Un­sung Hops

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Contents -

Cer­tain hops play lead­ing roles, but the sup­port­ing ac­tors are just as im­por­tant.

Cer­tain hops play lead­ing roles, but the sup­port­ing ac­tors are just as im­por­tant and of­ten over­looked. Sean Buchan of Cere­bral Brew­ing shares some of his fa­vorites.

“IN SUP­PORT­ING ROLES, we tend to use a good amount of El Do­rado,” says Sean Buchan of Cere­bral Brew­ing, “but in small amounts—10–20 per­cent of the hops bill. It can get ex­ces­sively sweet on you re­ally quick, es­pe­cially if you com­bine it with other hops that have that per­ceived sweet­ness, so we tend to use it in con­junc­tion with other hops that will tame that back a bit. In Rare Trait, we use El Do­rado, Mo­saic, and Ci­tra, but we also have Aza­cca in there, which brings a bit of the piney fruity note and doesn’t let it just get straight fruit.

“We’ve been us­ing a lot more Huell Melon and Haller­tau Blanc in IPAS, and the Huell Melon/gal­axy combo has worked re­ally well for us. It tends to bring out more of the melon notes al­ready there in Gal­axy, and we get more pineap­ple and hon­ey­dew melon. Sim­i­larly, Haller­tau Blanc and Motueka work well to­gether to com­ple­ment bright hops, and we use it with Ci­tra, Mo­saic, and Gal­axy as well. Our Re­mote Is­land IPA is Gal­axy, Haller­tau Blanc, and Motueka, with Gal­axy be­ing 50 per­cent and the other two the re­main­ing 50 per­cent. They work re­ally well to pro­vide a lot more depth and bring out more of the bright pineap­ple and a hint of lemon­grass that I al­ways en­joy. It adds a bit of com­plex­ity to the hops bill, so it’s not just one big fruit note.

“I love Colum­bus, and it works well with Ci­tra at about 80 per­cent Ci­tra, 20 per­cent Colum­bus. We use heav­ier Colum­bus in the whirpool, then flip the ra­tio in the dry hop. The Ci­tra lot we have right now is bright with a ton of ly­chee, pas­sion­fruit, and other fun acidic fruits. But in every­thing we do, I don’t want the fruit to dom­i­nate every­thing else, so Colum­bus brings that back a bit with a touch of clas­sic cit­rus and a lit­tle bit of dank.

“New Zealand hops tend to play re­ally great sup­port­ing roles, partly be­cause they’re hard to get in the amount we need to do beers ex­clu­sively with them and partly be­cause they’re so unique. You can make all-new Zealand-hops beers that are amaz­ing, but in my opin­ion, they tend to func­tion bet­ter play­ing with Pa­cific North­west hops.”

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