View Full Version : Hop choices for stouts and porters
01-03-2008, 08:21 PM
mdd134 posed an interesting question in chat last night. He said he's gonna be brewing a few stouts and porters and wondered what the best hop was to store up on. I answered very "matter-of-factly" quite quickly: fuggles and east kent goldings. I've used these because they are what I always see. I suspect it's because they don't have the citrus that many american hops. But why not hallertauer or saaz or other noble hops that have the strong floral, earthy tones. What is the difference here? What is the trademark character of these UK hops that goes so well with a stout? I know with porters people tend to branch out a little more on hop choices, but stouts seem to stay the same and many porters do tend to stick with the UK hop varieties.
01-03-2008, 08:37 PM
I like Centennial and WIllamette in my Robust porter. I've tried Hallertauer and some others but the conbination of Centennial and WIllamette just seems to work well together.
As for Stouts... well I'm a hop head. Unless I'm brewing something to specifically get a certain malt/roasted/chocolate/biscuit character I want to know that the hops are there. I recently brewed a Sweet Imperial Stout with Hallertauer at 60, more Hallertauer at 15, and Amarillo at 5. It was a relatively low IBU beer (27.7), but I wanted there to be a hint of that great floral/citrus aroma that Amarillo has.
There's certainly nothing wrong with using the 'old standby's' like Fuggles, EKG, Saaz, etc., there are just varieties that I like more than those and they're what I have on hand, so that's what I end up using.
01-03-2008, 11:23 PM
But do you think the simple stout, the plain malty irish stout, could be good with other varieties? I've never tried it personally, just thinking aloud.
01-04-2008, 02:44 AM
I think that as long as you don't overwhelm the malt that you can use just about any hop you'd like. Rather than 1 oz of 5% Fuggles, use 1/2 oz. of 10% Amarillo. I plan on making at least 15 different styles this year and I only plan on using what I have in stock. (16.4% Warrior, 14% Columbus, 13% Simcoe, 10% Amarillo, 6% Hallertauer, 8.8% Centennial and 5.4% and 3.8% Willamette).
In a strong malty stout I actually think that using a non traditional hop would be one of the least noticable changes that you could make. If you use Amarillo instead of Fuggles but keep the IBU level constant, it shouldn't be eveident at all if used or bittering, and only mildly evident if used as a flavoring or aroma addition. The malty/roasted notes of the stout are going to overwhelm any citrus/floral taste or aroma that would be present from a non-traditional hop variety.
01-04-2008, 03:36 AM
Damn it, I was going to dry hop my RIS with a half pound of cascade....
01-04-2008, 03:44 AM
RIS is completely different. THose are supposed to have some serious hop tones to it.
01-04-2008, 03:48 AM
I was kidding...a half pound of cocaine would be cheaper than cascade right now.....and MUCH easier to find.
01-04-2008, 03:50 AM
HAHAHAHHAHAHHA that's gold
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