2012 Australian Hop Harvest

The 2012 Southern hemisphere hop harvest arrived just the other day at the Brooklyn Homebrew warehouse.  All hops came from Australia this time because the New Zealand Green Bullet and New Zealand Nelson Sauvin were sold out at the moment.  I was the lucky one who got to bag up the crop into bite size 1 oz. nuggets for all you homebrewers to enjoy.  I did a quick sniff test with each of them and wanted to post it as some of these hops are being released for the first time in the USA and they might need a little help getting into American brew kettles.

Australian Helga (Alpha 5.6%, Beta 4.6%) Initial reaction was noble hop like aroma similar to Saaz with a slight tinge of fruit.  Then I started getting some jasmine or chamomile and then a distinct parmesan cheese smell that I get every time I bag up UK Kent Goldings.  I don’t want this to offend or scare people away as the EKGs always work out well in our English ales.  I would like to try this in an English pale or bitter or even in a witbier.

Australian Stella (Alpha 15%, Beta 4.25%) This one was pretty interesting.  Earthy and spicy with notes of licorice, tobacco, and star anise.  I also got notes of Szechuan peppercorn but the general impression was an English hop mixed with some noble hop aromas. I think this would be nice in Belgian ales especially a dubbel.

Australian Topaz (Alpha 16.5%, Beta 6.5%) This one was a favorite of mine which actually inspired me to brew a single hop session American red ale today.  Similar to Stella with a touch of citrus, tangerine, and spice.  Very intense.  Try this in an English IPA or even with other citrusy hops in an American IPA or pale ale.

Australian Pride of Ringwood (Alpha 9%, Beta 5%) Very intense aroma jumped out of the one pound bag that was earthy, spicy, slightly cheesy, with notes of white flowers, herbs, and a distinct woodiness.  It reminded me of a mixture of Cluster and Northern Brewer.  Good for an American Brown ale or used sparingly in more robust lagers.

Australian Super Pride (Alpha 14%, Beta 7%) Related to Pride of Ringwood, but almost seemed like a less intense version  (which seems counter-intuitive) and seems like it might be intended mostly for bittering but it did have some nice notes of citrus and spice that could work in late kettle additions.

Australian Galaxy (Alpha 14%, Beta 5.9%) I’ve used this variety before in a single-hop IPA that I really liked.  Notes of bubblegum, tropical fruits, melon, and passionfruit work well in American IPAs and pale ales.  A low cohumulone content means it doesn’t impart a harsh bitterness which I prefer over high cohumulone hops like Chinook or Columbus.  According to some sources, this is the same rootstock as Citra but just grown in Australia.

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7 thoughts on “2012 Australian Hop Harvest

  1. Fritz Fernow says:

    awesome, great post, thanks for doing the research. I know it sucks, but someone has to do it!

  2. Allan says:

    I’m Australian and I’v never had the pleasure to brew with Aussi hops….Thats what I get for living in Canada I guess. I’m slightly jealous but my freezer full of home grown hops is canceling out the jealousy quite quickly!

    • kylers says:

      I have a feeling you will be able to get some Aussie hops in Canada soon. What kind of home grown hops did you grow?

      • Allan says:

        I grow fuggles, willamette, cascade and chinook, the willamette+fuggles yielded poorly but I got a 2.5 pounds dry off cascade+chinook. I’d like to try a Cascadian Dark Ale with my hops, if you have a grist recipe and hops schedule to share i’d love to try it out.

      • kylers says:

        Funny enough, I actually have one! This beer is a recipe kit at Brooklyn Homebrew and won me a trip out to Lagunitas to brew on their system.

        For 6 gallons post-boil, 1.068 OG
        Simpsons Golden Promise 82.8%
        Carapils Briess 5.2%
        Caramunich III 5.2%
        Carafa Special II 3.4%
        Roasted Barley 3.4%

        28g Simcoe 60 mins
        28g Simcoe 10mins
        28g Glacier 5mins
        28g Centennial 0 mins
        Hot whirlpool for 30 mins

        42.5g Glacier dry hop
        42.5g Centennial dry hop

        Safale US-05

  3. Allan says:

    Excellent! When I get it brewed i’ll send a photo and some tasting notes, thanks a lot!

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