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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 9, 2004 * Neutral bitterness hop? < Previous Next >

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Jim O'Conner (64.70.24.207)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 10:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What would be considered a neutral bitterness hop? My stout recipe calls for Nugget or some other variety?
 

chumley (65.102.122.168)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 11:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For a substitute for Nugget, I would recommend Galena or Eroica. For bittering a stout, I like Northern Brewer and Cluster. Bullion is also recommended, but can't say I have ever used them.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 12:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cluster is a good neutral bittering hop, although not very interesting in terms of flavor or pleasant in terms of aroma.
 

Randy McCord (216.174.177.204)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 01:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I second the Galena hops. I made a beer a while back with Tettnanger hops 3.5%aau, so I used some Galena to help with the bittering. It came out great, didn't cover up the Tettnang at all.
 

chumley (63.227.169.156)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 05:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>or pleasant in terms of aroma.

Gee, Bill, I am disappointed. After all, it was you who conjectured a 1950s Ballentine IPA clone recipe several months ago that I dutifully wrote down with the intent of brewing it some day, then promptly lost it. As far as I recall, you had a flavor and aroma addition of Clusters prescribed?

Truth be told, I have played around with Cluster quite a bit in CAPs and CACAs, and can relate the following:

It indeed is unpleasant as a FWH addition
As a flavor addition (20-10 min), it ain't so bad
It rocks as a 60 45 or 30 minute addition.

But in dark beers, it works great both for bittering and flavoring. I guess I am in the Cluster minority, as I still cannot figure out the catty aroma that everyone else is getting from it.
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Bullion is also recommended, but can't say I
> have ever used them.

I use that hop exclusively in my stouts as a bittering hop. No other additions. Very nice.
 

Ken Anderson (24.55.255.75)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 02:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ray Daniels slams Cluster pretty hard in DGB.
 

davidw (209.107.44.126)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 02:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Only used Cluster a couple times, and have always wondered if the 'catty' reference came from early homebrewers that were simply using old hops.
 

davidw (209.107.44.126)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 02:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doh! Double post.

Also from the Hoptech website: "Galena is the most 'mellow' hop of the high-alpha varieties, and has replaced Cluster as the most widely grown US hop."

If Cluster was recently the most widely grown US hop I can't imagine it's qualities to be that bad, or why else would there be (apparently) that much demand?
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 03:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Clusters get a bad rap. I didn't mean to suggest that they were truly unpleasant even as an aroma hop, merely that they lack interest and the spicy, flowery, citrusy, etc. aromas of other varieties. I think they are a very neutral bittering hop, however. As davidw mentions, Galenas are higher in alpha acids and have an equally neutral bittering character.
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I thought Magnum was the way to go for a neutral bittering hop.

-Doug
 

Greg Beron (66.47.129.204)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 06:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I second Magnum. I love it as a bittering hop, and apparently Sierra Nevada does too. Newer varieties like Warrior work well too. I also use Perle when I want moderately high alpha acid instead of ultra-high. In fact, here's my hop schedule for this year's Dopplebock:
0.80 oz Magnum [15.0%] (60 min)
1.20 oz Perle [8.0%] (60 min)
1.60 oz Hallertauer [4.8%] (60 min)
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 06:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>Ray Daniels slams Cluster pretty hard in DGB.

He also admits he has never used them, so I would take his advice with a grain of salt.

I also second Greg's recommendation of Perle.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think the undeserved bad reputation of Clusters stems from two related factors. For years they were overwhelmingly the hops used by American megabrewers and also by homebrewers who had few other choices 25 or more years ago. Most homebrew suppliers stored them without any refrigeration or O2 protection and they soon grew stale.

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