summit Hops...onion flavor?!

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permo

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I recently bought a pound of summit hops. When used for bittiering I get a smooth and transparent bittering..........I have used these hops for three five gallon batches of pale ale and india pale ale style beers. The beers taste like onion. I put far too much effort into my beers to have my flavoring and aroma additions make beers taste like garlic toast. I am not happy with these hops.........I think time will diminish the crappy aroma...but I was banking on a a nice tangerine citrus aroma........not to be found.

This really makes me think, that as a whole, us homebrewers are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to hop driven ales. I just don't think our hops are fresh enough. I have literally ruinted 30-40 gallons of beer with my last order of crappy summit hops. I am going to stick to proven hops from now on.
 

Rushis

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That's unfortunate, the last all summit pale ale I made was great. Smooth citrus finish without the bite of the "C" hops.

Any idea how old the hops were? Pellet or Leaf?
 

Brewsmith

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Summit do have an onion, garlic aroma to them. If Citrus is what you are going for, use Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Citra, Amarillo, or Simcoe
 

JLem

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Here's my $0.02 about this hop - great for aroma, crappy for flavor. I dry hopped with it and I got the most amazing citrusy/floral aroma. I used some at 20 minutes and I get a that funky oniony/garlicky flavor.

I haven't done any controlled tests, but I'd probably only use Summit late in the boil or for dry hopping from now on.

What was your hop schedule?
 

ChrisKennedy

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Yes, I definitely get onion/garlic from summit. I am not a fan of this hop for late in the boil.
 
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permo

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I used a variety of hop schedules. I recently brewed a wheat beer that did this

.25 oz at 60
.25 oz at 15
.25 oz at 5
.25 oz at flameout

this beer is great....really good. no onion


This beer on the other hand is borderline not drinkable...

13.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 85.25 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 6.56 %
1.00 lb Red Wheat (3.3 SRM) Grain 6.56 %
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.64 %
0.50 oz Summit [18.00 %] (60 min) Hops 23.1 IBU
1.50 oz Summit [18.00 %] (Dry Hop 14 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Summit [18.00 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 25.4 IBU
0.50 oz Summit [18.00 %] (15 min) Hops 11.5 IBU
0.50 oz Summit [18.00 %] (10 min) Hops 8.4 IBU
0.50 oz Summit [18.00 %] (5 min) Hops 4.6 IBU



I am no longer using ANY summit hops for late additions. I will use them for bittering only and boil the crap out of them to completely destroy the onion flavor.

I just ordered a pound of chinook, a pound of cascade, a pound of argentine cascade and a pound of williamette.........I have about 5 oz of summit left too...icky.


The sad thing is that I have 4 oz of summit in my barley wine....2 oz of late additons. I am just hoping after 9 months of aging the onion is gone an dmy barley wine isn't ruined.
 
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permo

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Well now, after another week of aging I am trying one of my onion beers and the flavor is fading fast. I am starting to wonder that if you use summit late in the boil you may just need to age your beers a while to let the onion die and the citrus rise up.


I am no longer concerned about my barley wine, that onion flavor will be gone after 6 months of bulk aging in a carboy at 60 degrees.
 

riverfrontbrewer

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Wow, from swearing off an entire hop variety, to only bittering, to "oh wait, maybe it just takes a few days" all in the course of a week! Just giving you a hard time permo, as I am a huge summit fan, but always use them as my 60 or 90 min bittering hop, because @ 18.9% AA do you know how much you can save in real dollars by using .4 oz of these vs 1.25 oz of EK Goldings in your porters, ESB's, etc....thats why I keep the summits on hand....
Hopefully the off flavors will disipate, please keep us updated.
 
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permo

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Wow, from swearing off an entire hop variety, to only bittering, to "oh wait, maybe it just takes a few days" all in the course of a week! Just giving you a hard time permo, as I am a huge summit fan, but always use them as my 60 or 90 min bittering hop, because @ 18.9% AA do you know how much you can save in real dollars by using .4 oz of these vs 1.25 oz of EK Goldings in your porters, ESB's, etc....thats why I keep the summits on hand....
Hopefully the off flavors will disipate, please keep us updated.
I know, it is just really alarming when your beer tastes like onions and you expect tangerine. I too have been designing future recipes and using the extreme bittering power of summit to help me better utilize this hop and bitter my beer for less $$. I personally find the bittering to be smooth and acceptable for any kind of beer. I used in a wheat/white ale and a belgian for bittering recently.

The wheat/white turned out great, no onion.....still haven't tried the belgian...

The flavors are dissapating but I can still taste them....of course I am looking for them too...so your tend to taste what you are lookng for.
 

BeerAg

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I definately have a batch of onion beer thanks to summit hops. I added in an ounce of pellets in the secondary for a dry hop.

The funny thing is, when the beer was young, I didn't get the onion flavor. Maybe it was just hidden by the Acetaldyhyde?

Now that the beer is 2 weeks old into the keg, nothing but onion. Undrinkable. I am hoping the onion goes away, but at this point it is over-powering.

Could an infection produce the same kind of off flavors?
 

novafire

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I made the Sacred Summit Pale Ale listed in the recipes section last summer after someone gave me 8oz of Summit hops. It turned out so well that a friend asked me to brew up a batch for her husband as a Xmas gift.

So I went out and bought another pound of summit hops and brewed it up again. This time it turned out full of the nasty onion (almost plasticy) flavor. I re-brewed, thinking that I messed something up only to have another onion bomb.

I left some of the Sacred Summit sit in primary until Feb. and it tasted good enough to bottle at that point. It had a lot of tangerine when I tasted the uncarbed and warm sample. After being bottled for a few weeks I chilled and sampled a bottle and the onion flavor is back. It's not so bad that I could not drink the whole bottle, but it's there especially now that I am looking for it in every sip.

This leads me to 2 questions...

1. How was it that my first batch turned out great and subsequent batches have all turned out terrible? I now have 15 gal of onion beer with the hope that the nastiness will age out.

2. How is it that the Sacred Summit Pale Ale recipe thread has mainly rave reviews while most of the threads about summit hops on HBT discuss it's onion/garlic flavor?
 

BeerAg

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My first batch of Sacred Summit was some of the best beer I ever made.

This batch tastes terrible.

I don't know why the difference is there. Different cultivars of Summit?
 
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permo

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I have found that the onion flavor fades after about two months! Regardless, it is just too risky to use summit for flavoring additions. I really like it for bittering and up to an ounce for dry hopping. Whatever you do, don't use it for first wort hopping...onion soup! It will fade after a bit, but when it's green it is appalling.

For it's worth, if a guy can get simcoe for a similar price, I find it to give a similar grapefruit/citrus profile. A little different, but close. I have never had a simcoe batch give me onion either.
 

mixmasterob

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I am considering trying this hop out after trying Oskar Blues' Gubna. My hop schedule would look something like this:
1.5oz Summit @ 60
0.5oz Amarillo @ 20
0.5oz Amarillo @ 15
0.5oz Amarillo @ 10
0.5oz Amarillo @ 5
1.5oz Summit @ 0
 

jludeman

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I recently brewed a blonde ale.

86% pale malt
8.5% munich
5% wheat

8 gm Summit first wort
15 gm Tettnang first wort
18 gm Tettnang @ 15 minutes left in boil
75 minute boil

I pulled a taste from the primary at 6 days. It had a little onion/garlic boiled cabbage component.

I admit my nose is pretty well shot. Plus we eat a lot of onion and garlic in our diet.

After two weeks in the primary I took another taste. Amazing beer! Sort of a tangerine sweetness up front with a non biting bitterness afterword.

Just a hint of spicy something from the tettnang.

I originally found this thread because I thought there should be no flavor from a bittering hop that boils for 75 minutes.

Hope this helps somebody with summit hops on their hands a little bit.

I'm not an expert by any means, this is my 7th or 8th all grain brew depending if you count one disaster.
 

bolus14

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Sorry to revive an old thread but I too have been looking at doing the Summit Pale Ale but am skeptical due to the onion comments.

One thing that seems to be missing on most comments is the type of yeast they use. Is it possible that everyone is using a common yeast that's getting onion flavor but those that are getting great tangerine flavors are using a different yeast. I know some yeast strains bring hop flavors out more than others so possible that this is part of the problem.

I used some washed Ommegang yeast and Sorachi Ace for a Pale Wheat and initially it had a bologna like taste. After 2.5 months or so it's was a great subdued lemony wheat beer.
 

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