I’ve redone this page to replace my last blog post about the varieties of hops I have here for my brewing efforts. Most of these are pellets with exception to the last two which are whole hops, marked Freshops.  

The higher of the percentage of alpha acids next to the variety of hop determines the bittering qualities added to the beer. If you add an ounce total of a mild hops variety to a 5 gallon batch of your boil? You will end up with a very mild beer. Mix it up a bit? You’ll get a bit more of a complex flavor.  I’ve copied and pasted the hops info below from a helpful website that was the best description of the basics of hops below.  I got this info from KegWorks. 

Hops Inventory – March 2nd 2022


Target – 10.3% U.K. ~ Intense and pleasantly pungent with dried citrus and sagebrush overtones. Whirlpool or dry hop additions play up a spice character

Mosaic – 10.9% U.S. ~ Complex and pronounced. Strong impressions of citrus oil, balsam pine, blueberry, peach and tropical fruit. Notable mango character, but also shades of lime and mandarin orange.

Simcoe – 13.5% U.S. ~ A bittering and aromatic hop. Passion fruit, berry, bubblegum, citrus, earth, and pine aroma.

Fuggle – 4.9% U.K. ~ Mild and pleasant, woody, earthy, and slightly floral.

Hallertau Blanc – 9.4% Germany ~ Winey, passion fruit, grapefruit, gooseberry, pineapple character.

Amarillo – 8.1% ~ Yakima Valley U.S. – a distinct flowery, spicy, tropical, citrus-like flavor and aroma in beer. The citrus has qualities of orange and lemon, like Cascade but much stronger. Other aroma descriptors include grapefruit, melon, apricot and peach.

Magnum – 11.1% ~ A new variety developed in Germany. A clean bittering hop, good for all ales and lagers. no distinct aroma character.

Challenger – U.K. – 6.3% Challenger is a dual-purpose hop that can be used in all hop additions throughout the brewing process. Aroma descriptors that include cedar, green tea and sweet fruit.

Nelson Sauvin – 11.5% – New Zealand ~ Distinctive white wine “fruitiness,” gooseberry. Considered by some as “extreme,” this hop is often used in specialty craft and seasonal beers. Can be used to produce big punchy ales as well as subtle yet bitter lagers.

Saaz – Czech Republic – 3.2% ~ choice hops used for Pilsner style lagers. Very mild spicy aroma. Soft, pleasantly spicy and herbal with vivid woodsy, earthy, and dark floral character.

Cascade – U.S. – 5.3% ~ Strong spicy, floral citrus aroma bittering, finishing, dry hopping for American style ales. Example Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anchor Liberty Ale and Old Foghorn.

Wakatu – New Zealand – 4.9% ~ features floral aromas, as well as notes of fresh lime zest, citrus oils, and has a Mittlefrüh-style sweetness

Perle – Germany – 8.9% ~ a good all-around dual-purpose hop. It can work well as a neutral bittering hop where it creates a clean background to spotlight other aroma varieties. It can also be the complete package, bittering/flavor/aroma, especially in beers requiring a subtle hop touch.

Mt. Hood – U.S. – 4.6% ~ Moderately intense and sweet with suggestions of herbal notes, flowers and green fruit. Noble-like, it can be pungent with a more pronounced herbal note in fresh brews.

Citra – U.S. – 12.9% ~ High alpha acid hop with a strong, yet smooth floral and citrus aroma and flavor. It has specific aroma descriptors that include grapefruit, citrus, peach, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit and lychee and a smooth bitterness when added to the boil. Citra has become one of the most popular hops in the world.

Galaxy – Australia – 16.3% ~ Intense and potent. Musky tropical fruit (passionfruit, apricot, Key lime) with dank citrus and earthy blackcurrant.

Liberty – U.S. – 4.5% ~ Liberty hops have aroma descriptors that include noble, delicate, floral bouquet and spice. It displays mild floral and spice characteristics with some subtle citrus notes. You can expect that European infused spicy aroma with citrus and lemon flavors that makes a great pick for Pilsners, Bocks, and even Wheat Beers.

Galena – U.S. – 12.6% ~ Medium but pleasant hoppiness, citrusy. Aroma descriptors of the Galena hop include sweet fruits, pear, pineapple, blackcurrant, grapefruit, lime, gooseberry and spicy wood.

Nugget – U.S. – 12.6% ~ High-alpha hop that can be used as a dual-purpose hop with mild, pleasant, and herbal aromas.

Tettnanger – Germany – 3.8% ~ Shifting and evolving mix of floral, fruity, herbal and spicy – fresh herbs, grass, dried flowers, citrus peel, black tea. A fine finishing hop with a spicy aroma.

Crystal – U.S. – 3.5% ~ The Crystal hop has aromas of woods, green, floral and fruity with herb and spice notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper.

Northern Brewer – Germany – 9.3% ~ Medium-strong with some wild tones. have aroma descriptors that include mint, pine and grass. It displays pleasant pine and mint characteristics most in dual purpose brewing applications.

Columbus – U.S. – 14.2% ~ a dual-purpose hop that can be used in all hop additions throughout the brewing process. Specific aroma descriptors of the Columbus hop includes earthiness, black pepper, licorice, spice (curry) and subtle citrus. Use as a bittering, flavoring or aromatic hop.

Chinook – U.S. – 14.0% ~ heavy spicy aroma; Strong versatile bittering hop. Mild to medium-heavy, spicy, piney, and grapefruity.

Warrior – U.S. – 17.8% ~ imparts a great deal of bitterness thanks to its high alpha acid content. The other flavors that come out tend to be along the lines of grapefruit and lemon with some underlying pine notes. This hop is at its best in beers with a strong bitter hop profile such as IPAs.

Palisade – U.S. – 8.5% ~ Dual-purpose hop with aromas of apricot, grass, and floral. Feature complex floral, herbal and grassy aromas in addition to flavors of nectar fruits and citrus. Moderate alpha hop with good aroma characteristics.

Hallertau Mittelfrüh – Germany – 3.8% ~ This classic German hop has an herbal/floral character and smooth bitterness, making it an ideal choice for brewing lagers, especially traditional pilsners. Pleasant, spicy/mild with earthy aroma.

East Kent Goldings – U.K. 4.5% ~ These hops are spicy/floral, earthy, rounded with a mild aroma, commonly used only to bitter the beer during brewing, and not for too much flavor and aromas. Flowery with citrus peel or citrus candy overtones and a herbaceous, spring meadow-like undercurrent. Gentle and refined, dry hopping can bring forth its citrus aspects alongside a fresh grassy note.

Willamette – U.S. – 3.8% ~ Mild and pleasant, slightly spicy, fruity, floral, a little earthy.

Styrian Goldings Celeia – Slovenia – 3.0% ~ Low alpha varietal with a lovely, traditional European aroma. Commonly utilized in Belgian Ales, Lagers, and ESBs for that smooth, slightly spicy, and delicate noble aroma, Invitingly earthy and resinous as befits its Fuggle background, but with a more refined and restrained nature.

Ekuanot – U.S. – 12.4% ~ Strong impressions of citrus, fruit, and herbs. commercially released in 2014 as “Equinox” by the Hops Breeding Company in Yakima, and subsequently renamed due to trademark issues. It has intense and unique fruity and citrus notes including melon, berry, citruslime, apple and papaya. Ekuanot®
also contains some spicy, green pepper note.

Idaho 7 – U.S. – 12.2% ~ known for piney, tropical, fruity, citrusy, earthy, and floral flavors and aromas. Typically used as an Aroma/Flavor hop with high alpha acid levels and average cohumulone content. Its strong hop character makes it ideal for IPAs, APAs and any other hop forward beer.

El Dorado – U.S. – 14.0% ~ Dual purpose hop with intense tropical, pineapple and mango notes. El Dorado is a dual-purpose hop variety that elicits flavors of tropical and hard candy aromas for your beers.

Centennial – U.S. – 7.4% ~ Clean bittering hop with spicy, floral, citric aroma. General purpose bittering, aroma, some dry hopping.

Hersbruck / Hersbrucker – Germany – 2.4% ~ Floral and herbal – similar to Mittelfrüh, but with an added element of fruit and more dominant spice component.

Sterling – U.S. – 6.2% ~ Herbal, spicy, pleasant aroma, hint of floral and citrus. Dual purpose hop variety. Sterling is the daughter of Saaz and Cascade with some open pollination of German varieties. The spicy characteristics of the Saaz play well with the bright citrus from the Cascade.

Cluster – U.S. – 9.9% ~ Thought to be one of the oldest and most robust hop crops in the US. With its balanced aroma and bittering profile and outstanding storage stability. Well-balanced bittering potential. Strong hop/fruit aroma. Spicy flavor.

Azacca – U.S. – 12.6% ~ A dual-use, high-alpha hop. Aroma and flavor characteristics of apricot, ripe mango, orchard fruit, orange, grapefruit, pine, and pineapple.

Comet – U.S. – 9.0% ~ Grapefruit, lemon, orange, and grassy notes. Comet being an older hop that is well known for its “wild American” flavor, bred for bittering, and often used in American-style lagers.

Huell Melon – Germany – 9.0% ~ Distinct notes of summer melon (notably honeydew), ripe strawberries, and mild apricot. It also may bring low whispers of orange, vanilla, Geranium, and fruit tea. Its bitterness is usually characterized as mild, but still noticeable.

Freshops – Cascade – U.S. – 7.4% whole hops ~ Flowers, citrus & spice with notes of grapefruit create the wonderful bouquet of Cascade hops. Homebrewer’s #1 hop.

Freshops – Nugget – U.S. – 13.8% whole hops ~ Nugget was introduced in 1970 via the USDA. It has a strong herbal/slight spice aroma and high bittering value.


Hops are the green, cone-shaped flowers of the female hop plant, also known by its scientific name Humulus lupulus. (Have fun with that one after a few beers.) Hops are chock full of alpha acids, which are the primary bittering agent brewers use to balance the sweetness in the beer imparted by grain during the brewing process. Hops are also a concentrated source of the essential oils that lend many beers their signature, intoxicating flavors and aromas. And before modern refrigeration, hops served as an important beer preservative.

How Are Hops Used In Beer?

Brewers use hops in beer to varying degrees. In some styles, like the omnipresent IPA, hops take centerstage. In other styles, like stouts, hops typically play a less obvious role; they add backbone and depth, but the beer’s flavor and aroma is mostly defined by the grain bill.

Coaxing particular characteristics out of hops takes skill and experience. Brewers manipulate which varieties of hops they use and for how long they’re boiled to achieve particular effects.


hop pellets

Hops come whole or in plugs and pellets, like these. Photo credit: Epic Beer/Flickr/CC BY 2.0


Types of Hops

Just as there are dozens of varietals of grapes used for winemaking, there are a ton of different kinds of hops available to brewers. And just like wine grapes, hops of different strains and from different growing regions bring to the table (or should I say kettle?) different flavors, aromas, and bittering capabilities.

For starters, hop strains differ in terms of their alpha acid and essential oil levels. Hops with high amounts of alpha acids are especially useful for adding sharp, angular bitterness to a finished beer. Hops with loads of essential oils contribute the most in terms of flavor and aroma. Some strains have sufficient levels of both to be appropriate for all three applications.

In general, hops strains are categorized by their geography of origin. The three most prominent categories are Noble hops, which come from Germany and the Czech Republic; American hops from the United States; and English hops, from–your guessed it–England. Within each category, there are many hop strains to choose from.

Noble Hops

Of the three categories, Noble hops, which includes strains like Saaz and Tettnanger, are considered the most classic. They are what lend traditional German and Czech pilsners and lagers their characteristic flavor profiles. Noble hops tend to be particularly rich in the high-aroma essential oil humulene and have low alpha acid levels.

American Hops

American hops, including heavy hitters like Cascade and Centennial, tend to be bold, bright, and highly aromatic. In general, they have higher amounts of the essential oil myrcene, which gives them their characteristic citrus and pine notes.

English Hops

In contrast, English hops (Fuggle is an example) have lower levels of myrcene. This allows the more subtle aromas of other essential oils to shine through. The profiles of English hops, therefore, tend to be more delicate and mild. Notes of earth, molasses, herbs, spice, and wood are common. English hops constitute only a small percentage of hops grown worldwide but are imperative to traditional British ales.


hop addition

Photo credit: Daniel Lobo/Flickr/CC0 1.0


Timing of Hop Additions

Brewers introduce hops to the beer making process after mashing. During mashing, grains steep in hot water to activate the malt enzymes and convert its starches into fermentable sugars. The sweet liquid byproduct is called wort, which must be boiled before it is fermented and turned into beer. During the boil, brewers add hops to the wort in stages to effect bitterness, flavor, and aroma.

Bittering hops are added to the wort toward the beginning of the boil and are left to bubble and steep for at least 45 minutes and up to an hour and a half. The heat catalyzes a chemical reaction called isomerization, which turns alpha acids into water soluble iso-alpha acids. The longer bittering hops are left to boil, the more iso-alpha acids are transferred to the wort.

At the same time, a long boil destroys the flavorful essential oils inherent to hops. If a brewer is using hops for flavor and wants to preserve those delicate compounds, he or she will add them later and boil them for a shorter duration–generally about 15 minutes but no more than about 30.

The essential oils in hops responsible for aroma are even more susceptible to the damaging effects of heat. For that reason, aromatizing hops are added at the very end and boiled for the shortest amount of time–typically not longer than five minutes.

Sometimes, aromatizing hops aren’t boiled at all. Instead, brewers may choose to steep them off the heat after fermentation, extracting the volatile oils slowly and gently over a period of days or even weeks. This method is called dry hopping, and it is commonly used in the production of Pale Ales and IPAs.



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