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As you start down the path of homebrewing, you’ll come across a whole load of different things that can change and alter your brew. One of the main things you’ll want to start changing up if you’re looking for extra and original flavors is your hops. But with nearly 100 different varieties of hops to choose from, it can be a headache. So here, we’ll take you through Idaho 7 hops.
Using different varieties of hops as a part of your homebrewing ingredients is a surefire way of creating a delicious and unique tasting homebrewed beer. So whether you’re brewing an ale or an IPA, by adding new and unique varieties of hops like Idaho 7 you’ll end up with a brew that really packs a punch.
So let’s find out more about Idaho 7 hops, and get brewing.
What are Idaho 7 Hops?
When it comes to hops, it is almost as if the farmers are more like scientists. This is because so many hops nowadays are experimental hybrids, and Idaho 7 hops are no different. They were the first proper hops release from the Jackson Hop Farm in Wilder, Idaho, back in 2015, and were selected from a variety of different experimental hops.
Why Idaho 7? Well, it’s simple really. The ‘7’ suffix merely denotes the precise position that they were grown in on the farm! Idaho 7 hops are also occasionally known as ‘007’ too, like the infamous British spy, which adds a certain sense of mystery and intrigue to these unique and delicious hops.
The flavor of the hops is probably the most important part of the entire hops selection process, as you want to make sure that you choose the right hops for the right beer. And when it comes to Idaho 7 hops, you’ve got a really unique and punchy flavor that will take your brew to the next level and leave your mouth watering.
Idaho 7 hops are primarily considered to be an aroma hop – this means that it is best used at a later stage in the brewing process. The aromas and flavors you can get from Idaho 7 hops are really unique and potent. They include the following flavors:
- Red grapefruit
- Tropical fruit
- Sticky pine
- Light citrus
- Black tea
So as you can see, there’s quite a lot going on with the palate of Idaho 7 hops! It’s worth mentioning here that these flavors have all been noted after people have tried out different methods of brewing, so you won’t get all these flavors if you brew using Idaho 7 hops. Bad news for some, but perhaps reassuring for others!
Idaho 7 Hops – Ingredients
Hybrid hops farmers like the guys at Jackson Hop Farm can be a pretty crazy bunch, with more in common with Dr. Frankenstein than a traditional farmer. They’re always looking for the next big, exciting hop variety and they really hit gold with Idaho 7 hops. Though once you realize that Idaho produces 2% of all the hops in the world, it sort of begins to make sense!
Owing to the popularity of blind tastings and test samples offered of Idaho 7 hops, they expanded from cultivating a mere 5 acres of Idaho 7 hops to a whopping 100 acres. Because of the epic aromas and flavors, you get from Idaho 7 hops, it is also known as a dual-purpose hop that you can use on its own or even in conjunction with another variety of hops.
Jackson Hop Farm has kept the exact ingredients of Idaho 7 hops firmly under their hats, which many hop farmers do to try and make sure no one ‘borrows’ any elements of their hops or attempts to develop their own similar varieties.
How to brew beer with Idaho 7 Hops
If the flavors you get with Idaho 7 hops sound like they might be delicious – and trust us when we say that they are – you might want to try using them in your next brew. It’s worth mentioning here though that Idaho 7 hops don’t work so well with every single type of beer under the sun.
Fruit forwards, with herbal overtones and a really lovely bitterness reminiscent of an Earl Grey tea, Idaho 7 hops are a great choice if you’re looking for a really nice well-rounded, yet also unique and punchy flavor in your beer. So if you reckon that Idaho 7 hops sound like what you’re looking for, then you should consider using it in the following styles of beer:
- Wheat beer
- Pale ale
That might look like a short list, but it’s worth taking into account that you can create brews using just Idaho 7 hops or use it in conjunction with other varieties of hops to create unique brews and blends. So whether that’s a single-hopped IPA or combining Idaho 7 hops with another one to make a really special IPA, the choice is entirely up to you!
When to add Idaho 7 Hops
As we mentioned earlier in the article, Idaho 7 hops are seen as dual-purpose hops. This means that you can add them at different stages of the brewing process. Dual-purpose hops are extremely versatile varieties of hops and definitely a great starting point for brewers who want to use different hops.
Idaho 7 hops is also what’s known as an aroma hop. This means that they’re frequently used as a single hop, or for blending as a late addition to the brew. However, owing to the high oil content present in Idaho 7 hops, you can also really successfully use these hops for dry hopping as well. Plus, the bitterness is really stunning – a great hop for all you brewers!
Complimentary Hop Varieties
Combining your hops with another variety can make your homebrew really sing, as well as making it a unique brew that you or even anyone else might have never tried before. Of course, it’s not essential to do this at the end of the day, but sometimes you’ll find that some hops just taste better together.
While you can certainly charge out and start flinging together different hop varieties and work out for yourself which ones go together, you could save yourself some time and take a look at the analysis we’ve done as to what varieties of hops work best together, especially when combined with Idaho 7 hops. Here’s a list of the hops that work beautifully with Idaho 7 hops:
Of course, if you already have a favored hop you want to use in a brew alongside Idaho 7 hops, then there’s nothing stopping you from taking the plunge and trying out your own hop combination too!
Acid & Oil Composition
|ALPHA ACID (%)||9.5 – 14.9%|
|BETA ACID (%)||3.5 – 5.0%|
|ALPHA-BETA RATIO||2:1 – 4:1|
|HOP STORAGE INDEX||16% (poor)|
|CO-HUMULONE AS % OF ALPHA||30 – 40%|
|TOTAL OILS (mL/100g)||1.0 – 2.0mL|
(flavors – citrus, fruit)
|45 – 55%|
(flavors – wood, spice)
|10 – 20%|
(flavors – pepper, herbs)
|6 – 10%|
(flavors – floral, fresh)
|0 – 1%|
|ALL OTHERS (including linalool, β-pinene, geranoil & selinene)||14 – 39%|
You may find that Idaho 7 hops won’t quite suit your needs and desires. After all, Idaho 7 hops have a pretty unique flavor profile, which will definitely titillate some homebrewers but might have others turn their nose up at it. So if you are looking for a hop that has some of the flavors that you get with Idaho 7 hops, then have a look at the following alternatives:
Probably one of the biggest (and best) hops out there, renowned for its versatility and flavor profile, Cashmere hops can be used as an alternative to just about any hop. However, the flavors you get with Cashmere do have a lot in common with Idaho 7 hops, making it a really good alternative if you can’t get your hands on Idaho 7 hops.
Accidentally discovered growing in a field way back in 1990, Amarillo is a truly unique hop variety. Amarillo is an absolutely stunning alternative if you’re a fan of the grapefruit and citrus flavors you can get with Idaho 7 hops. It’s also another aroma hop, so you can expect some pretty bold and punchy flavors and tones with this variety.
A true hybrid, combining elements of four different hops, El Dorado was originally developed back in 2010 and is a dual-purpose hop. This means it can be added throughout the brewing process, and you’re guaranteed lots of fruity flavors, with a particular tropical fruit hit that matches the tropical tones you get with Idaho 7 hops.
Columbus hops are a bit of a mystery, but first properly appeared in the 1980s, and is the perfect alternative to Idaho 7 hops if you’re looking for those spicy, black tea notes. Another dual-purpose hop, you can also get excellent citrus and floral flavors throughout this unique variety of hops.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s have a look at some of the more commonly asked questions regarding Idaho 7 hops and the homebrewing process in general.
Question: What does dry hopping mean?
Answer: We mentioned earlier that Idaho 7 hops can be used for dry hopping. But what is dry hopping? Basically, it’s when you add your hops quite late in the brewing process and it can give your beer the biggest, boldest flavors and aromas possible.
Question: Where are Idaho 7 hops grown?
Answer: Idaho 7 hops are primarily grown at the Jackson Hop Farm, not far from Boise in Idaho.
Question: What do Idaho 7 hops taste like?
Answer: If you’re looking for a brew with citrus, tropical fruit, a dash of resinous pine, and a handful of earthy, floral notes too, then Idaho 7 hops are the hops for you. However, it’s worth noting that often the flavor profile can change and develop too.
Question: How do you go about matching hop varieties and flavors?
Answer: It can be tricky to know where to start with matching hop flavors, and often you can take the plunge yourself and experiment. On the whole, though, fruit flavors pair well with grass, pine with mint, and orange with herbal notes.
Trying out different varieties of hops can change the game when it comes to homebrew, and getting a variety of hops like Idaho 7 hops involved can make your homebrew really stand out.