clean bittering hops

Clean Bittering Hops: Which One to Use?

Bittering hops are one of the most essential main ingredients for making beers. It has quite a few purposes. Bittering hops add a bitter flavour and aroma to the beer.

It also works as a preserving agent. So, as you can see it’s definitely not a skippable ingredient. And it also has many types out there. 

But which one should you use for clean bittering hops?

For clean bittering, you can either use bitter-type or dual-type hops. It’s better to use hops that have a high amount of alpha acid property in it. Follow the margin of 10%-15% of alpha acid. The best options for clean bittering hops would be magnum, chinook, galena, glacier, and Colombus warrior. 

You’d require more details if you wish to brew a fine beer with clean bitterness. So, let’s keep reading!

What Are the Best Clean Bittering Hops?

Bittering hops have three different categories. Aroma, bittering, and dual. The hops that are used for adding aroma have a unique flavour in them.

dual-type hops
Source: dw.com

First things first, let’s start with what are bittering hops?

Bittering hops are substances that add a tinge of bitterness to most beers. They have lots of alpha acid and are mainly used for bitterness in brewing. It doesn’t change the aroma much, but the flavour will change significantly. 

If adding lavender to the brew doesn’t give enough bitterness this is what you need. 

Dual hops serve both purposes. If you’re into bitter alcohols, then bitter and dual hops are what you need. Many of these category hops give the best clean bitterness in beers.

Looking for some good hops to get clean bittering for your brewing? Count on any of the following types-

Magnum Hops:

Magnum hop is one of the most well-known bittering hops. It’s pretty popular among the brewers. It was originally developed in Germany but was bred in America.

It was a crossbreed between an unknown german male hop and galena. It’s not only good for adding bitterness to beer but also for preserving it.

adding bitterness to beer
Source: hops2brew-shop.de

It’s mostly suited for lagers and pale ales as clean bitterness gets more priority. It gives a fine citrus-like flavour and a nice clean bitterness. 

It has a spicy aroma that resembles nutmeg and black pepper. To know more about its components of it, take a look at the table below-

Amount of alpha acid12%-16%
Amount of beta acid5%-8%
Co-Humulone components 22%-29%
Co-Lumulone components 38%-48%
Total oil2-3 mL /100g
Storability Saves up 80-85% of alpha acid after storing for 6 months at  20ºC/68ºF
Substitute Columbus, Hallertauer Taurus, Nugget, Horizon

With all the different type of magnum hops available on the market, id highly suggest to get your hands on the YCH Hops US Magnum Hop Pellets. They are made with the freshest magnum hops. 

Chinook Hops:

Magnum is good but chinook is better. It can be used for brewing at any stage. It’s also suitable for a variety of alcohols. From barley wine to pale ales it can be even used for seasonal ales.

Chinook hops plant is a cross breed between USDA male plant and Petham golding. It has a grape-like flavour that’ll serve the taste of brewing using raisins. It’ll also produce a smoky aroma.

Chinook hops plant
Source: learn.kegerator.com

Chinook has a lot of herbal advantages but never overuse them. Overusing can spoil the taste. Here is more information about chinook hops.

Amount of alpha acid12%-15%
Amount of beta acid3%-4%
Co-Humulone components 29%-34%
Total oil1.5-2.7 mL /100g
Storability Keeps 68-70% of alpha acid after storing for 6 months at  20ºC/68ºF
Substitute Galena, Nugget, Eroica, Columbus, Bullion, Northern Brewer

My all-time favourite chinook hops has to be the Home Brew Ohio Chinook Pellet Hops. It has subtle notes of grapefruit in it. 

Galena Hops:

Although galena is a dual-use hop it’s very good for clean bittering. It’s the most widely used bittering and aroma hop in America.

Its aroma resembles spice, grapefruit, blackcurrant, and citrus. Galena can be used with other hops as well. It gives a crisp and clean bitterness to the alcohol.

bittering and aroma hop
Source: learn.kegerator.com

Here are the vital statistics about galena hops-

Amount of alpha acid13%-15%
Amount of beta acid7.5%-8.5%
Co-Humulone components 34%-39%
Total oil1.3-2.1 mL /100g
Storability Keeps 75-85% of alpha acid after storing for 6 months at  20ºC/68ºF
Substitute Chinook, Columbus, Eroica, Cluster, Nugget, Zeus, Brewers Gold

Again you guessed it my favourite Galena hops are from the brand YCHHOPS. The Galena Hop Pellets are perfect for when you want your beer to have a refreshing taste. 

Glacier Hops:

Like galena, glacier hop is a dual-type hop. It has a well-balanced aroma profile as well as bittering properties. It’s perfect for pleasant and moderate bittering.

Galena Hop Pellets
Source: thehappyhourguys.com

It has a woody, herby citrus, and blackberry fruit-like aroma. Here’s a short description of glacier hops profile

Amount of alpha acid3.3%-9.7%
Amount of beta acid5.4%-10.5%
Co-Humulone components 11%-16%
Total oil0.7-1.6 mL /100g
Storability Saves 70-75% of alpha acid after storing for 6 months at  20ºC/68ºF
Substitute Golding, Tettnanger, Fuggle, Willamette

My favourite bittering hops has to be the HomeBrewStuff Glacier Hops. It has a bitter yet woody taste to it which is so unique. 

Warrior Hops:

Using warrior hops for bittering is a great choice for bringing a clean bitterness. You can get a strong to mild bitterness from it depending on its use.

warrior hops for bittering
Source: freshops.com

It has a grapefruit and lime-like aroma and is best for IPAs. It’s also a dual-purpose hop that has a high amount of alpha acid in it. Here’s more about warrior hops profile

Amount of alpha acid16%-18%
Amount of beta acid4.3%-6%
Co-Humulone components 22%-28%
Total oil1-2 mL /100g
Storability Saves 76% of alpha acid after storing for 6 months at  20ºC/68ºF
Substitute Columbus, Nugget

If you want to make IPAs then run and get the NorthernBrewer Warrior Hop Pellets. It’s always sold out due to good reasons. Everyone is obsessed with the aroma it brings. 

Millennium Hops:

Millennium hops is a cross breed between Columbus and nugget. It has a higher resistance to diseases and a good storage capability.

Millennium Hops
Source: homebrewersassociation.org

It’s also enriched with high alpha acid so it’s good for bittering. Its aroma is kind of floral and herby type. A lot similar to the nugget hops plant.

Amount of alpha acid14.5%-16.5%
Amount of beta acid4.3%-5.3%
Co-Humulone components 28%-32%
Total oil1.8-2.2 mL /100g
Storability Saves up to 76% of alpha acid after 6 months of storing at  20ºC/68ºF
Substitute Columbus, Nugget

However, keep in mind that the taste of the millennium hops is on the milder side. One thing that you can do to increase the taste of hops is to use a strainer. A strainer helps to strain all the essential juices from the hops. It also filters out the unwanted parts that interfere with the taste. 

Generally, there are two types of strainers that you can use. They are: 

  • Hop Spider Micron Mesh Stainless Steel Hop Filter – It’s a heavy-duty strainer that strains every single drop of the hops that remains. So you can get the strongest taste by using this strainer in particular. 
  • Brew Bags Fine Mesh Strainer Bag – For small brewers, this is one of the best strainers that you can use. It isn’t as heavy-duty as the steel one but still leaves out unwanted parts and gives a nice taste. 

Both of these from my experience work super well for enhancing the taste of the hops in the beer. 

Hopefully, you have found the right bittering hops for your home brewing by now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A little more information about bittering hops that might come in handy-

What type of alcohols are suited for using magnum hops?

Magnum hops can be used for nut ale, American pale ale, and blonde ale. Also used for Belgian India pale ale, dark ale, brown ale, and bright ale. Hefeweizen and pilsner are also suited with magnum hops.

What is the best type of hops for beer?

The best type of hops is dual-use hops. They have a smooth and mid-range bittering property with a nice strong aroma. Gives your alcohol a well-balanced taste. However, for alcohols that require higher bitterness or intense aroma, it wouldn’t be much suitable.

What’s the best way to use hops for bittering purposes?

The best way to retrieve the bitterness from hops is to boil them. Boiling hops for 45 to 90 minutes is enough for extracting the bitterness. The time interval may vary slightly depending on the hop type. But it’s mostly done in an hour.

Conclusion

That’s all from us about clean bittering hops. Found a proper bittering hop for your beer yet? We recommend you stick with the bittering special category of hops for it.

Also, follow an economical approach while using them. Using a small number of high-alpha hops is better than using lots of low-alpha hops. Hope this tip helps.

Happy brewing!

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