Dial Purpose Hops

Love Hops? We do too! In this episode of Brew Talk with Mr. Beer we discuss Dual Purpose Hops and what they are and what they do!

I think this topic can be a little confusing for people so we thought it would be great to have our hop expert, Ashley, to discuss this topic and maybe make it a little easier to understand.

What are Dual Purpose Hops?

The simplest way to describe Dual purpose hops is that they are usually hops that can be used for both their bittering and their aroma characteristics.

We have this categorized on our site, but how would someone know what is a Dual-Purpose Hop or is there really no way to know without just knowing?

Generally speaking, dual-purpose hops are going to have a moderate to higher Alpha acid range as well as a lot aroma and flavor throw in its non-isomerized sate. One of the first things I do when I am trying to decide how to purpose a hop, is I smell it. And not just one sniff, I really smell it several times to get a good idea of what kind of flavors it might carry as a flameout or dry hop addition. Between this and knowing the AA content of that particular hop, You can pretty safely determine whether that variety will express well both ways. A lot of that comes down to your preferences too.

What are some of the most popular hops that are used?

I would say more hops can be used in a dual purpose way, than not. They may not be categorized that way, but it does not mean they can’t be used in that manner. But some varieties that you’ll often see used both ways are Galaxy, El dorado, Simcoe , Azacca, Mosaic, Citra And many more.

Out of the Dual Purpose category of hops are there some that are just better for bittering and some that are better for just aroma or does that just depend on a person’s individual taste?

You know, I think the answer to that question can really depend on who you ask. Me personally, I think it depends on what you are making and the expectation you have for your final product. Say you wanted to create a beer that was single hopped but you wanted it to have a lot of bitterness as well as aroma, you would be better off selecting a dual purpose hop on the higher end of the AA spectrum rather than using a whole bunch of a lower AA variety.

If someone was brewing with a dual purpose hop for bittering would they be better off just selecting a bittering hop since that is what they are made for, or no?

Not necessarily. At the end of the day, all hops are bitter to some degree when boiled. That’s what hops in general do for beer. There’s certain occasions when a brewer will want to showcase all the finer points of one particular hop. This is where it makes sense to select a dual-purpose hop that will really shine on both levels.

What are some of your favorite dual purpose hops that you like to brew with?

OOhh I love any thing super citrus or super dank. It’s hard for me to ever pick favorites because I love them all! Citra and simcoe are the two I probably use the most both ways. But I am also a big fan of really experimenting with all kinds of different hops in different ways and often outside of their mainstream recognized purpose. Brewing beer is all about the finished product and half the fun is experimenting and learning new things about what you enjoy drinking.