Interesting hop combinations

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Hoppsbabo, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Yo dudes. Based on an old thread, I'd be grateful if you'd share your favourite hop combinations.

    Also, I'm new to this homebrewing game. Is there a lore to combining varieties or can you not really go wrong? I have some left over amarillo and home grown Fuggles I'd like to combine in an imperial stout. Would that be weird?
    Ta.
     
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,463) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I don't know that there are really any wrong/bad combinations, but some are better than others, depending on what you want your beer to smell and taste like.

    I have used Amarillo and Fuggles together, in a sort of English/American Pale Ale hybrid. It worked well I think. In an Imperial Stout? I dunno. Maybe. First, ask yourself if you really want your Imperial Stout to be a hop forward beer. If not, I would eliminate Amarillo or any of the more aggressive American/Southern Hemisphere hops.

    ETA: Meant to mention... Kate the Great, which some might say was the best RIS ever, used 6 or 7 (roughly) different hops. But essentially the same beer could have been made with one or two, IMO. Given the other characteristics of the beer, and the (typical) time between brewing and drinking, there's not a whole lot of hop character left.
     
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,650) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    It is a bit premature to state “favorite” but I recently brewed my version of a Weldworks Juicy Bits IPA where I used equal amounts of Citra, Mosaic and El,Dorado at both end of boil (and hop-stand) and dry hopping. The beer is only a couple of weeks in the bottle (and still young IMO) but I am really digging this combo. I will have a more mature feeling about this beer in another couple of weeks but I feel comfortable at this stage to recommend this combo.

    Cheers!
     
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  4. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    It's like when you start cooking Indian or Mexican, at first you just want to throw as much flavour in a possible and play with the spices.
     
  5. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Cool. Keep us posted!
     
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,463) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I understand that desire, and have seen it in countless new brewers. But I believe the guys (and gals) that stick with it tend to be the ones that start simple, learn the ropes, and go from there. As musicians sometimes say, "learn the rules before you break them."
     
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  7. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    True. I actually intended to brew two impy stouts, one British style and one American but I only got round to the British one. I ended up using the amarillo in a kernel clone instead. Amarillo is insane, I love it.
     
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  8. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    I'm also keen to experiment with nz/aus hops, if anyone has some recommendations.
     
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  9. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (713) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    UK hop twist :slight_smile: (actually German/American/New Zealand): HM (Huell Melon), Sterling, Nelson (Sauvin)
     
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  10. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (749) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    NZ hops are great imo, you can't really go wrong with them

    One thing that's quite interesting to do if you get into it is to try the same hop but grown in different countries, as they tend to be fairly different despite being genetically identical. You can for example get US, UK, NZ and slovenian grown cascade.
     
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  11. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (246) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Cascade and centennial. Citra and/or centennial/cascade. Citra with any other fruity American hop.
     
  12. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (386) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    +1 to Prep, to add,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, columbus cascade chinook centenial with a dry hop kicker of citra and more centenial
     
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  13. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (97) Jan 10, 2018 California

    Citra, Citra, Citra, and in combo with others. But I’m one of those weird, “hop heads”.
     
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  14. wasatchback

    wasatchback Aspirant (266) Jan 12, 2014 Utah

    Galaxy and..... we’ll anything cause Galaxy on it’s own is insane

    Nelson/Motueka/Kohatu

    El Dorado, Enigma, Vic Secret

    Mosaic, Strata, Nugget

    Idaho 7, Citra, Bravo

    I would recommend Instead of splitting equal additions at each opportunity use one Hop at different spots. Columbus in the boil, Mosaic in WP, Citra in DH... or if you are going to blend favor one hop significantly at each addition.
     
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  15. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (48) May 18, 2017 England

    Yeah, and similarly to cooking you generally get much better results once you start to simplify a bit and build up recipes where you understand more about what each ingredient is doing and how they'll work together.

    For hop combinations, I'm not an expert but feel like I've got to level one quite comfortably using two tactics:
    i) See what sort of combinations of hops your favourite breweries use for different styles and use those as a starting point.
    ii) Look up descriptions of hops - homebrew shops, hop merchants and hop-growers associations can all have quite good online info - and see whether you think the sort of flavours they describe will give you what you're after.
    There's more subtlety to it than that, but combining those approaches should enable you to get pretty decent results.
     
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  16. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (119) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    Mosaic
    El Dorado
    Citra
    Motueka
    Azacca

    Azacca Denali? I’ll let you know next week

    Also Topaz is a really cool hop but I haven’t seen it in awhile
     
  17. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Yikes, that's quite a hop bill.

    Anyone had experience with African Queen?
    'Originally known as experimental variety J17/63. African Queen is a high-alpha hop from South Africa and is especially suited to brewing IPAs. Its typical flavours are citrus, stone fruits and blackcurrant.'
     
  18. Fermented-nate

    Fermented-nate Initiate (60) Sep 15, 2013 California
    Trader

    I have used a combo of equal parts Amarillo and Simcoe in a few dark beers (but not an imperial stout) and its awesome.
     
  19. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    What qualities does simcoe add?
     
  20. Fermented-nate

    Fermented-nate Initiate (60) Sep 15, 2013 California
    Trader

    To me, Simcoe has a unique woodsy/tropical fruit/pine aroma that goes nicely with dark or roast malt.
     
  21. Fermented-nate

    Fermented-nate Initiate (60) Sep 15, 2013 California
    Trader

    I recently did an oatmeal stout that I dry hopped with Simcoe (think i did about 2 oz in 5 gallon batch) and I loved what it added.
     
  22. Abk542

    Abk542 Initiate (69) Sep 26, 2015 Michigan

    Big fan of the El Dorado, Galaxy, Mosaic, and Citra combo. Great for juicy flavor and smell
     
  23. MrOH

    MrOH Champion (830) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Azacca and Denali is dope. Very heavy pineapple
     
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  24. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Ooh. Never heard pineapple as a decripter.
     
  25. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,238) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Citra and Columbus
    Citra and Nelson
    Citra and citra
     
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  26. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (246) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    It’s funny with so many hop varieties these days I always still buy a couple pounds of Citra per year. It’s such a cheater hop.
     
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  27. Yalc

    Yalc Initiate (114) Nov 5, 2011 Florida

    Simcoe for me adds a delicious Piney note that I love in conjunction with Amarillo. It was the hop combo in the old Sublimely Self Righteous from Stone. That beer has a nostalgic place in my memory, delicious.
     
  28. wasatchback

    wasatchback Aspirant (266) Jan 12, 2014 Utah

    Got some interesting ones brewing right now

    Ella, Enigma, Eureka

    Citra, Idaho 7, Bravo

    Cashmere, Motueka, Citra
     
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  29. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (97) Jan 10, 2018 California

    I’ve got Centennial, Cryo Simcoe, El Dorado
    Thinking about a WC IPA with them
     
  30. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    I'm planning on making a fleet of small batch single hopped pale ales, just to better familiarise myself with the different profiles. With a backbone of Maris Otter and a plain yeast I'm thinking:

    1) Citra
    2) Amarillo
    3) Fuggles
    4) Saaz
    5) Nelson

    Do you think this would broadly cover the wide gamut of flavours out there?
     
  31. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,463) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Yes and No. The truth is that most hop oils (which the flavors come from) are found in most hops. The differences are mostly about proportions and levels. So you've got the basic flavors pretty much covered with a few hops (any few). But it's also true that those proportions and levels are very important in how a hop comes across in the beer. It's why there are hundreds of hop varieties available and it's why new ones are being developed all the time.

    Having said that, I think those 5 are great choices to start experimenting with and learning from SMaSH beers.
     
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  32. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (119) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    Why not Dryhop a flavor neutral pop top and recap. Wait 2 or three days and pour through a strainer. Great way to get a feel for hops. I’m due to try it again with some of the new varieties myself
     
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  33. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    That's a pretty great idea. It's made me think about making hop tea.
     
  34. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (89) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Trader

    Several hops use melon in the description, including Amarillo and Citra. If you’re a fan of melon consider Huell/Hüll Melon, already mentioned. Although I have some Hüll Melon and haven’t used them yet, some folks here have commented that the melon is prominent.

    Both of those are terrific ideas. Wish I’d done them.

    A little food for thought:
    • Make a clean benchmark batch with bittering hops only, no late addition flavor/aroma hops. Use it as a palate cleanser when sampling the hopped test-beers.
    • Hold out some hops from each batch, re-seal them independently as O2 free as possible and put them in the freezer. When you sample from a batch, also sample the reserved pellet/s. Depending on how, and how long, they're stored it could give you an idea of how the character of a given unused hop comes through in brewing.
    • Hops descriptions from site to site and can make one wonder if they’re comparing the same hops. If you make notes or copy/paste (in advance) the descriptors of the hops you settle on, you can strike-out the features YOU don’t find and keep the features you DO find....building your own, personalized hop profile reference. The power of suggestion (by what other folks perceive) might help you name a subtle flavor/aroma you’d otherwise miss.
     
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  35. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (97) Jan 10, 2018 California

    Ya Man! As I sound like a broken record on this forum, I’m a hop head. I brew pretty much just IPA’s. Something about that little flower and what it adds. Oh ya, Citra kicks ass. By its self or in concert with others.

    Check this out:
    http://brulosophy.com/projects/hop-chronicles/
     
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