minute addition of Edelweiss, gorgeous hop bouquet. It blew all my preconceived beliefs away on boil off of flavor for hops.

Back to off putting aromas from Saaz hops, more prevalent with Czech Saaz. Many are abused with warm storage at 40°, most shipments to the US use the Northern route so they do not need to be refrigerated. The super fresh hop character that we love in IPA is changing the hop farmers and processers in Europe to take better care of their hops, and the US suppliers to demand refrigerated transportation during ocean transport. Late additions of Saaz grown in the US will not give you the same off putting notes that Euro ones do. BUT large amounts of late addition Saaz and other Euro hops will not give you the same character we find in the best German and Euro lagers

If you haven't done a decoction mash on a Pils, do it. After doing 2 side by sides, one single temp infusion, the other single decoction, I am doing all pils decoction. The malt is slightly bigger but most important is that subtle "I want to drink it character" that is never found in words or on a score sheet, but an empty pint glass
 

ncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
4,439
Reaction score
1,227
Location
New Bern
I didn't know about the off-putting flavors from whirlpool noble hops. I got a nasty smell like sweaty gym socks when I did it - is that what you all are talking about? And I got a similar smell with whirlpool Fuggle hops - does that have a similar problem?
 

lagermanted

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
23
When you get gym socks, they are old and past prime condition. With most hops they follow a progression of fresh bright aromatics, these fade and spicy notes come out. Next is the cheese, body odor and gym socks, last comes hay/straw mixed in with body odor (lambic stage). You will find the bright floral notes in Saaz such as Lilac, bright fruits in American and Southern hops such as melon and peach fade quicker with age than the resinous, "hoppy" and citrus notes.

Many Nobel hops (True nobles, not Yakima Chief remarketing American hops) do not do well when rubbed, their aromatics are not full in your face like Chinook (one of the prettiest hops to rub), Citra or Mosaic. They tend to be restrained. I think one of the worst when rubbed is Saaz, if I never made a Saaz beer before, I sure would not start after rubbing them

Off putting notes that I have found are that the hops seem muddled, not bright clean and vibrant. Much the same way Christmas beers can be out of balance from one spice that does not play well with the rest of the flavors in a beer. The result is, I have been avoiding dry hopping in large amounts with most noble hops. I make sure I use some throughout the beer and will get all my bitterness from these low alpha hops. I think it gives better beers most of the time. With that said, every time I draw a line in the sand about brewing, yeast, hops, malt, techniques, along comes a beer that is delicious, using the techniques, or ingredients that I think are wrong and yelling at me I still have a long way to go to earn the title brew meister

Ncbrewer repeated gym socks from noble and Fuggles is a concern, neither should have these characters. Look at your storage, cold is better, colder even better. If you opened the pack and they smell that way, talk to your supplier, they need to know they have junk. Coming from the supply side, heck of a hop year. Hop harvest was halted for windstorms that knocked down hop trellises, blow hop bines off the picking machines and caused smoke to be so thick the farmers could not see to pick hops. More preharvest stress than in the last 20 years for Northwest hops. Many are drop dead tasty with all the issues. I am attaching a storage guide that should help you keep the gym socks at bay
 

Attachments

NewJersey

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
1,310
Reaction score
559
Location
Boonton
Damn this thread. Just brewed a pilsner today. For 5.5 gallon pilsner I added 2.5 oz tettnanger @60 and 1.5oz hallertau mittfruh @ 1 minute.
Will keep this advice in mind next pilsner.
I too was trying to make a more traditional german pilsner
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,221
Reaction score
4,177
Location
Whitehouse Station
Damn this thread. Just brewed a pilsner today. For 5.5 gallon pilsner I added 2.5 oz tettnanger @60 and 1.5oz hallertau mittfruh @ 1 minute.
Will keep this advice in mind next pilsner.
I too was trying to make a more traditional german pilsner
That is pretty traditional.
 

lagermanted

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
23
The big problems with hops in Pilsners is thinking like an IPA brewer, especially when trying to make a perfect German or Bo pils. Go back to the 80's with the traditional 60 minute hops, add some 15-30 and when we wanted it overly hoppy 5 minutes additions. It is still OK to add zero minute hops and dry hop, just keep them restrained and make sure the hops are as good. When you keep your beer in the 4.5-5.4% ABV range, the hops will shine. Remember there is not an on off switch or line in the sand, adding one extra pellet is not going to ruin the beer. I have found that hoppy pilnsers are great at 6 weeks and at 3 months you will kick your self for drinking them early. Higher late addition hops may require a few more weeks of lagering. If concerned go back and brew it again so you have enough to not rush the beer but let it mature and tell you when to drink it. If you are overly worried, move your last addition to 10-20 minutes, brew and blend the 2 batches. By reducing the late hops they can reach their peak closer to 8 weeks. Again, in beer there are no absolutes, Imperials Mexican lager yeast will be faster. Traditional German yeasts take the full time noted

These are fragile beers, keep cold and full kegs, a half full keg does not lager well. You can usually see the oxidation color change in the beer at 3-5 months on partial kegs.

Tettnanger while a noble hop can be bastardized, watch your source close. One of the last few farmers in the US that grew Euro Tett went nuts, (planted hazelnuts) and pulled his Tettnanger. With the farmers not knowing which they had, I had to switch to German Tettnanger. A lot is still grown but they are mostly US Tettnanger versus Tettnanger grown in the USA, big difference. AB marketing department thought Fuggle would look bad on their label so they renamed it US Tettnanger. If you buy enough hops, you can change the name to any hop. Many pros will use fuggle and US Tett interchangeably.

Starting my Pils today after church, it will have equal hopping .87 oz/gallon 60/15/5/0. It is concidered a very hoppy German pils. Pushing the conventional wisdom or tradition with high amounts of late hop. This is so tasty at 3 months I try to keep a few kegs around so I don't rush them. April fools day I'll be trying it in earnest.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,808
Reaction score
1,767
Most of the European noble hops that we as homebrewers have access to aren’t exactly that great in terms of quality. I’ve been really happy with the Zuper Saazer that hop head farms in MI grows and sells and they are also an importer on a lot of European varieties and while not all amazing I tend to think the euro stuff I’ve bought from them has been cleaner and more consistent.

Been trying more hops from Slovenia and France lately that seem to not be as abused by the time I get my hands on them and translate to cleaner flavor and aroma.

There’s also a new “Noblish” US variety called Adeena that was just named.

Big fan of Sterling as far as US hops go. I’ve bought it from all sources and Hops Direct seems to be the most consistent.
 

Steveruch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
1,575
Reaction score
775
Location
Crescent City
Most of the European noble hops that we as homebrewers have access to aren’t exactly that great in terms of quality. I’ve been really happy with the Zuper Saazer that hop head farms in MI grows and sells and they are also an importer on a lot of European varieties and while not all amazing I tend to think the euro stuff I’ve bought from them has been cleaner and more consistent.

Been trying more hops from Slovenia and France lately that seem to not be as abused by the time I get my hands on them and translate to cleaner flavor and aroma.

There’s also a new “Noblish” US variety called Adeena that was just named.

Big fan of Sterling as far as US hops go. I’ve bought it from all sources and Hops Direct seems to be the most consistent.
I've been very happy with the Czech pilsners that I've brewed with sterling hops.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,086
Reaction score
2,475
Location
Bremen
Hi, I'm German.

In Germany, almost every brewery who produces on the bigger scale does only do bittering additions. So the amount of hops you use is only determined by the amount of alpha acids and the ibus you would like your beer to have at the end. The German pilsener range is roughly in between 20 to about 35 ibus, I personally prefer the northern ones, which are at the upper end of the range, but this is just my personal taste.

So, just to destroy some dreams here, German beer is very simple and does not use loads of hops.

Cheers!
 

ncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
4,439
Reaction score
1,227
Location
New Bern
When you get gym socks, they are old and past prime condition. With most hops they follow a progression of fresh bright aromatics, these fade and spicy notes come out. Next is the cheese, body odor and gym socks, last comes hay/straw mixed in with body odor (lambic stage).
Off putting notes that I have found are that the hops seem muddled, not bright clean and vibrant.
Ncbrewer repeated gym socks from noble and Fuggles is a concern, neither should have these characters.
Many thanks for the help with the hops issue. I'll be working on this.
 

monkeymath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
278
Reaction score
239
Hi, I'm German.

In Germany, almost every brewery who produces on the bigger scale does only do bittering additions. So the amount of hops you use is only determined by the amount of alpha acids and the ibus you would like your beer to have at the end. The German pilsener range is roughly in between 20 to about 35 ibus, I personally prefer the northern ones, which are at the upper end of the range, but this is just my personal taste.

So, just to destroy some dreams here, German beer is very simple and does not use loads of hops.

Cheers!
I know the likes Warsteinkrombachbitburghasseroedkoenigpilsenerhastenichtgesehen seem very popular on here, but why do you assume the OP wants to make a beer that tastes like the generic ones produced by the large breweries?

German pilsners (as in: the pilsners of Germany) are not necessarily "German pilsners" (as in: what the BJCP determined them to be), which are more like the "greatest common denominator" of the pilsners of Germany and therefore destined to be unremarkable in every way imaginable.

As I mentioned previously, there are a couple of things that easily kick you out of pilsner territory. But late hopping with a noble-ish hop is not one of them.
 
OP
stickyfinger

stickyfinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
576
Location
Hudson Valley
yeah, i think i am a Pils hop head, lol. I think I'm definitely veering more into the IPL territory on my "Pils." Some would say it ruins the Pils to add a lot of hops or it ruins an IPA to brew it with lager yeast, but I think if you use the right hops, they can blend really well with the malty/lagery flavor that lager yeast provides. I think I'll try using a lot of noble hops in my next Pils/IPL brew and see how I like it.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,086
Reaction score
2,475
Location
Bremen
I know the likes Warsteinkrombachbitburghasseroedkoenigpilsenerhastenichtgesehen seem very popular on here, but why do you assume the OP wants to make a beer that tastes like the generic ones produced by the large breweries?

German pilsners (as in: the pilsners of Germany) are not necessarily "German pilsners" (as in: what the BJCP determined them to be), which are more like the "greatest common denominator" of the pilsners of Germany and therefore destined to be unremarkable in every way imaginable.

As I mentioned previously, there are a couple of things that easily kick you out of pilsner territory. But late hopping with a noble-ish hop is not one of them.
German Pilsener is the one being drunk in Germany. And the vast majority of them is brewed like described above. If you prefer others than the mainstream ones, fine to me, I do so as well. But these beers are not typical German ones, they are the exception. So I wouldn't call them a typical example of a German beer. Op asked for German Pilsener, I gave the answer. Bjcp can tell what they want, I live in Germany and I am German, I I have eyes and see what's in the shelves here.
 

dirty_martini

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
361
Reaction score
58
Location
Los Angeles
Just call it a noble-hop IPL if that's what it is. No need to use the terms German or pilsner at all, if it just causes confusion and consternation.
I hate when people get snooty about styles. Who cares. Styles are a guideline at best. The moment he mentioned ekuanot, I knew he didnt want to brew a traditional beer, even if he used the term “authentic” in the title. Lots of people use the wrong wording to get their point across

for all of the people saying no late noble hops blah blah blah, I guess you’ve never heard of “Italian” pils which is basically a dry hopped German style pils. Beers like Tipopils, Firestone Pivo Pils, Oxbow Luppulo, etc are delicious and hoppy. They tend to lean on hops like saphir, spalter select, or tettnang more than saaz or hallertau

there’s also the movement to modernizing pilsners by using American hops and hopping technique on top of a Pilsner malt bill and clean lager fermentation. Not really strong enough to be an ”IPL”. Same with New Zealand pils.

so if he wants to take a German pils base and hop it to his liking, so be it. We should be helping to figure out what exactly he wants instead of critiquing whether it fits specifically to a name.
 

dmtaylor

Lord Idiot the Lazy
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4,509
Reaction score
2,693
Location
Two Rivers, WI
I hate when people get snooty about styles...
We should be helping to figure out what exactly he wants instead of critiquing whether it fits specifically to a name.
I thought this was made pretty darn clear, where the OP stated:

I know I can do it however I like it, but I thought it might be fun to make it a little more authentic for once.
So he asked and we told. If anybody doesn't like truth, then oh well.
 

anteater8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
303
Reaction score
269
Location
Portland
I recently brewed an Italian Pils, and I went heavier on the hops than I originally planned. What I got was basically the "German Pils", or whatever you want to call it, with just the amount of hop character that I love in the style. Not too hoppy, not an IPL, just a really flavorful pilsner. I'm definitely going to use this same basic recipe next time, maybe switch up the varieties.

9.75 lb Pilsner Malt (Weyermann floor malted)
1 lb Munich Malt

0.4 oz Warrior 90 min (20 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 30 min (9 IBU)
1 oz Tettnang 30 min (11 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 0 min
1 oz Tettnang 0 min
1 oz Tettnang dry hop
1 oz Hallertauer dry hop
 

Gusso

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
142
Reaction score
151
I hate when people get snooty about styles. Who cares. Styles are a guideline at best. The moment he mentioned ekuanot, I knew he didnt want to brew a traditional beer, even if he used the term “authentic” in the title. Lots of people use the wrong wording to get their point across

for all of the people saying no late noble hops blah blah blah, I guess you’ve never heard of “Italian” pils which is basically a dry hopped German style pils. Beers like Tipopils, Firestone Pivo Pils, Oxbow Luppulo, etc are delicious and hoppy. They tend to lean on hops like saphir, spalter select, or tettnang more than saaz or hallertau

there’s also the movement to modernizing pilsners by using American hops and hopping technique on top of a Pilsner malt bill and clean lager fermentation. Not really strong enough to be an ”IPL”. Same with New Zealand pils.

so if he wants to take a German pils base and hop it to his liking, so be it. We should be helping to figure out what exactly he wants instead of critiquing whether it fits specifically to a name.
Agreed, hell, I make Frankenstein beers all the time. I'm rarely disappointed with my weird ****.
 

monkeymath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
278
Reaction score
239
So he asked and we told. If anybody doesn't like truth, then oh well.
I do not read the original post that way. He asked for "authentic", yet everyone explained the typical hopping of a generic standardised pilsner as made by the larger breweries. That's not what authentic means. A product can deviate from the average and still be authentic.
 

dmtaylor

Lord Idiot the Lazy
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4,509
Reaction score
2,693
Location
Two Rivers, WI
I do not read the original post that way. He asked for "authentic", yet everyone explained the typical hopping of a generic standardised pilsner as made by the larger breweries. That's not what authentic means. A product can deviate from the average and still be authentic.
Read it what ever way you like. Brew it whatever way you like. It's all fine. I'd probably drink it.

As for the definition of the word "authentic", the way I read it, definition 1.1 below seems to be the applicable one. But you can read it or interpret it any way you like of course.

1609542000301.png
 

homebrudoc

Active Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
38
Reaction score
30
Tettnanger while a noble hop can be bastardized, watch your source close. One of the last few farmers in the US that grew Euro Tett went nuts, (planted hazelnuts) and pulled his Tettnanger. With the farmers not knowing which they had, I had to switch to German Tettnanger. A lot is still grown but they are mostly US Tettnanger versus Tettnanger grown in the USA, big difference. AB marketing department thought Fuggle would look bad on their label so they renamed it US Tettnanger. If you buy enough hops, you can change the name to any hop. Many pros will use fuggle and US Tett interchangeably.
Just to drag the thread out a little more and off topic a bit, I'm not sure how long you've been at this, Ted. I've been brewing for 25+ years so have bumped into the noble hop thing in the past.

There was some discussion on the old Home-brew Digest, 20+ years ago, regarding "American varieties" of noble hops. They just didn't seem to taste / smell / act the same as Continental varieties. In the early days of genetic analysis some brewing scientists got looking into the issue and published some work documenting that "American Tettnanger = British Fuggle" and "American Fuggle = German Tettnanger", genetically speaking.

There are various conspiracy theories as to why this may be the case but the conspiracy doesn't matter. The science suggests that American Tett = British Fuggles and American Fuggles = German Tett.

Hope this helps the noble hop brewers
homebrudoc
 

lagermanted

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
23
That is interesting, my first reaction is to rebel on the tett/fug but like most things in brewing, there are a lot of misinformation, and info that got left out. I had forgotten about the posts way back where German Tett and US Tett were considered the same. My suspicion is that you are correct and today wrong due the hop being grown is morphed to US Tettnanger due to supply of rootstock.

Now you did it, making me go brew another 2 beer. My German hops will land late this month and I want to make 3 Pils single hopped Tett, Hally Trad and Hally Mitt. I can split one and use some US Tett. There is no debate with the US Tett and UK Fuggle, that is pretty well established.

There is no debate with the US Tett and UK Fuggle, that is pretty well established.

What I know on Tett from the hop industry side. Nothing that will stand up in court, mostly conversations with farmers
  • Hops 2 you in the 90's had their Tett sent to OSU when Al H was in charge with the question of US Tett or German. He is the scientist that breed the varieties Liberty, Santiam, Mt Hood, Crystal, Sterling, Ultra as noble equals. He said that it was of Swiss origin. The Swiss raised my eyebrow, but he spent a lot of time in Germany from a breeding standpoint, commissioned by the big 3 breweries, if Swiss was cheaper at the time, that is where they would have sent him. 3rd hand info with a lot of time between conversations
  • In 2018 I talked to half the Oregon hop farmers and about 1/4 of Washington growers, no one could tell you if their root stock was Tettnang or US Tettnang
  • On the same trip, one of the farmers who also breeds hops, knew of some that were what he called German origin. He said that the leaf is different in coloration and grows differently.
  • In the 90's the farmers grew more of what they called German origin Tettnanger in Oregon.
  • Rootstock available to hop farmers today is US Tettnanger. With the big push for viral free rootstock, a lot of farmers are buying their roots versus propagating them, so fields are being traded out and the old roots are disappearing as yield decreases. This is weeding out the minor variants in each hop varietal
  • The older farmers that are near retirement or have, consider them different
  • From a sales standpoint to the pro side, they want German Tett only. If the next batch of beer that used German Tett would solve world hunger, they would not brew it with US Fuggles, they might with US Tett and are more apt to use Santiam (Al's release to equal Tettnanger) but just as likely to NOT brew it at all

Back in the 90's, they were calling Willamette and Fuggles the same, that disappeared, but when you think that AB used Willamette and US Tettnanger they must be more similar in when used in limited amounts.
 
OP
stickyfinger

stickyfinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
576
Location
Hudson Valley
Is it important to use fresh noble hops when adding them only to the boil? I know it is important to use the freshest most recent crop year hops when dry hopping. I had read, i think in Janish's IPA book, that slightly aged (still kept cold and not just open to oxygen all of the time!) hops might actually taste better after boiling/hop stand compared with the freshest of hops.

I have some Saaz from probably 2018 or maybe 2017 in my freezer. I was debating between using them in a Pils or just throwing them out and getting some newer Hall. Mitt. YVH has only the 2019 crop year Hall. Mitt. Would they still taste good if I use them only from 10-60 minutes in the boil in a Pils?
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,086
Reaction score
2,475
Location
Bremen
Sure, they might have lost a bit of aroma and a bit of alpha, but for bittering it will be still good. You just have to estimate the alpha loss to get your ibus right.
 

lagermanted

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
23
Both, fresh and older have merit. Start by smelling your hops. Look close for body odor, stale old cheese or gym socks. Noble hops will not have these characters unless they are getting past prime condition and moving into the lambic hop territory. It can be helpful to have a jug of parmesan cheese to compare the hops to. If you find this character group, save them for sour beer, toss or spaghetti sauce.

Here is the normal trend for Noble hops to follow when aging.

Fresh will have brighter floral notes with little or no black pepper spiciness. This is harder to get with Euro hops shipped to the US. More often found in the US grown Saaz and noble equivalents such as Liberty, Sterling, Ultra and Santiam and lesser with Mt Hood and Crystal

With older hops, the floral notes are not as bright and black pepper spiciness is greater. This is more typical of Euro hops with their warmer cold storage.

Naturally all hop will vary and we are surprised with great hops that are old, yet bright and fresh. I am still using 2015 Sorachi Ace and 2016 Sterling, both as good as current crops.

Go to work and give the hops a rub, warm them up and smell them. I like to add both older and fresher hops to my lagers, pulling both characters into my beers. I just brewed with 2018 Edelweiss, a blend of 6 lager hops. Last night was the first taste, nice black pepper spiciness, and fresh flora notes. These were stored open in my freezer for at least 1 year. It is going to be a fun Pilsner
 
OP
stickyfinger

stickyfinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
576
Location
Hudson Valley
Cool, off to do a little rubbing

Both, fresh and older have merit. Start by smelling your hops. Look close for body odor, stale old cheese or gym socks. Noble hops will not have these characters unless they are getting past prime condition and moving into the lambic hop territory. It can be helpful to have a jug of parmesan cheese to compare the hops to. If you find this character group, save them for sour beer, toss or spaghetti sauce.

Here is the normal trend for Noble hops to follow when aging.

Fresh will have brighter floral notes with little or no black pepper spiciness. This is harder to get with Euro hops shipped to the US. More often found in the US grown Saaz and noble equivalents such as Liberty, Sterling, Ultra and Santiam and lesser with Mt Hood and Crystal

With older hops, the floral notes are not as bright and black pepper spiciness is greater. This is more typical of Euro hops with their warmer cold storage.

Naturally all hop will vary and we are surprised with great hops that are old, yet bright and fresh. I am still using 2015 Sorachi Ace and 2016 Sterling, both as good as current crops.

Go to work and give the hops a rub, warm them up and smell them. I like to add both older and fresher hops to my lagers, pulling both characters into my beers. I just brewed with 2018 Edelweiss, a blend of 6 lager hops. Last night was the first taste, nice black pepper spiciness, and fresh flora notes. These were stored open in my freezer for at least 1 year. It is going to be a fun Pilsner
 
Top