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Author Topic: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?  (Read 1786 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« on: April 18, 2023, 10:28:31 am »
I placed an order at YVH over the weekend and I ordered Sterling, Liberty and Crystal.  I had Crystal in the brewery years ago but it's been awhile.  It's related to Hallertau Mittelfruh, Brewer's Gold and half-sister to Liberty and Mt. Hood... all of which sounds lovely to me.  It occurs to me that I used to order hops from just about any outlet including homebrew supply places that may or may not handle the hops well.  I feel like I got some questionable Crystal hops from someplace and it turned me off of them.  Who here uses them on a regular basis and what is your take on them?  I'm becoming a big fan of "US Nobles" (if you accept that description) and it would be nice to bring Crystal back into the mix.  I think they're arriving today and I plan to create a recipe that puts the Crystal on display.  For the past two years or so I only buy hops from YCH por YVH or Hop Heaven and it's made a nice difference here. 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2023, 10:30:27 am by Village Taphouse »
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Offline denny

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2023, 10:51:28 am »
I've used them quite a bit to make beers like Rogue's Brutal Bitter
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Offline purduekenn

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2023, 10:59:30 am »
Nice hops I recently used Crystal hops at flameout for a Cream Ale. It's in the keg and has a nice citrus flavor very happy with this beer. Crystal hops goes well with Citra in a IPA at flameout and dry hopped.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2023, 11:09:19 am »
I have used Crystal a few times and never could taste much. I am not sure if I was doing something wrong or what happened.

Offline ScallyWag

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2023, 11:20:32 am »
I love them, and I've often wondered why they get overlooked. 

I have never [yet] used them alone, but every time I pair them with something else citrusy, or with another 'noblesque' (like Saphir or Adeena) they've really magnified the result as a great complement.   I get the nicest subtle lemony tones from them.
 

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2023, 11:59:14 am »
Thanks guys.  I forgot to mention that somewhere in their lineage is some Cascade too which I thought was unusual but that could explain the lemony/citrus thing.  These hops just arrived and the Crystal hops are 3%.  Sheesh.  I might make some kind of an amber lager and bitter with something like Horizon or Northern Brewer and then add some Crystal with 15 mins left and then again with 1-2 minutes left.  They should have a good opportunity to shine this way.  If I get some citrus, it would not be out of place, IMO. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2023, 01:04:06 pm »
I know I used them once - I think in a lager as finishing hops.  Nothing remarkable sticks in my memory, but nothing bad, either.  It might go well with 34/70 in terms of a light lemony character, or with one of the even more clean lager yeasts, like Diamond, S-189, or Novalager or clean ale yeasts like BRY-97 or US-05 - where it might stand out enough to be noticed...just thinking out loud at this point.  Cheers and let us know how it goes.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2023, 01:26:01 pm »
I just drew this up.  I have 2124 Bohemian working for me at the moment and I might make this for my next batch...

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2023, 03:33:36 pm »
Interesting with the 1% Special B - I wonder if it will lend a discernible note.  But, hey, why not give it a go?  Brew On!
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2023, 04:17:21 pm »
Interesting with the 1% Special B - I wonder if it will lend a discernible note.  But, hey, why not give it a go?  Brew On!
I like to use it in small percentages to get come color... mostly red.  The beer itself won't be RED because it's only 2 ounces of Special B but I do like it and here it will just push the color and depth of the beer a little bit. 
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2023, 06:21:20 pm »
I like ScallyWag’s suggestion to combine Crystal with other hops to accentuate the good qualities of the partner hops.

I have never tried that. Maybe using solo Crystal is why I found them boring.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2023, 08:33:14 pm »
I opened the bag tonight to get a good whiff of these hops.  They seem very fresh (2022 harvest) and aromatic and I get a good amount of fresh, sharp & herbal character along with a very slight dank and resinous citrus character.  It's like the hops are 1/8th Cascade or something (and maybe they are).  They smell very good and using them here in an amber lager seems good because I find it to be a wide-open style where a lot of different things could be included without it being out of place.  Afterwards I got them into a vac-sealed bag to protect them.  Looking forward to using them and seeing how the beer comes out. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2023, 10:07:03 pm »
I have a pound I was given but haven't broken into yet. I'm also a big fan of the domestic noble/noble-ish hops. I'm using mount hood and sterling a lot these days--partially because I grow both--but I like their character. They aren't as delicate as noble hops but that isn't a problem for the beers I brew. I often blend them with more aggressive hops like cascade or chinook. I enjoy those blends even if all those hops have a slightly dated feel to them. What's old can be new again.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2023, 06:36:29 am »
My nose must suck as much as my palette. When I smell a bag of hops they all smell the same to me. They smell like hops. I get different results in the beer once brewed but the smell in the packaging is usually ’hops’.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Who's a fan of Crystal Hops?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2023, 07:23:25 am »
My nose must suck as much as my palette. When I smell a bag of hops they all smell the same to me. They smell like hops. I get different results in the beer once brewed but the smell in the packaging is usually ’hops’.
If you compare two different varieties, I bet you might detect a difference. I find that something like Citra compared to something like Magnum are quite different, especially for good quality & properly stored hops.
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