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Has anyone brewed with these off-the-map German hops?

I recently picked up some German Opal, German Brewer’s Gold, German Merkur and German Select. There were a couple of others I wanted but they were not in stock including German Smaragd. Also in this group is Strisselspalt… not German but off the map for me. Some of these were picked up to make a Biere de Garde but the others have not been marked for anything yet. I’m curious how many of you out there have tried these hops and how many of you think they might work in a hoppy pilsner. The Merkur pellets are over 16%. The Select are about 5.3% and the Opal is over 8%. I have heard that the Brewer’s Gold have a bit of a Black Currant/Dark Berry thing going on so those don’t sound like they would work in a Pils but the others are just described as ‘flowery’, ‘herbal’, ‘floral’, ‘citrusy’ and with a ‘distinct hoppy tang’. Hmm. Thoughts?

Ken,
I started using Merkur last spring and really like them. I used them in a RPA for the bittering addition and liked it much better than other high alpha American bittering hops. I also used them for the bittering charge for a Helles and really worked out well also. I find a good neutral base with some light/ bright aromatics and real slight earthiness that plays well with many hops I have used in the blend including meridian, simcoe, centennial, Amarillo, Hallertau Mittlefruh, Hallertau Tenttang. I have heard good things about opal from the same guy that turned me onto merkur, but have not personally used yet.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]Ken,
I started using Merkur last spring and really like them. I used them in a RPA for the bittering addition and liked it much better than other high alpha American bittering hops. I also used them for the bittering charge for a Helles and really worked out well also. I find a good neutral base with some light/ bright aromatics and real slight earthiness that plays well with many hops I have used in the blend including meridian, simcoe, centennial, Amarillo, Hallertau Mittlefruh, Hallertau Tenttang. I have heard good things about opal from the same guy that turned me onto merkur, but have not personally used yet.[/quote]
Okay, good stuff. Do you see the Merkur working in a Pils? A RPA and a Pils are different enough but if we’re just talking about ‘clean bitterness’, it may be just what the doctor ordered. Cheers.

EDIT: Aside from using Hallertau, Tettnanger, Spalt, Mittelfruh and Hersbrucker, I have also used German Saphir and Tradition… both of which I liked. I like Tradition more for bittering than anything else and I think I blended the Saphir with another hop for a bittering charge so I may not have gotten it’s whole character but what I got, I liked. Cheers.

I’ve been tempted by the hops you’ve listed, but haven’t gotten around to using them yet. Another one that I can highly recommend, though, is one called Herkules. It’s a new generation Hallertau derivative with a fairly high AA level, over 10% as I recall. I used it for bittering in a pale ale last fall, and I was very pleased with the beer. The only problem is that I haven’t seen them available on our host site since then. If and when they do come back, they’re definitely worth trying, in my opinion.

For sure, I don’t know if I wasn’t clear enough but I just tapped the Helles made with Merkur in Nov 2013 and was very pleased with the result very nice neutral baseline.

I only bittered to 17 IBU So the Merkur usage was only a quarter ounce of 15% AA at 35 minutes.
Then an ounce of Mittlefruh of 4% AA at both 20 and 10 minutes. In the future I will bump this to 20 ish IBU and increase the usage but wanted a baseline for future reference as I didnt want to hit it hard and be disappointed.

For some reason I cannot get this good PDF coverted over to a JPG but google search for “2010 Pocket Guide to German Hop Varieties”
It might be located either here:

http://www.deutscher-hopfen.de

Or here:

http://www.hopfen.de

It shows the following:
Merkur
α -acids (EBC 7.4): 13.3
β : α (EBC 7.7): 0.50
Cohum: 20
Total oil: 2.20
β -caryophyllene:humulene: 0.29
farnesene (EBC 7.12): <0.50
linalool (EBC 7.12, mg/100g): 13
linalool: α: 1.0

Opal
α -acids (EBC 7.4): 7.9
β : α (EBC 7.7): 0.80
Cohum: 15
Total oil: 0.95
β -caryophyllene:humulene: 0.34
farnesene (EBC 7.12): <3.0
linalool (EBC 7.12, mg/100g): 11
linalool: α: 1.4

Mittlefruh
α -acids (EBC 7.4): 4.1
β : α (EBC 7.7): 1.3
Cohum: 21
Total oil: 0.85
β -caryophyllene:humulene: 0.29
farnesene (EBC 7.12): <3.0
linalool (EBC 7.12, mg/100g): 6
linalool: α: 1.5

The reason I list Mittlefruh here is because now that you mention opal again I am seeing a very low Cohum in opposition to Mittlefruh and also a higher total oil and linalool which when I add two and two together I get a picture showing that merkur(bittering) in conjunction with opal(flavor) might yield a really good hoppy lager with nice neutrality still.

EDIT** Strike that above pocket guide. It is a good source but when just looking to the websites I quoted there is a much better guide that is in plain terms per ASBC instead of EBC terms/ rules so it will spell out to everyone easier than the pocket guide or terms I left above for a preview.
See: http://www.deutscher-hopfen.de/contents … b28ce6316d
This is a 134 page PDF that spells out everything you need to know about some of these hops and more.

That was another one I was looking at but it was out of stock on NB and also on Rebel which was surprising.

ITsPossible: Thanks for that. I’m going to look at that link in a moment and check it out. Also, I opened up a 1-oz bag of Select, Merkur and Opal just to see how the aroma was on these hops. They seemed to smell nice but it’s tough to know just from smelling them. I think I’ll approach it the way that you did… go easy on the bittering or maybe blend them with something else and see how it goes. I remember using Tradition once for bittering and liking it and then using some for flavor and aroma and let’s just say that I was less impressed. Cheers!

I will have to look/ study more on Herkules in the aforementioned PDF but initially the thing that put me at bay was a cohum of 36.

Now the other oil constitutes are a sum of the whole of course but for pils that alone gave me a big red flag.

Now on the other hand I appreciate the feedback on usage for APA Del, I See the myrcene level is a touch higher than merkur along with the cohum. These two things make me think its definitely a good candidate for American styles where you want a little more edginess/ bite to the bittering. Might even be appropriate in some English styles too. Any darker beer might play nice also.

I’ve used Strisselspalt quite a bit in pilseners and some paler belgian styles. I think it has a fairly typical spicy/herbal noble hop character with a little hint of lemon peel. Pretty low alpha%, which is nice in beers which don’t need much bitterness. Seems to go well with pilsener type malt and clean lager yeast as well as belgian yeasts.

I’ve used Smaragd, Herkules and Polaris recently in a “Düsseldorf IPA”. But the Polaris is so insanely oily (twice as much oil as Citra or Mosaic), that all I got was an overwhelming resin note. I have no idea what contributions (if any) I got from the Herk or Smaragd, but Polaris is tailor-made for an IIPA.

I have Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon in the freezer as we speak, so I will be taste-testing these over the spring or summer.

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