How to Choose Hops | Beer Brewing

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Hi, my name is Chris Cuzme. I am a long-time member and current president of the New York City Home Brewer’s Guild. I’ve been home brewing since about 2001, and I love it. I’m crazy addicted to it, and I’m happy to share it with you today. I’m also part of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team which I formed with my partner, Mary Izett, I’ll be showing you how to home brew today. Cheers!

Hops…how do you choose hops for your beer? You have to figure out what style of beer you’re making. Hops vary throughout the world. They grow in different, it depends on the soil, it depends on what kind of climate they’re being grown in. They generally need a lot of light, but that’s neither here nor there. German hops are called noble hops. English hops have a perfume-y, kind of an earthy and perfume-y deal. Where Northern California, American hops have a real citrusy and pine nature to them. New Zealand is coming out with some really awesome hops, like nelson sauvin, that have this kind of fruit wine-y thing, and lemon citrus. It’s beautiful. But how to choose your hops? Hops come in several different forms. Choosing your hops depends on the style of beer you’re making, what you want. Get to know your hops, experiment with them. But, when you’re making a beer, they come in pellet form, they come in whole leaf hope, and they also come in plugs. There are varying degrees with which to use them, but they all work very well, the most consistent being pellets. And most commercial brewers use pellets, except for when dry hopping, where whole leaf tends to do the trick very lovely. Hops function 3 different ways. So hops work for bittering, hops work for flavor, and hops work for aroma. There are certain hops that work better for each of these 3. Typically, they all have an alpha acid content, which is what gives you that bitteriness. Those oils and the percentage with which these alpha acids are present changes all of that. So there are hops that are better for bittering, there are hops that are better for flavor, there are hops that are better for aroma. And generally, that comes down to your alpha acid content. And just know your hops, study them. Just do some research. There’s a lot of information online, both through From How to Brew, from Mr. Malty. Explore. If you’re online already, go check it out.


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