M-18: Brewing trials with the new Alsatian hop varieties Aramis and Triskel

V. E. PEACOCK (1); (1) Hop Solutions Inc., Edwardsville, IL, U.S.A.

Raw Materials I
Friday, June 6 - 4:00 p.m.-5:45 p.m.
Level 4, Grand Ballroom

Strisselspalt is the traditional hop from the French hop-growing region of Alsace. Because of its low alpha-acids content (2.5%), many brewers who used Strisselspalt have switched to higher alpha-acids aroma types. The Alsatian hop breeding program was established in 2000 to produce a higher alpha-acids hop with flavor properties similar to Strisselspalt. A pleasant, non-lingering bitterness and an aroma profile not unlike traditional continental European aroma types were the major breeding goals. Aramis, with 8% alpha-acids, and 21% CoH was selected by a handful of commercial brewers as having the desired mild bitter profile, as well as aroma properties not dissimilar from traditional lager/pilsner hops. Two additional advantages are that these flavor properties appear to fluctuate less year to year than with the more finicky aroma types, and overall aroma impact may be a bit stronger. Brewers have been very pleased with the performance of Aramis when making lager- or pilsner-style beers, and some even use it for dry-hopping. Dry-hopping results in a complex, spicy/herbal hop aroma, very different from the intense citrus notes one gets from popular American hops. A less traditional hop, Triskel, was also selected from this program, not as a replacement for Strisselspalt, but rather as a hop that may be interesting to use for dry-hopping. Triskel is 8% alpha-acids, 22% CoH. Kettle-hopping with Triskel also results in a pleasing, non-lingering bitterness, but we don’t have as much experience kettle-hopping with this hop. It is Triskel’s aroma properties that make it somewhat unique for a European hop. Triskel has a rather complex aroma, as opposed to the more one-dimensional, very strong citrus/grapefruit hops often used for dry-hopping. Brewers have reported notes of orange, stone fruit, earthy, honey, herbal, spicy, and tea when dry-hopping with Triskel. More interesting, the aroma notes observed are different even when the same batch of pellets are used in different styles of beer. The real advantage of Triskel is that it results in an obvious, fairly unique hop aroma, yet still has great drinkability and is unlikely to fatigue the drinker. One disadvantage is the overall aroma strength, and some of its aroma notes may vary with crop year. However, the French are experts at managing vintage-type crops!

Val Peacock received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Iowa State University in 1973 and a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1978. He was a research associate at Oregon State University, working on hop flavor in beer from 1978 to 1981 and 1987 to 1988. From 1981 to 1986, he was a research scientist for the Seven-Up Co. From 1988 to 1989, he was a research chemist for Redd Citrus, a firm manufacturing natural citrus flavors from waste streams from juice processing. From 1989 to 2008, he was the manager of hop technology for Anheuser-Busch. In 2009, he founded his own consulting firm, Hop Solutions Inc. (H.S.I.).

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