Milagra Canyon Ranch Hop Vines


The cone flowers (hops) of a Chinook hop vine.

Introduction
Hop vines (Humulus lupulus) are sun-loving, fast growing perennial vines that die back to the ground every Fall. Every Spring, the vines sprout and climb up a string, trellis or other structure and provide shade and a beautiful, lush appearance. The flower cones that are produced in August are called hops and are harvested to be used in beer making or making dream pillows. The hops are boiled in the beer making process to add bittering, flavoring and aroma. There are many varieties of hops, all with their own unique qualities for specific types of beer.
Hop Varieties
Hop varieties are generally divided into two types: aroma type and bittering type. Some are considered "dual purpose" (DP) as they can be used for both bittering and aroma. Alpha acid levels in the hops determine the amount of bittering strength, so bittering type hops are high alpha and aroma hops are low alpha. In general, English lagers use low alpha hops and American pale ales use both low and high alpha hops.
Currently I grow 12 varieties of hop vines:

Aroma hops:
Cascade
Centennial (DP)
Perle (DP)
Willamette

Golding
Fuggle
Hallertau
Saaz
Tettnang

Bittering Hops:
Chinook
Horizon (DP)
Columbus






Four foot hop vine in a 5 gallon pot.

Hop Varieties

Cascade: Very versatile hop that presents itself as citrusy and flowery. Used in American Pale ales. It is the daughter of Fuggle. Grows well in all climates. Alpha Acid: 5-7% Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Centennial: Similar to Cascade (sometimes called “Super Cascade”) but with a higher alpha acid %. Used in American Pale ales. Parentage is Brewer's Gold, Fuggle and Golding. Grows well in all climates. Alpha Acid: 7.5-11% Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Chinook: A high alpha acid hop with a wonderful herbal, almost smoky character when used as an aromatic during the last few minutes of the boil when dry hopping. Excellent for hopping American-style Pale Ales. Daughter of Golding. Grows well in dry hot climates. Alpha Acid: 10-14% Usage: Bittering.

Columbus: This is the highest alpha variety and has a pungent aroma and clean bittering. Excellent for bitter ales and American IPA styles, and can be dramatic when dry hopped. Also known as Tomahawk and considered identical to Zeus. Grows well in dry hot climates. Alpha Acid: 14-16% Usage: Bittering.

Fuggle: Traditionally used in English style ales. Fuggle is an aroma-type cultivar selected in England as a chance seedling in 1861. Grows well in damp climates but suffers a little in hot climates. Alpha Acid: 4-6% Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Golding: The premier English aroma hop. Used in English ales and lagers. Grows well in mild moist climates and does OK in hot climates. Alpha Acid: 4-6% Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering. Used in Foster's Lager.

Hallertau: An aroma-type hop which originated in Germany as a wild cultivar. Traditional hop used in European-style lagers. It is one of the four true noble hops. Grows well in mild moist climates and suffers a little in dry hot climates. Alpha Acid: 3-6% Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Horizon: Dual purpose hop. Presents a nice, soft round bitterness for such a high-alpha hop. Has the lowest cohumulone levels of all commercial hops, which can cause an off taste in beer. Released commercially in 1998. Grows well in all climates. Alpha Acid: 11-14% Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering. Possible substitution for Magnum.

Perle: A dual purpose cultivar, bred in 1978 in Germany from Northern Brewer. Perle is a medium alpha hop with a very clean, almost minty bitterness and pleasant aroma. Used as a bittering hop in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Alpha Acid: 7.0-9.5%

Saaz: Saaz is the traditional noble hop for true pilsner beer. Saaz is famous for its spicy, clean bitterness. Used in Pilsner Urquell. Grows well in moderate climates and suffers a little in hot climates. Alpha Acid: 3-4.5% Usage: Flavor and Aroma.

Tettnang: The original noble hop from the Tettnang region of Germany, ideal for your finest lagers and wheat beers. Grows well in moderate climates and suffers a little in hot climates. Alpha Acid: 3-5% Usage: Flavor and Aroma. Used in beers like Sam Adams Boston Lager.

Willamette: A triploid aroma-type hop, which originated in the mid 1970’s and is a seedling of Fuggle. Willamette has a fragrant spicy woody aroma. An excellent American aromatic hop for ales and lagers. Grows well in all climates. Alpha Acid 4.0-6.0% Usage: Flavor and Aroma.