Author Topic: Northern Brewer hops question  (Read 3705 times)

Offline ccfoo242

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Northern Brewer hops question
« on: March 30, 2012, 03:40:52 AM »
Since I don't have any practical experience with this hop I'm relying on descriptions, but I see different descriptions from different sources:
According to http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/hops:
A strong fragrant hop with a rich rough-hewn flavor and aroma, ideal for steam-style beers and ales. Northern Brewer has a unique mint-like evergreen flavor

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hop_varieties:
Woody/earthy/fruity aroma and flavor

Is "mint-like evergreen" the same as "woody/earthy"?

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Offline euge

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 04:54:07 AM »
Well "earthy" means exactly what you think. I'd be careful using these hops as a "flavor" addition or you could very well end up with that flavor dominating your brew. To me earthy tastes like potting soil smells.

I'd use NB as a bittering hop and maybe as a late late addition. It is a popular hop.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 06:48:13 AM »
Anchor Steam is a good example of a beer that showcases NB hops.  To me when I've over hopped with Hallertauer NB hops, my beer taste like fresh cut grass.  But when I've balanced out the addition of HNB, the flavor is subtle fresh cut wood.   


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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 11:49:15 AM »
Hmm...I'll have to get some Anchor Steam this weekend then. I was thinking about using NB (0.5 oz @ 60 for about 12 IBU) in a Belgian blond with hallertauer mittelfrueh (1 oz @ 30 for about 8 IBU).
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 12:50:28 PM »
I've been a long time user of NB hops in my American Brown Ale.  I've never characterized their flavor or aroma as minty.  I find them to be more woody.  They are a good compliment to Hallertau and Cascade hopping.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 12:55:12 PM »
If your using the NB for bittering at 60, you won't taste it much anyway.  20 years ago I used NB almost exclusively to bitter because it was one of the higher alpha hops at the time (or at least higher that I could get).  Don't expect anything but bitter after 60 mins.

Personally, I like NB a lot and I make a lot of Cali Common, loaded with NB but I do know some people don't care for it as flavour hop.  I don't find it "minty" at all but I would agree with "woody".  It's just not floral, not citrusy, not spicy. It's everything else that's not those things. Does that narrow it down? 

Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 01:12:11 PM »
Good to hear it's not minty like that other description.  I may put a little in at 30 min as well, then. The style guideline for 18A says " Light earthy or spicy hop nose" and "Medium hop and alcohol bitterness to balance. Light hop flavor, can be spicy or earthy."

I guess I should back off the mittelfrueh, but I did want something slightly floral to possibly compliment the yeast character ("Shows a subtle yeast character that may include spicy phenolics, perfumy or honey-like alcohol, or yeasty, fruity esters (commonly orange-like or lemony)").
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 04:43:06 PM »
I have gotten a "minty" flavor out of NB in the past. Most years it is woody / earthy - or maybe it depends on how late each year the particular crop used was harvested.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 04:52:52 PM »
PS: I do late hop and dry hop with NB.  The flavor and aroma come out then.
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 12:19:53 AM »
Well, my "research" beers have been purchased...man I love researching new styles!  8)
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Northern Brewer hops question
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 01:16:06 AM »
Research and development. Craft breweries do this all the time!
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