Smelling Hops

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

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

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2006
Reaction score
With many varieties unavailable, many of us brewers will be forced to use relatively unknown hop varieties. Smelling new hop varieties is a good gauge of the aroma, but I've wondered what a whiff can tell us about hop taste. I once ate a hop pellet, what a bad idea! It was horrible. Do you all think a smelling a hop is a good gauge of how it will taste in a beer?
When picking a substitute I usually look at the hop descriptions in Ho to Brew and then pick something from the same region and with a similar AA% and description as the one I wanted to use.
Yes, smelling the hop will give you some idea of the flavor. The main difference between flavor and aroma is the volatility of the oils. With a whole hop, you can chew some of the petals. But, stay away from the resin in the middle. I, too, chewed a hop pellet once. It was the 19.8% AA hop that the High-alpha acid program at OSU had just breed. Couldn't taste a thing the rest of the day.

BYO has a fairly good cross-reference, but it needs updating.
I like the taste of Saaz and Cascade pellets... I tried a TINY nibble in a warrior pellet and it was HORRIBLE. Rough stuff...

Latest posts