Single Hop beers

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Hanglow, Oct 29, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hanglow

    Hanglow Defender (605) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    I'm about to place an order for three brews, they'll all have the same grist and will all be single hop beers. I made one with citra earlier in the year and it was terrific, but am now not too sure what varieties to go for.

    So what single hop beers do you enjoy/have enjoyed? Any that should be avoided?

    here's the selection, plenty to choose from

    I'll be aiming for about 4.8% beer with 95% MO and 5% unmalted grains, probably flaked barley and oats. yeast will be us05 for simplicity.

    I'd really like to do one of them with saaz, but the other two I'm not sure about, maybe one US hop variety and one NZ

  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “ …maybe one US hop variety and one NZ”

    I brewed an IPA solely hopped with Simcoe which I thought was outstanding. The dominant flavor I obtain from Simcoe is piney and I enjoy that flavor profile. I have never brewed a solely hopped Amarillo beer but I would be willing to bet that it would be tasty. If you are willing to ‘broaden’ your scope, I am drinking an IPA that was late/dry hopped with a 50/50 blend of Simcoe and Amarillo and that beer is outstanding!

    I have some Galaxy hops in my freezer that I will be brewing with next spring to make an all Galaxy (from a late/dry hopping perspective) IPA.

    Please report back how you all Saaz hopped beer turned out. I make a Bohemian Pilsner beer every year where I bitter with Sterling and late hop with a Saaz that I think is extremely tasty.


    P.S. Doh! I forgot about my all Centennial hopped IPA that I make twice a year. Centennial has a yummy citrus flavor to my palate that I absolutely love!
  3. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Avoid Sorachi Ace. And Northern Brewer (tastes like candy).
    Chinook is an interesting one.
  4. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Centennial, you cant go wrong.
  5. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I have done smash beers with citra, cascade, belma, bravo, simcoe, fuggles, willamette. Of these I would say that it depends what your goals are for the beer which ones you should use. I have made several beers with all serebrianka too, and I'm sure a few other single hop beers I can't recall at the moment.

    Belma seems to work well with other hops, but less so as a single hop in IPA strengths. I thought my belma IPA was a bit muddy (that could have been party from the grain bill tho, which in hindsight was probably a bit over-complicated).

    Fuggles and willamette are great single hop hops, but to make an IPA strength hoppy beer you'd need to use a helluvalotta them. For a pale ale tho, six or seven ounces of these, mostly late would be divine. A small bittering charge of magnum, warrior, or another high AA hop would probably be an ok fudge tho if you want high IBUs.

    Serebrianka are like fuggles and willamette, fairly weak, with more subtle (yet very tasty) flavors. However, I did add a butt-load of them to a stout (just to use them up, something like 9 oz), with good results. I would not suggest these for an IPA.

    Simcoe, cascade, citra, bravo - all great for single hop beers, even in IPA quantities. Actually just 4 oz simcoe gave me a pale ale that was close to an IPA in hoppiness. I used 3.5 oz bravo (0.5 early, 1 at 5, 2 at FO) and that made an excellent almost-IPA pale ale smash (with munich malt). Cascade is my fav hop, so I've used it in both pale ale and IPA strengths. If you like that citrus peel flavor (yellow grapefruits, lemon, oranges, citrus rind etc), definitely try cascade.

    edit: and I'll echo NB and centennial as good choices. :D
    jsullivan02130 likes this.
  6. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Savant (907) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Chinook is my go to hop. It brings a bit of pine, a bit of citrus, and a touch of tropical and plays very well with other hops. Amarillo and citra are great for single hop beers, but then so are simcoe, cascade, centennial, Willamette among others. The skys the limit for you, but I dig Chinook.
  7. Hanglow

    Hanglow Defender (605) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    cheers for the suggestions

    I should have said I've done an all centennial IPA a couple of times and also used that recipe (bells two hearted clone from homebrewtalk) with lots of willamette, which was interesting. Also have done a mount hood belgian IPA that was rather good.

    Just looking at my notes now, I forgot I dry hopped that citra brew with 70g or so of NZ Cascade, so it wasn't single hop at all. bloody lovely drop though

    Chinook is on the list then :)
    skivtjerry likes this.
  8. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Your chance of going wrong with chinook is nil.

    And fudging it on a smash or single hop beer isn't the end of the world. I view such matters are similar to literary, dramatic or artistic license...

    from teh wiki: a colloquial term, sometimes euphemism, used to denote the distortion of fact, alteration of the conventions of grammar or language, or rewording of pre-existing text made by an artist to improve a piece of art.

    You're not cheating, you're improving.

    I just say "it's my beer, I'll do with it what I want." :D
  9. jlpred55

    jlpred55 Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2006 Iowa

    I agree, I love Chinook, its like a pine tree covered in grapefruits. My favorite single hop is Galaxy, it is very much passionfruit flavored.
    meatballj626j likes this.
  10. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (604) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    My favorite single hop beers have been with Amarillo, simcoe, and nelson sauvin. Citra comes in at a close fourth, but is out of the money.
  11. Hanglow

    Hanglow Defender (605) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Right, I've settled on chinook, galaxy, saaz. An intercontinental hop off. I might however also get some magnum at least to help bitter the saaz one.
  12. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    Regarding an all-Saaz beer, I've got an all-Saaz pils on tap right now that is pretty underwhelming. And that with 1 lb of hops in a 6 gallon batch. Compared to the all-Hersbrucker and all-Hallertau m.f. versions of the same beer, the Saaz version is by far the most boring. Hersbrucker is definitely my favorite -- spicy bitterness and a really floral aroma, kind of like jasmine tea.
  13. DocJae

    DocJae Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2008 Michigan

    Same here. I've made a lot of no-recipe, thrown-together batches only using 2-row and Simcoe and they're turned out solid.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I am sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your all Saaz Pils. I took note of: “And that with 1 lb. of hops in a 6 gallon batch.” Did you use whole hops to make your Pils? Was it Czech Saaz hops?

  15. azorie

    azorie Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    saaz, fuggles, noble, goldings east kent are my favs
  16. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    Czech Saaz pellets. The beer is fine, it's just that it doesn't have much hop character. I've got a pound of Sterling leaf from the 2013 crop I'm gonna try out with my next batch -- I'll be interested to see how that comes out as they are supposed to be "Saaz-like".

    Hersbrucker hops are awesome though. That's gonna be my new go-to late hop for lots of German styles.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Czech Saaz pellets.” Can I ask who the hop vendor was (e.g., was it HopUnion?)?

    I am very surprised that a 1 lb. of Saaz for a 6 gallon batch was so muted. For my Bohemian Pilsners I use a total of 3.5 ounces of Saaz hops for late/dry hopping (I dry hop with 1.5 ounces). My Bo-Pils has a very nice & noticeable Saaz hop flavor/aroma. I would describe the flavor/aroma as a combination of herbal & spicy.

    My other preferred Noble Hop for flavor/aroma is Hallertauer Mittelfruh. I late/dry hop my Classic American Pilsner with Hallertauer Mittelfruh and I really enjoy the flavor/aroma.

    I have used Hersbrucker in my brewing but it has been a long time since I used it so my memory of the flavor/aroma of this hop is poor.


    P.S. I have used Sterling hops (pellets) for bittering my Bo-Pils for the past 5-6 years. It is “the daughter of a Saaz clone and a father that had Cascade …. The result is a Saaz character …” I have not used Sterling for flavor/aroma so I don’t have any input on that hop for that application.
  18. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    It was Farmhouse brewing. I'm not sure where they get their hops from though.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  19. mattbk

    mattbk Devotee (466) Dec 12, 2011 New York

    Made a saison with all Styrian. Kept the hopping simple - 0.5 oz at 60, 30, 15, and FO. Came out spectacular. Not sure it would work as well with US-05 (probably not), but it was perfect in a Belgian-style beer.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have concerns about the 'freshness' (or packaging?) of Farmhouse brewing's hops. Maybe try another supplier next time?

  21. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    I've had pretty good luck with their hops, and to me the packaging seems good (foil, vacuum seal). The Hersbrucker were also from them. I'd definitely be willing to try other suppliers for certain varieties though -- if you have any recommendations, I'm all ears.
  22. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (604) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    The couple of times I've ordered from them, I had nothing but success with the hops. I placed another order last night, so here's hoping.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If they vacuum seal their hops then I really don’t really have any good alternative suggestions for you. The Czech Saaz hops that I have used (and were happy with) were packaged by HopUnion (from vendors like Northern Brewer) and Williams Homebrewing.

    My line of questioning was that you were not obtaining ‘fresh’ or properly packaged Czech Saaz hops but it seems to me that Farmhouse Brewing is a ‘quality’ homebrew shop (based upon your input).

    Why your Bohemian Pilsner (using 1 lb. of Czech Saaz hops for a 6 gallon batch) was a ‘disappointment’ is a mystery to me. I wish I had some definitive ‘answer’ to this situation but the fact of the matter is that I am stumped.

    I am very satisfied with the Bohemian Pilsners that I brew using only 3.5 ounces of Czech Saaz hops for late and dry hopping. Maybe this is just a situation of people having differing palates?

  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Have you ever ordered Czech Saaz hops from them? If so, what do you think of those particular hops?

  25. EdH

    EdH Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2005 Utah

    Concerns based on what? I've placed a few orders through Farmhouse; The pellets are always vacuum sealed well, and the quality has been great with the hops I've used so far.
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Concerns based on what?” He used one pound of hops in making a 6 gallon batch of beer and he stated: “Regarding an all-Saaz beer, I've got an all-Saaz pils on tap right now that is pretty underwhelming.” To me that is an indication of hops that are either not fresh or not properly packaged.

    I later posted: “My line of questioning was that you were not obtaining ‘fresh’ or properly packaged Czech Saaz hops but it seems to me that Farmhouse Brewing is a ‘quality’ homebrew shop (based upon your input).”

    I use 3.5 ounces of Saaz for late/dry hopping my Bo-Pils and I am happy with that.

  27. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,307) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Although I have never experienced it in a pale ale style, I would be tempted to use Hallertauer Mittelfruh. I probably wouldn't use it as a single hop though; I'd use something neutral like magnum or horizon for a bittering addition (because Hallertau tends to be low alpha) and then load the Hallertau on the backend. I've loved this hop in pilsners, Belgian pale ales, and saisons.
  28. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (265) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    I've done single hop beers with Fuggles(ESB, porter, stout), Amarillo(wheat) Perle(roggenbier, rauchbiers), Strisselspalt(Kolsch, Alt) and a variety of beers with Hallertau.
  29. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (649) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    I can think of no single-hop beer that wouldn't be improved by blending with at least 1 other quality hop (well maybe Mosaic or Galaxy) :mad:
  30. meatballj626j

    meatballj626j Initiate (0) May 7, 2009 Georgia

    I made a blonde ale that I hop bursted with Chinook. It was very good.
  31. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (364) May 2, 2006 Utah

    IIRC, I've made the following single-hopped beers: Cz Saaz, Hersbrucker (pils); Chinook, Citra, Columbus, Cascade, Northern Brewer, Sorachi Ace (American pale ales). The most underwhelming beer was the one with Northern Brewer; it had the minty NB flavor, but overall rather subtle. (The biggest problem with that beer was the old malt extract that was used.) All the other pale ales were quite ejoyable.
  32. YeastCoastBrewClub

    YeastCoastBrewClub Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 Wisconsin

    you can't go wrong with Fuggles or hallertau
    rocdoc1 likes this.
  33. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,471) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    And yet those idiots at Bell's keep on making Two Hearted with just Centennial. :)
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  34. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (649) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Yeah, someone should talk to them about that : )
  35. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Looking at that list, and picking out the 2012 harvest(mark for ones I have done with great results*)
    East Kent Goldings*
    Galaxy*- A new favorite
  36. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    You gotta bet the superfecta if you wanna have four horses in the money. :cool:

    So how about a nelson citra amarillo simcoe special? :eek:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.