I read Brewing Classic Styles back in the winter and noticed the use of traditional bittering hops used for bittering like Goldings, Tettnang, Hallertau, etc. I’ve also seen in NB’s recipes such a pattern of use. However, in reading about hop descriptions, they list most of these as flavor or aroma hops, and for good reason. Their aromas are amazing. For classic beers as English bitters, German lagers, etc., do you all still use these varieties for bittering, or do you all use high alpha hops for bittering and leave these for flavor and aroma?
I often (almost always) use German Magnum for bittering. From my understanding using a low AA hop for bittering requires a higher charge which supposedly leads to a harsh or vegetal off flavor. I’ve brewed lagers with low AA hops for bittering and didn’t notice much difference.
I do if I’m recreating a traditional recipe. If they had newer high AA hops back then, I’m sure they would have used them. But without vacuum sealing and refrigeration, hops were not always in great shape. Hops that were two or three years old may have been used for bittering, and fresher hops for later additions. The older ones would have worked ok for bittering, so just because it calls for a highly aromatic hop, it was more than likely past its prime and wouldn’t have been much good for flavor/aroma anyways.
I generally use a high alpha hops for bittering but often only boil for 45 min to try and preserve some flavor. You need to add a little more but not as much as a lower alpha hops. For hoppy beers I layer in 45/30/20 for bittering
I almost always use a neutral, high-alpha hop for bittering and save my more expensive aroma/flavoring hops for late in the boil.
I’m a cheap-skate. I also find that the aroma/flavoring hops are less likely to be in stock and less likely to still be fresh when I’m ready to brew. The batches using aroma/flavoring hops for bittering have not been noticeably better than my normal procedure (to my not-very-gifted-palate).
I do enjoy goldings for ESB… I am back to using NB hops for bittering… I can’t explain the after taste I get from Magnum, but, I’ve shied away from it now… My taste likes the older hops… These new fangled hops with fruity-ness just doesn’t work for me… Yes I know cascade and Grapefruit… thats where I draw a line in the brew kettle… Sneezles61
I use homegrown Hallertau for a lot of my bittering. It’s clean and safe and predictable. Furthetmore I believe it adds a certain nobility to any beer, any style.
I have no strong opinions for or against use of high alpha hops for bittering. Just use whatever you like. Low cohumulone is a good idea though in most cases.
Are you feeling ok, Dave?