Nelson Sauvin Hops Guide

The Ultimate Nelson Sauvin Hops Guide

The Nelson Sauvin Hop is a world-class hop variety that was created by the New Zealand Plant and Food Research. It is highly sought after for its bittering, aromatic, and flavoring qualities and is packed full of alpha acid and essential oils. The Nelson Sauvin hops guide will see how this hop delivers bold tastes of juicy white grapes, fresh gooseberries, juicy tropical fruits, and passionfruit.

It offers sweet and intense aromas of white grapes, fresh gooseberries, juicy tropical fruits, and passion fruit. The Nelson Sauvin hop is perfectly suited for dry-hopping or later additions, which greatly enhances the tastes and aromas.

Pros and Cons of Nelson Sauvin Hops

Pros

  • Outstanding creation by New Zealand’s Plant and Food Research
  • Lovely tastes of juicy white grapes, fresh gooseberries, tropical fruits, and passionfruit
  • Powerful aromas of juicy white grapes, gooseberries, tropical fruits, and passionfruit
  • High levels of alpha acid allow for excellent bittering qualities
  • Ideal for dry-hopping and later additions
  • Hop Pellets can be purchased online from Amazon, Hop Alliance, and Yakima Valley Hops

Cons

  • This hop variety is not patented, but there are no rhizomes available for home-growers
  • It can only be cultivated in cooler regions

american ipa

History of Nelson Sauvin Hops

The Nelson Sauvin hop was created by the New Zealand Plant and Food Research and released to the public in 2000. Its name derives from the famous Sauvignon Blanc White Wine, which is commonly used to describe the juicy white grape taste and aroma given off by this fine hop.

The Nelson Sauvin hop was expertly bred from the native hop variety “Smoothcone.” The SmoothCone hop is the sibling of the “FirstChoice” hop and the offspring of the California Cluster and open-pollination.

Acid and Oil Composition of Nelson Sauvin Hops

Acid Composition:

  • Co-Humulone 23%-25%
  • Alpha Acid 12%-13%
  • Beta Acid 6%-8%

Oil Composition:

  • Farnesene Oil less than 1% (of total comp.)
  • Caryophyllene Oil 10.7% (of total comp.)
  • Humulene Oil 36% (of total comp.)
  • Myrcene Oil 22%-23% (of total comp.)
  • Geraniol Oil 0% (of total comp.)
  • Linalool Oil 0.4%-0.9% (of total comp.)
  • Total Oil Comp. 1.1ml per 100 grams

beer production

General Characteristics of Nelson Sauvin Hops

What climate is best?

Nelson Sauvin hops are grown in Cook Strait, New Zealand. This region is ideal for cultivating Nelson Sauvin and other big aroma and flavor hops. The average annual temperature is 14 degrees C (57 degrees F). The average monthly rainfall in this hop-growing region is 74mm.

When do they mature?

The Nelson Sauvin hop variety matures mid to late season. When fully grown and ready for harvest, this hop displays a gorgeous dark red vine.

What is the growth rate?

The Nelson Sauvin hop variety grows rapidly.

Cones

The cones of the Nelson Sauvin hops are oblong (egg-shaped), small, and dense.

How much do they yield?

The Nelson Sauvin hop offers a moderate to high yield.

Are they difficult to harvest?

Nelson Sauvin hops grow in such a way that they are easy to harvest, and this can be done without any difficulty.

Storage Capabilities?

Nelson Sauvin hops offer good storage capabilities.

What common hop diseases are they susceptible to?

There are no recorded hop diseases in New Zealand.

What common hop diseases are they resistant to?

There are no recorded hop diseases in New Zealand.

What do they smell like?

The Nelson Sauvin hop is unique and is packed full of essential oils. These essential oils allow for rich aromas of juicy white grapes and bold fruity notes of fresh gooseberries, tropical fruits, and passionfruit. When used for dry-hopping or later additions, the powerful aromas are greatly enhanced.

What are they used for?

Nelson Sauvin hops offer moderate to high levels of both alpha acid and complex essential oils. They are prized for their aromatic, flavoring, and bittering qualities. They are, however, most typically used for dry-hopping and later additions; the dry-hopping process greatly enhances the bold, intense flavors and aromas.

How to grow Nelson Sauvin hops

Nelson Sauvin hops are not patented, but unfortunately, there are no rhizomes available for home-growers.

hops grow

Nelson Sauvin Hop Alternatives

Below are seven quality alternatives to Nelson Sauvin hops:

  • Motueka: The Motueka hop is a premium variety created by the New Zealand Plant and Food Research (previously known as HortResearch or Horticulture and Food Research Institute). This highly prized hop is cross between two New Zealand varietals (two-thirds) and the noble Saaz hop (one-third). It offers lovely aromas of citrus zest, lime, lemon, stone fruit, tropical fruits, and floral. These fantastic aromas are complemented by tastes of herbal, spice, floral and tropical fruits.
  • Pacific Jade: The Pacific Jade hop was created by the New Zealand Plant and Food Research and released to the public in 2004. This young hop variety is a hybrid cross between a native varietal “First Choice” and the noble Saaz hop. It offers unique flavors of crushed black pepper and fresh lemon zest.
  • Mosaic: The amazing Mosaic hop was created by Jason Perrault from Select Botanicals and the Hop Breeding Company (HBC). The mosaic hop is a hybrid cross between Nugget and Simcoe hops and is notorious for powerful and intense aromas. The primary and dominant aromas include juicy tropical fruits and fresh blueberry. Secondary aromas include bubble gum, earthy pine, floral, grass, citrus, papaya, tangerine, rose, and spice.
  • Strata: Strata hop was the first hop variety released from the Oregon State Aroma Hop Breeding Program in Corvallis, Oregon. Initially known as X-331, this young hop was only created in 2009 and is the offspring of a Perle hop that experienced open-pollination in an Oregon State Experimental Field. This big aroma hop delivers rich smells of grapefruit, citrus zest, strawberry, fresh berries, mango, passionfruit, and sweet tropical fruits.
  • Citra: The Citra hop was expertly created by the Yakima Hop Breeding Company in Washington. This wonderful hop variety is bred from a combination of Brewers Gold, East Kent Golding, Bavarian, US Tettnanger, and Hallertau Mittelfruh hops. It offers lovely aromas of floral, grapefruit, passion fruit, lychee, gooseberry, citrus, lime, and juicy melon. Additionally, this hop is packed with high levels of alpha acids, and when added to the boil, it delivers a powerful, lingering, and smooth bitterness.
  • Simcoe: The Simcoe hop was developed by Charles Zimmermann of Yakima Chief Ranches and released to the public in 2000. This dual-purpose hop delivers a wonderful balance between earthy and fruity. It offers juicy fruity flavors of berries, citrus, passionfruit, and apricots with soft notes of fresh wood and earthy pine.
  • Galaxy: The Galaxy hop is a dual-purpose hop from Australia that is highly respected for its flavoring qualities. It contains high levels of alpha acid and is ideally suited for dry-hopping and later additions. This outstanding hop delivers sweet tastes of passionfruit, peach, and citrus zest. Once added to the boil, aromas of earthy grass, citrus zest, peach, and passionfruit come into their own.

What popular beer styles use Nelson Sauvin Hops?

Below are three popular beer styles that use Nelson Sauvin hops in the brewing process:

  • Specialty Lager: A Specialty Lager is a beer that doesn’t conform to traditional beer producing and brewing techniques. This category is rapidly expanding due to the American and global Craft Brewing Revolution. Specialty lagers are usually traditional beers that have been brewed to a particular style; these classic styles include Pale Ale, Stout, and Porter. In some cases, Speciality Lagers are produced from unconventional fermented foods. The ABV of Specialty Lagers can vary depending on the creativity of the brewer, but generally, they hover around the 5% mark.
  • Pale Ale: Pale Ale is the oldest and possibly one of the most popular beer styles on the planet. It is easy-drinking and refreshing with a perfect balance between fruit, malt, and fresh hops. Authentic Pale Ale is well-known for its wonderful fruity tastes and aromas that are followed by notes of rich malt. This beer style typically offers moderate levels of hop bitterness with a refreshing and thirst-quenching finish. Pale Ale offers an ABV of 5%.
  • American IPA: The American IPA (India Pale Ale) follows the description of the traditional British IPA, but due to the all-American ingredients, it delivers significantly stronger aromas, flavors, and levels of bitterness. American IPA and other types of IPA’s are dominated by the hop characteristics with distinct aromas of earth and fruit. American IPA’s offer an ABV of between 5%-8%.

What commercial beer brands are made using only Nelson Sauvin Hops?

Below are five quality commercial beer brands that only use Nelson Sauvin hops when producing their beloved brew:

Double Nelson

Double Nelson

Double Nelson is a fantastic single-hop IPA produced by the Hill Farmstead Brewing Company in Vermont. It is loaded with Nelson Sauvin hops and offers lovely tastes and aromas of passionfruit, fresh pineapple, and earthy pine.

Additional undertones of juicy white grapes complement the fruity notes and are followed by a smooth, refreshing finish.

Double Nelson delivers moderate levels of hop bitterness and an ABV of 8.0%.

Nelson IPA

Nelson IPA

Nelson IPA is another great example of a single-hop IPA proudly produced by the Alpine Beer Company in California. This fruity full-flavored beer is made with only the finest ingredients and water with high levels of minerals and purity.

It offers intense flavors and aromas of pungent citrus zest, with lingering notes of juicy pineapple and tart grapefruit. The finish is bitter, rewarding, and satisfying.

Nelson IPA is an easy-drinking full-flavored beer with an ABV of 7.0%.

Nelson Sauvignon

Nelson Sauvignon

Nelson Sauvignon Blanc is an interesting creation from the Mikkeller Brewing Company in Copenhagen, Denmark. Pumped full of Nelson Sauvin hops, it delivers wonderful aromas and tastes of redcurrant, fresh lemon zest, and quality white wine.

Additional notes of freshly baked bread, oak, and dry grass offer a nice balance to the high levels of fruitiness. The Nelson Sauvin hops deliver moderate levels of bitterness and a smooth, thirst-quenching, and memorable finish.

Nelson Sauvignon offers a whopping ABV of 9.0%.

Original Lager

Original Lager

Original Lager is a “must drink” beer produced by the Moa Brewing Company in Marlborough, New Zealand. This light-bodied beer offers a simple profile, but it works perfectly.

Original Lager delivers earthy tastes and aromas of straw and grass with lovely notes of rich, creamy malt.

It offers low to medium levels of hop bitterness, a thirst-quenching finish, and an ABV of 5.0%.

Mt. Nelson

MT Nelson

Mt. Nelson is an outstanding American-style Pale Ale (APA) from the Cellarmaker Brewing Company in San Francisco. It is wonderfully balanced with exquisite notes of earth and fruit.

Mt. Nelson APA delivers juicy notes of fresh mango, hops, and fresh citrus zest. These notes are followed by aromas and tastes of grass, resin, pine, and toasted bread.

It offers moderate levels of hop bitterness and an ABV of 5.7%.

What commercial beer brands combine Nelson Sauvin hops with other hop varieties?

Below are four quality commercial beers that use Nelson Sauvin and other hops varieties when producing their beloved brew:

Griffin’s Bow

Griffin’s Bow

Griffon’s Bow is proudly produced by the Samuel Adams Brewing Company in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. I love this beer and recommend that all beer lovers jump at the opportunity to sample one if ever given a chance.

It offers outstanding tastes and aromas of grapefruit, sweet honeysuckle, and juicy pineapple. Additional notes of sweet malt, creamy toffee, and caramelized sugar are complemented by bold undertones of toasted oak.

Griffons Bow is full-bodied, full-flavored, and offers an impressive ABV of 10.0%

Blazing World

Blazing World

Blazing World is a luxurious IPA (India Pale Ale) produced by the Modern Times Brewing Company in California. It is made with Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops and delivers powerful tastes, smells, and hop bitterness.

Upfront, you encounter bold notes of oranges, grapefruit, and citrus zest, which are followed by aromas and tastes of rich breaded malt.

Blazing World IPA is perfectly balanced with high levels of hop bitterness and an ABV of 6.8%

You’re On Mute

You’re On Mute

You’re On Mute is a wonderful triple New-England IPA (TIPA) created by the Cloudwater Brewing Company in Manchester, England. This crazy creation uses Citra, Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic, Simcoe, Strata, Columbus, and Idaho 7 hops in the brewing process.

The result is an explosion of fresh hop tastes, aromas, and bitterness. You’re On Mute offers lovely notes of rich malt, natural oats, mango, tropical fruits, and citrus. The finish is thirst-quenching and rewarding with high levels of hop bitterness. T

his intense triple New-England IPA offers an impressive ABV of 10%.

Funke Hop Farm

funke hop farm

Funke Hop Farm is a thirst-quenching Wild Ale-style beer from the Sudwerk Brewing Company in California.

This unique beer is made using premium malts, oats, and wheat, along with large amounts of Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Mosaic hops. It delivers intense aromas and tastes of citrus zest, fresh hops, grapefruit, lemon, and spice.

Funke Hop Farm offers a lingering and bitter finish with an ABV of 6.5%.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What hops pair well with Nelson Sauvin?

Answer: The Nelson Sauvin hop is capable of standing on its own, and it also pairs well with other hop varieties. The hops most commonly paired with Nelson Sauvin include Motueka, Pacific Jade, Mosaic, Strata, Citra, Simcoe, and Galaxy.

Question: What do Nelson Sauvin hops taste like?

Answer: The Nelson Sauvin hop is unique and delivers rich tastes and aromas of juicy white grapes and bold fruity notes of fresh gooseberries, tropical fruits, and passionfruit. This simple flavor profile results in a delightful hop variety prized for its aromatic and flavoring qualities.

Question: Where are Nelson Sauvin hops from?

Answer: The Nelson Sauvin hop was developed by New Zealand’s Plant and food research and released in 2000. It is the offspring of the ”Smoothcone” hop, which is a hop variety native to New Zealand.

Question: Can Nelson Savin hops be used for dry-hopping?

Answer: The Nelson Sauvin hop is ideal for dry-hopping, and typically it is what this hop is used for. It offers a complex profile of essential oils and delivers intense and bold tastes and aromas. These qualities are greatly enhanced when dry-hopped or used as later additions.

Conclusion

The Nelson Sauvin hop is an excellent hop variety created by New Zealand’s Plant and Food Research. Released to the public in 2000, it is packed with alpha acid and essential oils and highly prized for its flavoring, aromatic and bittering qualities.

The Nelson Sauvin hop is dual-purpose and offers intense aromas of white grapes, fresh gooseberries, juicy tropical fruits, and passionfruit. It offers tastes of white grapes, fresh gooseberries, and juicy tropical fruit. The Nelson Sauvin hop is ideal for dry-hopping and later additions, with tastes and aromas being greatly enhanced.

This hop variety is a great addition to your home-brewing arsenal. It is versatile and offers lovely levels of fruitiness to any type of beer. If you enjoy crazy IPA’s and Double IPA’s, the Nelson Sauvin hop is the ideal choice for you.

Unfortunately, there are no rhizomes available for home growers, but hop pellets can be purchased online from companies such as Amazon, Hop Alliance, and Yakima Valley Hops.

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