Monday, February 25, 2013

American IPA - Hop Bills and Analysis

Over the last few years I’ve slowly been building a list of the hop varieties added to some of my favorite IPAs and Double IPAs. The list was stuck at the bottom of one of my favorite IPA recipes, but it has grown to the point where I think it deserves its own post.

The information for the list below came from a wide variety of sources. Many breweries post their hop bills on their websites, in other cases books, magazine articles, and podcasts have provided recipes or ingredients directly from a brewery. I’ve also gotten some good information in the form of emails from breweries that other homebrewers have posted to forums. However, while I trusted that all of the information below was accurate at the time, hop choices often change with supply, demand, and taste. Just because a brewery used a certain hops in their beer before, doesn’t mean they still do today.

Below the section listing the hops in each beer, I have tallied the number of beers that contain each hop. Out of 192 total hop choices made (4.27 hop varieties per beer on average), 133 (69.3%) of those were for just seven varieties (Centennial, Simcoe, CTZ, Cascade, Amarillo, Chinook, and Citra). The most popular hop, Centennial, was featured in 60% of the recipes! Only two of the 45 beers don't include at least one of these top seven varieties (i.e., Alpine Nelson, and Hill Farmstead Galaxy) - DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon is brewed with the Falconer's Flight hop blend which I'm sure contains at least one of those top seven varieties.

The main takeaway for me was the wide variety of hop combinations that can make terrific beers. I find it amazing that none of the 45 beers below share the exact same combination of hops! Although considering that even just taking those top 7 varieties, and assuming you can brew a beer with between 1-4 varieties, there are 1,099 possible combinations; that doesn't even include the differences between using the same varieties at different points in the process or in different ratios! Often it is the hopping technique, and quality of the hops that really deserves the credit for producing a great IPA rahter than the specific combination.

I'll keep updating this list. Happy to take any suggestions, but my goal is to only add what I think are great beers. I don’t want this to be a list of the hops in every IPA!

Alpine Duet - Simcoe and Amarillo

Alpine Hoppy Birthday - Pacific Jade, Centennial, Amarillo, Columbus, Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Simcoe.

Alpine Nelson - Nelson Sauvin and Southern Cross

Alpine Pure Hoppiness - Hallertau, Hersbrucker, Tomahawk, Cascade and Centennial

Avery Maharaja - Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe

Ballast Point Sculpin - Mash hops: Simcoe, Boil: CTZ, Chinook, Cascade, Northern Brewer, Centennial, Galena, Amarillo, Dry Hop: Amarillo and Simcoe. For a 5 gallon batch dry hop with about 3 oz of each.

Bear Republic Racer 5 - Chinook, Cascade, Columbus, and Centennial

Bell's Hopslam - (2007) Hersbrucker, Centennial, Glacier, Vanguard, and Crystal in the kettle, and then dry hopped with Simcoe. In 2009 there is a mention of Amarillo in addition to Simcoe in the dry hop.

Bell's Two Hearted - Centennial

Boulevard Double Wide - Zeus, Bravo, Chinook, Centennial, Cascade

Brew Kettle White Rajah - Citra, Centennial, and Summit

Captain Lawrence Captain's Reserve - Columbus, Chinook, and Cascade (a commenter below suggest that Simcoe is added as well)

Cigar City Jai Alai - Kettle hops: Ahtanum, Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, and Centennial. Dry hopped with Simcoe.

Coast The Boy King - Citra, Chinook, Nugget, Cascade, Centennial and Columbus.

DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon - Falconer's Flight (blend)

Fat Head's Head Hunter - Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial pellet with Simcoe & Mosaic leaf in hopback (Previously: Simcoe, Columbus, and Cascade)

Firestone Walker Double Jack - Bittering: Warrior, Columbus; Late Kettle: Cascade, and Centennial;
Dry Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial

Firestone Walker Union Jack - Bittering: Magnum; Late Kettle: Cascade, Centennial; Dry Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Chinook, and Simcoe

Flying Fish Exit 16 - Firdst wort: Citra, Boil: Columbus, 5 min: Centennial: 3 min: Simcoe. Whirlpool: Citra. First Dry Hop: 50% Chinook, 50% Citra, Second Dry Hop: 75% Citra, 25% Columbus

Great Lakes Commodore Perry - Simcoe, Willamette, and Cascade

Green Flash Le Freak - Kettle: Summit and Nugget. Amarillo dry hop during fermentation

Green Flash West Coast IPA - Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade

Hill Farmstead Abner - Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior (prev. Chinook, Citra, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior)

Hill Farmstead Ephraim - Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior

Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy - Galaxy

Hill Farmstead Susan - Citra, Simcoe, and Riwaka

Ithaca Flower Power - Kettle: Simcoe, Cascade, Ahtanum, and Centennial. Dry-Hop: Simcoe, Amarillo, and Chinook

Kern River Citra Double IPA - Nugget to bitter, Citra in the kettle, and Citra and Amarillo dry hop

Lagunitas Sucks - Chinook, Simcoe, Apollo, Summit, Nugget, and HBC342

Port Hop 15 - Kettle: Challenger, Golding, Chinook, Tettnang, Magnum, Phoenix, Sterling, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, Columbus, Galena, Amarillo, Saaz, and Aurora. Dry hop: Simcoe and Centennial.

Russian River Pliny the Elder - Kettle hop extract, Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial, and Amarillo.  Dry Hop Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial, and Amarillo.

Russian River Pliny the Younger - Bittered with extract, Amarillo extract mid-boil, Amarillo and Simcoe (plus others?) in the boil.
Dry Hop Schedule
DH 1 Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial for one week and remove
DH 2 Amarillo, Centennial for one week and remove
DH 3 Simcoe for one week and remove
DH 4 Simcoe, Amarillo Dry Hop in Keg

Smuttynose Big A IPA - 2008: Nugget, Cascade, Centennial, Crystal, Chinook, Sterling.

Smuttynose "Finestkind" - Bittering: Magnum; Flavoring: Simcoe, Centennial, Santiam; Dry hops:  Amarillo

Societe The Pupil - Nelson Sauvin and Citra

Southern Tier Unearthly IPA - Kettle Hops: Chinook and Cascade, Hop Back: Styrian Golding, Dry Hopped: Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook

Stone 10th Anniversary - Bittering: Summit. Whirlpool: Chinook and Crystal. Dry hop: Simcoe and Crystal.

Stone IPA - Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial

Stone Ruination - Bittering: Columbus. Whirlpool: Centennial. Dry hop: Centennial

Surly 16 Grit/Abrasive - Warrior, Citra (Previously CTZ bittering extract, Amarillo, and Columbus. Before that, kettle hopped with CTZ extract, Amarillo and Glacier hops. Twice dry-hopped with Glacier and Amarillo).

Surly Furious - Warrior, Ahtanum, Simcoe, and Amarillo

Tröegs Nugget Nectar - Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade. Hop back: Nugget

Three Floyds Dreadnaught - Warrior, Simcoe, Centennial, and Cascade

Three Floyds Zombie Dust - Citra

Town Hall Masala Mama - Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, and Mt. Hood

Count of the hops used:
Centennial 27
Simcoe 24
CTZ (Columbus, Tomhawk, or Zeus) 20
Cascade 19
Amarillo 16
Chinook 16
Citra 11
Warrior 7
Nugget 6
Summit 4
Ahtanum 3
Crystal 3
Magnum 3
Nelson Sauvin 3
Hersbrucker 2
Sterling 2
Galena 2
Hop Extract 2 (probably more)
1 each (Falconer Flight, Mt Hood, Tettnang, Styrian Golding, Northern Brewer, Willamette, Pacific Jade, Santiam, Southern Cross, Hallertau, Glacier, Bravo, Vanguard, Galaxy, HBC342, Apollo, Challenger, Golding, Tettnang, Phoenix, Saaz, Aurora, Palisade, and Riwaka)


More additions:

Credit to Auror
Trillium Speed Mettle - Single dry hopped version of Mettle.
Trillium Mettle - Citra, Amarillo and Columbus
Trillium Heavy Mettle - Citra, Amarillo and Columbus (plus 30%)
Trillium Vicinity - Galaxy (primarily), Citra, and Columbus.
Trillium FB-90 - Double dry hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic and Columbus
Trillium Public House - Chinook, Centennial, Columbus
Trillium Fort Point/DDHFP - Citra, Columbus
Trillium Congress St - Galaxy, Columbus
Trillium Melcher Street / DDH Melcher Street - Mosaic, Columbus
Trillium Sleeper St/DDHSS - El Dorado, Columbus
Trillium A Street - Amarillo, Columbus


Señor Brew™ said...

I didn't see Three Floyd's Alpha King on the list, although they do classify it as an APA, not an IPA. I would argue it is in between. In fact, I've entered my version as both, and won 1st in both categories--in the Maltose Falcons Mayfaire comp last year. I love that hop combination, here's my take on it:

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Where did the hop bill for your Alpha King come from? There were plenty of beers that were left off the list because I couldn't find a hop bill (not a judgement on their quality).

beef said...

thanks! I enjoy seeing hop stats all in one place. it will be fun to see how these register in my brain next time I brew.

Sam said...

One of my favorites that isn't on this list is Columbus Brewing Company's Bodhi. It is definitely one of the most outstanding DIPAs I've had. That being said, I don't know the hop bill. I might give the brewery a call to see what I can find.

dcHokie said...

Great post Mike, bookmarked. Not so bold prediction: this one sees a lot of traffic.

Shawn said...

What about Maine Beer Co.'s Lunch? Pretty darned tasty IPA.

They list their hops as Warrior, Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe.

Kenneth said...

Would it be interesting to make a model with hop varieties, total number of hops and how they influence the IPAs rating on ratebeer? Could try to do an analysis on that.

Beer Crafter said...

Captain Lawrence Double IPA most certainly has Simcoe, in the dry hop. I cribbed that info right off the clipboard on the brewhouse at the brewery about 2 weeks ago.

Jeff said...

Very cool list - thanks for sharing. I was surprised to see Falconers Flight made it into a commercial beer already (although I shouldn't be I guess).

Riwaka was the only other hop that caught me offguard, mainly as this was the first time I've hear of it. What do you know of that hop?


Aaron said...

Nice list, Mike. This month's BYO features a Heady Topper clone, and that beer clearly qualifies as a good IPA. I don't have the issue on me, but I think the hop bill reconfirms the predominance of the big seven. Lawson's has great IPAs that would probably lend some diversity to list of hops used.

Another potentially interesting list (and I'm not asking you to take this on) would be a list of hops used in foreign renditions of American IPA. Sometimes I try a Belgian or Danish or even Japanese version and say, "Yep, that tastes nothing like an American IPA and it's not just the yeast." Sometimes the foreign American IPAs are pretty similar or better than what I'd get from an American brewery.

Herb Meowing said...

PtE link rot.

Should be...

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I brewed a Hefe Weizen with Riwaka a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. According to Stan's Hops book they aren't pushing it much right now, allowing those breweries who use it now to continue, but not expanding exports.

As far as I know the Heady Topper in BYO isn't based on the actual recipe, it was brewed as a beer inspired by the flavor. Not enough for me to add the hops to the list.

Thanks for all the other suggestions as well!

Señor Brew™ said...

I forget where I got the hop bill from originally, I think I first brewed my version over 4 years ago. Their website says Warrior, Centennial and Cascade.

Mine uses Columbus, Chinook, Centennial and Cascade. Columbus has been listed as a substitute for Warrior, and Chinook has been listed as a sub for Columbus, so I guess it makes sense. I have not done a side by side tasting for years, but in a double blind test, on the first batch, a local group of hopheads preferred the clone to the original 7-2. Of course I'm guessing the clone was fresher, if we had pulled the latest batch from the Three Floyd's brewery, we may have gotten slightly different results.

Greg C said...

Just curious about how you came up with the hop combos for the Alpine beers. Alpine (Pat) has typically played it pretty close to the vest as far this sort thing is concerned. Anyway you could provide sources for that information? Any insight into the madness behind Alpine's method would be awesome. Great blog. Keep up the good work!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I've seen them posted online as quotes from Pat and co. Certainly can't speak 100% to their accuracy, but they all make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Another thing to consider is lot selection. We get multiple lots of, say, Centennial in a year, each of which have a distinct aroma. We have our #1 for dry hopping and then others for hot-side.

We ran out of our DH centennial recently for a few days and had to dry hop a couple batches with another lot of Centennial from a different farm. We ran taste panels to see if there were noticeable differences in the beers (consider that this is one variety of 6 in the dry hop) and one was commonly perceived and more dank/oniony, while another was more fruity.

I don't have extensive experience doing selection, but from what I understand, there is this type of range on most of the widely-grown aroma varieties. You can bet that the cascade that Sierra Nevada gets is not the same Cascade at Lagunitas is buying.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

For the Love of Hops has some interesting notes on hop selection. I was blown away that Deschutes has turned down their favorite lots of certain hop varieties because they didn't match the standard profile of their beers. Seemed like you could find another use, especially with multiple systems!

Anonymous said...

Founders Double trouble is summit bittering then amarillo/simcoe for everything else.

Forrest said...

What about Odell IPA? They use Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook, Cascade, Columbus, Perle and Centennial as per an email directly from Odell.

Anonymous said...

No cascade in FH Head Hunter for the last 5 years. Cbus, simcoe, centennial pellet with simcoe & mosaic leaf in hopback.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Thanks for the update! Haven't done a good job keeping this page current!

trabant said...

Great list, very useful. I don't have storage capacity to keep a wide range of hops so need to pick carefully. This list seems to match my taste.

I am sure I am missing out on some interesting hops by mainly going for the more frequently used ones. I've just done a couple of brews with Nelson Sauvin which is fantastic and unique but not something I'd use for every IPA I make.