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Your favourite bittering hops and why

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by atomeyes, Jan 31, 2013.

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  1. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (383) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Tell me what you like to use for your bittering hops and why.

    which hops for which style? what is it that you like about the taste and bitterness it imparts.

    go on...don't be shy....
  2. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Chad

    Magnum for my IPAs. Because they are strong and clean like a well oiled German bodybuilder.
    DAllspaw and samtallica like this.
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,065) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Firstly, from an ‘economics’ perspective it makes sense that a high alpha acid hop be used for bittering.

    There was thread in the past where the OP asked: “Bittering hops, does it matter what you use?” Below was my response:

    “If the only hop addition you make is a bittering hop addition then which hop you utilize can have a flavor affect. I once brewed an Altbier with only Spalt hops added for bittering. I used a large amount of Spalt hops (5 ounces) for bittering and there was a significant amount of Spalt flavor; I suspect that I experienced a lot of flavor since I used so much (5 ounces).

    If you brew a beer that has a fair amount of flavor and aroma hops utilized, then the hops used for bittering isn’t quite as important. The hops utilized for the flavor and aroma additions will dominate and you will not be able to perceive the flavor of the bittering hop.

    A number of folks also believe some hops have harsh bittering (e.g., Chinook) and other hops have smoother bittering aspect. In the particular beers that I homebrew I have not noticed this effect. For example, I used Chinook hops many times for bittering a clone of Celebration Ale. I personally did not notice any harshness to the bitterness; in that beer I mostly noticed the flavor/aroma of Cascade/Centennial hops that I generously used for flavor and aroma. If I were to brew a beer where my sole hop addition was Chinook for bittering I may be able to notice a harshness to the bittering.

    So, depending on the beer you are brewing (only bittering hops added vs. a batch where you use flavor/aroma hop additions) the selection of hops for bittering can matter.”

    The bittering hops that I have used and liked in my various beers are Warrior, Magnum, Chinook, Cluster, Northern Brewer, Centennial, ….

    The alleged non-harsh bittering hops from the above list would be Warrior and Magnum.

  4. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (277) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    Cluster is my most frequently used hop for bittering. I like them because they can fit with alot of styles and they are cheap. I just recieved another pound of Belma that I can use for bittering and at $5 a pound hard to go wrong.
  5. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I bought three pounds at 5.25 a pound. I made an IPA with them, meh. They'll be great for bittering tho. And maybe some flavor/dry uses with certain non-hop forward styles.
  6. OddNotion

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

    Warrior, Chinook, Columbus, Galena in no particular order. I mostly shoot for high AA% here
  7. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    I also have Belma, and that should get me through this year for bittering purposes. When purchasing hops I always consider flavor and aroma first, but make sure to have a good bittering hop around based on what I plan to brew.

    I usually have one or two of the following around:
    Mt. Hood
    Northern Brewer

    I prefer the mid level AA% hops as I feel they don't take up too much space in my freezer for too long as I can really only keep 4-5 pounds around at a time. I always buy by the pound or half pound.
  8. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (277) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I agree that a single hop IPA with Belma is not going to light many fires but I think in combination with other varities it can fit.

    I am sorry to get off topic!
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    For bittering (not dual-purpose) my favorite is Magnum, because of high AA's and low cohumulone. I keep meaning to try Horizon too, but keep forgetting.
  10. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,307) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Totally depends on the beer being brewed.
    barfdiggs likes this.
  11. Mfedonczak

    Mfedonczak Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2008 Texas

    For an IPA or APA I like Columbus. For everything else though I like magnum for the cleaner bitterness it gives.
  12. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (383) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    so then expand on your answer, good sir.
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  13. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I couldn't find any until last year, I bought them and they came in a sealed plastic bag with pin holes. Never used them.

    Then I saw this and ordered. Looks like they should be sealed correctly. They are on their way.

  14. basscram

    basscram Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2006 Maine

    Hallertau Mittelfruh/Pacifica for my Kolsch, Low bitterness, clean crisp no frills, Just enough to take off the maltiness. I just know it works for this style, I've perfected it and can't stop making it.
  15. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,307) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Noble hops for most German/Czech beers.

    Target, Challenger, EKG work well for British beers.

    Many high alpha hops for American type beers.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
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