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Best neutral bittering hop

I’m looking to start purchasing my bittering hops in bulk and would like to know what everyone suggests that can be used for styles ranging from AIPAs to belgian tripels to german lagers. Is there a hop that can tackle the bittering in all beer styles or are the subtle differences make one suitable for “most” or “a lot” but not all?

Magnum. I use Magnum for bittering on 90% of my beers. Clean, neutral, and for lower IBU beers you don’t need to use much. I’ve been using the same lb for 2 years. Coming down to the end now, but I fully intent to buy another lb and have it last me another 2 years.

I have occasionally swapped something else for bittering higher IBU beers (Nugget, Calypso, Galena) since I was under the impression you want get much in terms of flavor/aroma, but I often have to let these beers condition longer for some of the harshness to subside. I don’t usually have that issue when using Magnum.

Magnum is about the most neutral bittering hop you can find, but I don’t like it for APA/AIPA. Too smooth and neutral for my tastes.

Unfortunately, most of the hops that fit that bill are pretty low in AAs, so you’d have to use a lot compared to other varieties. The ones that come to mind for me are Saaz, Halltertau, or Tettnang, all of which fall into the 3-5% AA range in general. If you’re looking for the most bang for the buck in terms of AA levels, those are probably not going to cut it, but they all have excellent character. Others here have mentioned Magnum, and I can attest that I’ve use German Magnum hops recently in a pretty good pale ale. With a little research, you can probably find something that will work for you. Actually, I just thought of another one: Sterling. That one’s got an AA level that’s a bit higher than the ones I mentioned, and it’s pretty clean and neutral, from what I hear. That’s about all I can say for now.

When you say neutral bittering hop, it makes me think of a hop with ‘smooth’ bitterness. These hops have low cohumulone percentages and include Simcoe, Magnum, Horizon amongst many others. These are good base bittering hops because they have fairly high AA percent as well.

Although some like their IPA’s and APA’s with more bite like Denny. Which is nice for those styles becuase you can either replace, or comliment your magnum/simcoe/horizon addition with one of the flavor hops that are in IPA’s that are usually higher in cohumulone (chinook, centennial, cascade).

Simcoe has a really low cohumulone, but personally i wouldnt waste such an aromatic hop on a bittering addition. I just used it as an example.

http://www.lugwrenchbrewing.com/2011/11 ... y-hop.html

I really like dual purpose bittering hops as well. Like Columbus - because it’s also great for flavor. But it’s pretty high in Cohumulone. A lot of people get a high cohumulone high alpha + a low cohumulone high alpha hop. This way they can blend or replace to acheive their desired ‘bite’.

Maybe I should rephrase and say the most versatile bittering hop. The one that can be used in the most different beer styles.

I’d probably choose Magnum, it’s great for dark styles, german styles, english, and even belgians. Add some cascade/chinook/columbus when doing american hoppy styles.

I’m also a big fan of Summit for bittering. Although a lot of people hate it for some reason for an “onion” character it gives. I’ve never gotten onion from it, other than the smell in the raw pellet form.

Another vote for Magnum.

I’ve had good results with Magnum and Warrior. I used a lb of Magnum purely for bittering in many batches. I’m working through the rest of a pound of Warrior now, and it’s been great for a wide variety of beers, both ales and lagers.

Like Denny, I prefer a little more punchy hop in APA/AIPA so my go to is Chinook. Belma is very neutral, in fact so neutral I have to put more in than I would think to get the same perceived bitterness. I think Nugget is a good neutral hop too. I don’t use Sterling much except in recipes that call for Saaz for bittering as they have similar profiles but I don’t need to use nearly as much. Czech Saaz is like gold in my freezer!!

Another vote for magnum, though there are issues with it as well. Denny has already mentioned how it doesn’t have enough “bite” for some styles. It also has too much bitterness for some styles. Good luck trying to accurately measure small amounts when you are trying to get 12 IBUs into your blond ale, for example. For very lightly hopped beers, I like using something with less bittering potential as it makes it easier to measure my additions.

Not a lot of brewing under my belt but I’ve been using magnum a lot recently and have really liked the brews I’ve made with it!

So sounds like magnum will be my first bulk order. Next question: where is the best place to buy bulk hops? I plan on getting 1lb. I’ve heard people say hopsdirect.com are good. Any other places people buy from?

This price seems a little too good to be true.

Anyone ordered from here before?

That price does seem too good to be true, but you never know. That’s cheaper than I buy per lb when buying 44lb boxes - of any of the varieties I have on-hand (I don’t have magnum though…).

Look for Hop Heaven on ebay. If they have what you want it will be the best quality hops you’ve ever gotten. That’s been my experience with them.

[quote=“mattnaik”]This price seems a little too good to be true.

Anyone ordered from here before?[/quote]
Wow, that is a DAMN good price. If I were in a better position right now with respect my ability to brew more often, I would jump on that one in a minute. Magnum is a solid hop in my experience.

[quote=“mattnaik”]This price seems a little too good to be true.

Anyone ordered from here before?[/quote]

Never ordered from them, but hopsdirect will occasionally have prices that low or lower.

They could be from last year, low sellers, or just a surplus.
Good time to stock up. :cheers:

I use magnum for almost every beer. I started using it based on others saying it was a good neutral hop. I continue to use it because I don’t notice anything offensive about it, it bitters the beer and with the high AAs it cuts down on the amount of hops I need.

It’s a great price, but it could be because they’re a year old (2012 harvest), and the store’s trying to clear their inventory.

As Denny said, Hop Heaven has great hops. Yakima Valley Hops, Hops Direct and Farmhouse Brewing Supply are also great places to buy bulk hops from.

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