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Hi All,

I'm going to put together a comprehensive list and review of NZ hops for my BeerGeek website and was wanting some of your opinions on NZ hops you have used and styles which they have worked well in, maybe even any possible substitutes.  It would be great if I could get a bit of a list of people's favorite and least hops and your experiences so that we can put together a really solid overview of NZ hops which I think is long overdue.

Cheers :)

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I've got a list up with my own thoughts and experiences here.  I would love to get some feedback and hear your thoughts on what could do with touching up...

Spot on with Rakau Mark, my 100gm packet didn't deliver anything good so I'm glad it wasn't a kilo

Motueka, I agree, but don't tell the world, they'll make it as scarce as Riwaka.

Pacifica. I trialled this in single hop brews for the orange / marmalade flavours but got none. Used it with other NZ Hops and loving it.

I'd missed Super Alpha being renamed Dr Rudi. Nice hop, good to bitter with, used it for my bittering hop for bloody ages. Used it late in the NZ Hops Irish red recipe and loved that. Tried to up the ante with it a few times and it was thin and piercing, best kept under wraps at 60

Cheers, jt

A few opinions of mine on the hops:

I get quite a bit of lime from Motueka as well as some of that tropical fruit character you described.

Rakau seems to give quite a generic resinous hop flavour. Seems like you have to use heaps of it to get a stonefruit type flavour. Quite subtle compared to more popular varieties.

A number of people have noted that Riwaka can give a real diesel/kerosene type note in some beers if used in excess, although I have found this definitely conditions out with a bit of age. Otherwise I get heaps of passionfruit and a really nice and soft bitterness.

I find pacifica quite european in the the single hop beers I have done with it. Very floral and not nearly as fruity as some people seem to suggest but a very pleasant hop.

I've just used Pacific Gem for the first time in an ordinary bitter and coming out the fermenter it tastes pretty harsh, earthy and yet berry like. Not sure if I like it, probably because it reminds a bit of some beers from Monteiths. Will see how it tastes when the beer is served properly. I'm planning to use it in a porter in less quantity and I think it will work better in that.

Green Bullet is a hop I've used recently and actually quite enjoyed. Pretty harsh bittering but has a nice green, earthy profile with some slightly lemon citrus type notes. People have said its like Styrian Goldings and I somewhat agree - I can see it being a nice hop for British and perhaps even some Belgian styles if used with restraint. The raisin description is actually quite apt too.

Pacific Jade is definitely up there with Southern Cross as our most pleasant and neutral bittering hops. I have found its really herbal when used late, with a little bit of orange. Again, I think it is more European in its flavour profile than some of the more out there NZ hops like Sauvin or Riwaka.

Waimea is another hop I have used recently in a Pale Ale that also used Rakau in equal proportions. While its hard to gauge the different hop flavours in beers that share hops, I definitely got quite a bit of orange, along with quite dank resinous notes in that beer, perhaps even a little onion. I liked it and will probably use it again, especially in hoppier American styles.

Pacific Jade is definitely up there with Southern Cross as our most pleasant and neutral bittering hops.


totally agree, i love Pac Jade for bittering IPAs with say citra,  provides the bittering without impacting on the more delicate late addition hops.


Pacific Jade's on my list to try next up as bittering hop. 

I've not brewed with it before but I've tried some nice beers with it, some with a touch of it used late too

I just watched this video on hops and went looking for somewhere to post it :-) 


The video was interesting. They talked a lot about aroma rather than flavour. My understanding was ~ 10 minute additions added hop flavour to a beer and late hops and dry hops add aroma. Is this correct?

But he said aroma additions at flame out basically boiled off and aromatics. But added when the wort was down to ~ 50 degrees C gave you your best bang for your buck for allowing the aromatics to become soluble but not being boiled off. 

Does anyone know when it is best to add hops for flavour and when to add hops for aroma?

The way I read it was that dry hopping is still best for aroma, but flavour hops would work well as the wort is chilling down. But I linked the video because this was all new to me and a good advancement of my knowledge. The boiling points of the different oils was really interesting. I skipped the first 10 mins or so as it seems to be waffle :-)

Well... as the dude said, there are other compounds in the wort that "solubilise" (his word) the various oils and keeps them from being boilt off. I read Stan Heironymus's book "For the love of hops"recently, and its full of interesting stuff. I highly recommend it.

I have been using "hop bursting" for all my apa's and ipa's as of late. That being massive late hop additions. For the last few, I did my bittering addition at 30mins, and then had additions every 5 minutes after that to a calculated IBU of 60 odd.

With one of them, I bottled a dozen before i dry hopped to compare. The hop bursting adds a SUBSTANTIAL amount of hop aroma and flavour. While the dry hopped samples had a lot more aroma to begin with, as it aged, they were pretty close to the same.

This seems to indicate that the aroma and flavour derived from late hop and flameout additions was more stable in the long run. I have kept some aside to see how they fare over another few months. They are about four months old now

I wonder if a good experiment would be to do an early bittering addition and then put all the rest of the hops in at flame out?

I'm just drinking an ESB brewed recently (95% Maris Otter, 5% Medium Crystal, 1968 for yeast) with 30g fuggles at 10, 0 and 40g for a dry hop addition. Amazing marmalade type flavour and aroma, part of which is probably due to the yeast, but a large other part is probably due to the hops. Definitely an under rated hop!

NZ or English fuggles? There seems to be a big influence of terroir with fuggles, with the NZ-grown crop being (to my taste) a lot less smooth. Spicier, a bit harsher, less sweet (similar to the difference between NZ vs US cascade). But still a great hop, no question. Under-rated nowadays - a little overshadowed by newfangled varieties.


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