Hops for Brewing

There are two widely available forms of hops. Hop flowers or cones are the dried flower of the hop vine. These cones contain resins which impart the refreshing bitterness that we love in our beer. They also contain hop oils which help to give beer that heavenly hop flavour and aroma. Hop flowers have to be boiled with the wort for a period of time and then strained and removed from the boiler. Pelletized hops are pulverized hop cones which can be used without straining. There are also many different varieties of hops which impart unique and distinctive flavours and aromas to your beer.

How hops are used

Hops have three main purposes in brewing. They add bitterness, flavour and aroma. The longer you boil hops the more bitterness you get while shorter boil times will result in more flavour and aroma. Some hops are better suited to bitter your beer while others are best for flavour and aroma. There are also all-purpose hops which you can use at anytime during the boil.

Hops profile chart

A list of popular hops; there uses, characteristics and possible substitutes.

Slide table to view other columns.

TypeAlpha AcidAromaUsed forSubstitutions
Bullion6.5-9%Intense black currant aroma, spicy and pungent.Bittering. Mainly stouts and dark alesNothern Brewer and Galena
Cascade4.5-7%Pleasant, flowery and spicy; citrus-like.Good for flavour and aroma but can be used for bittering. Ales and lagers.Centennial
Centennial9.5-11.5%Medium with floral and citrus tones.Used for aromatic but acceptable for bittering. Medium to dark American ales. Cascade
Challenger7-10%Mild to moderate; quite spicy.Popular bittering hop in the UK. British ales and lagers. Perl and Admiral
Chinook12-14%Mild to medium-heavy, spicy, distinct piney aroma.Strong bittering ability. American lagers and ales.Galena, Cluster, Nugget
Cluster5.5-8.5%floralBittering with good flavour. Light and dark American lagers.Galena, Chinook
Columbus14-16%pleasantBittering with good flavour.Magnum, Chinook, Warrior, Northern Brewer
Crystal2-4.5%Mild and pleasantAromaLiberty, Mt. Hood, Hallertau
Eroica5.5-8.5%Quite strong but not unpleasant.Bittering and good aroma. Pale ales, dark ales and stouts.Galena, Chinook, Cluster, Nugget.
Fuggles4-5.5%Mild and pleasant; spicy, soft, woody.Finishing, dry hopping. English ales, especially pale ales, porters and stouts.Williamette, East Kent Goldings, Styrian Goldings.
Galena12-14%Medium but pleasant hoppiness.Very bitter but blends well with finishing hops. American ales and lagers but suitable for all beer styles.Nugget, Cluster, Chinook
Hallertau3.5-5.5%Mild to semi-strong; the most popular aroma variety.Versatile bittering and finishing hops. Wheat, Altbiers, Pilseners, Belgian ales, American and German lagers.Mt. Hood, Liberty, Cryatal
Kent Goldinngs4-5.5%Gentle, fragrant and pleasant.Bittering with good flavour. Light and dark American lagers.Galena, Chinook
Liberty3-5%Mild and pleasant; quite fine.Finishing. American and German ales and lagers.Hallertau, Mt. Hood, Crystal
Mt. Hood4-8%Mild, pleasant, clean, light and delicate.Aroma and flavour. American and German ales and lagers.Hallertau, Liberty, Crystal
Northern Brewer8-10%Medium-strong,woody with evergreen and mint overtones.Good for bittering with strong flavours and very fragrant. Steam beers, dark English ales and German lagers.Galena, Perle
Nugget12-140%Quite heavy and herbal; spicy.Extremely bitter. Medium to dark ales.Chinook, Galena, Cluster
Perle7-9.5%Pleasant, slighty spicy.Minty bittering and "green hop" aromas. All non-pilsener lagers, wheats.Norhtern Brewer, Galena, Cluster
Pride of Ringwood7-10%Quite pronounced but not unpleasant; citrus-like.Predominantly bittering but with interesting aromatic qualities. British ales, Australian-style ales and lagers.Galena, Perle
Saaz4.5-6%Delicate, slightly spicy, soft and floral.Bittering, finishing and dry-hopping. English style ales, Vienna and Oktoberfest, Belgian ales, Pilseners.Tettnang
Styrian Goldings8-10%Medium-strong,woody with evergreen and mint overtones.Good for bittering with strong flavours and very fragrant. Steam beers, dark English ales and German lagers.Fuggles, Williamette
Target9.5-12.5%Pleasant English hop aroma. Quite intense.Robust bittering. British ales and lagers.East Kent Goldings
Tettnang4-5%Fine, very spicy, mild, floral, very aromatic.Finishing wheats and lagers.Saaz
Williamette4-6%Mild and pleasant, slightly spicy, aromatic.Finishing, dry-hopping American and British ales.Fuggles, Styrian Goldings, Kent Goldings.