Not Hopping Mad, but Hopping 'Diasappointed'

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Brooothru

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Recently I’ve been clearing out the beer fridge freezer compartment making room for this Spring’s additions to the “hops on hand” while also updating my hops spreadsheet. I found some Ekuanot (Equinox) hops from 2016 when they were still called HBC 366, that never got used. When they originally arrived I was disappointed that the real deal didn’t match up with the “citrus, floral, orange” descriptors but rather had an earthy aroma with strong undertones of onion. I figured it would be a poor substitute for a hop like Citra or Cascade, so I opted to do a SMaSH ale instead. The brew session and ferment went well but the finished beer tasted awful. Wasn’t infected, hit my numbers, simple recipe, no process issues, just a very unsatisfying beer. Fortunately is got polished off at our annual extended family beach house rental on the Outer Banks. It wasn’t anybody’s favorite, but after a couple of “warm up beers” it was at least drinkable.

I had a similar experience with Sabro, known at the time as HBC 438. The mother hop was said to be neomexicanus, and Vinnie at Russian River had come up with a pilot brew called Ron Mexico. I was preparing to brew a ‘Mexican’ lager, so I decided, "What the Heck," and ordered some hops to test them out. They didn’t seem to be anything like the noble Hallertau type hops you’d sub into a Modelo Claro or Negra. Another pilot brew SMaSH. Once again, bummed out with the result.

So, I’ve got three 1 oz sealed packages of Cryo Ekuanot and one 1 oz pack of ‘normal’ hops. I really don’t want to risk the time and ingredients on a possible dumper. Same with Sabro. But I keep hearing such good things about both hops that I wonder if I just had a couple of bad one-off experiences. What sort of impressions to you in HBT-land have on these hops, and should I give them another try?
 

eric19312

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I've used both and have enjoyed them. Probably not cheater hops like Citra and Mosaic but I'll buy them again.

I think Ekuanot got kind of a bad rap so I was able to get it on sale and used it as one of 3-4 hops in half a dozen beers. Those were all or mostly C hops and the beers tended to be brut IPAs. Hard to say what the actual contribution of the Ekuanots were in those beers but I'd buy it again on sale and blend it with other lower cost C hops in the kinds of IPAs I frequently make.

Sabro is pretty cool. I've only used a lot of it in one batch so far but that hop brings something unique to the table. I'm not sure it is really coconut but I can see what the people writing that descriptor are getting at. I'll be using cryo sabro as a dry hop in a beer that was Bru-1 and Cascade in the kettle this weekend. Excited to see how this one comes out (will also get some Bru-1 and Cascade in the dry hop).
 

day_trippr

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Wait - Citra and Mosaic are "cheater hops" now?
I thought "cheater hops" were inexpensive strains used to effect characters reminiscent of more expensive strains like Citra and Mosaic and the like...

And, fwiw, the term "cheater" is ridiculous when someone solving that is hardly "cheating"...

Cheers!
 
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I havent brewed with ekuanot but i have with sabro and i agree with @eric19312 on the uniqueness it brings. i used it as a decent portion of dry hop in a neipa i brewed a few months back and intend to use it again and likely a higher ratio to get more of what it brings to the table.
 
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