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> Hop of the Week (HOTW) -- Challenger, From the UK
Hop of the Week (HOTW) -- Challenger
What's your overall opinion?
5 -- Love them [ 4 ] ** [10.53%]
4 [ 7 ] ** [18.42%]
3 [ 8 ] ** [21.05%]
2 [ 1 ] ** [2.63%]
1 -- Hate them [ 1 ] ** [2.63%]
0 -- Never tried them [ 17 ] ** [44.74%]
Total Votes: 45
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cj in j
post Apr 21 2006, 04:52 AM
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This week, let's move back to England and a lesser-known hop -- Challenger. I'm not real experienced in using UK hops, so I'd be very interested in hearing what you all have to say about Challenger. Also, feel free to post questions that you might have about them -- hopefully another forum member will be able to help you out. And, as always, recipes highlighting this hop in all its glory will be more than welcomed.

Hop Union's info
QUOTE
UK CHALLENGER
Pedigree: A granddaughter of Northern Brewer bred in England with German downy mildew resistant males.
Maturity: Late season
Cone-Structure: Good sized fairly firm cone
Lupulin: Moderate to copious amounts, mid-yellow
Aroma: Mild to moderate, quite spicy
Alpha Acids: 6.5 – 8.5% w/w
Beta Acids: 4 – 4.5% w/w
Co-Humulone: 20 – 25% of alpha acids
Storageability: 70 – 85% alpha acids remaining after 6 months storage at 20 C
Total Oil: 1.0 – 1.7 mls/100 grams
Myrcene: 30 – 42% of whole oil
Humulene: 25 – 32% of whole oil
Caryophyllene: 8 – 10% of whole oil
Farnesene: 1 – 3% of whole oil
General Trade Perception: One of the few recognized dual-purpose hops combining moderate amounts of alpha acids with a good kettle hop aroma
Possible Substitutions: US or German Perle, Northern Brewer
Typical Beer Styles: English style Ale, Porter, Stout, ESB, Bitter, Barley Wine, Brown Ales
Additional Information: A result of Wye’s efforts to combine higher levels of alpha acids with technically good aroma, disease resistance, and good agronomic properties. Released in 1968.

Here's what Hops from England has to say about Challenger.

(IMG:http://www.hopsfromengland.com/images/Varieties/challenge.jpg)
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Lund
post Apr 21 2006, 07:55 AM
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Used them in some beers a while ago. Quite brittish in the taste and gives a quite nice bitterness. Not a hop I go crazy about but I would use it in anything brittish without hesitation. Blends very well with east kent goldings and target in my experience.
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steve_flack
post Apr 21 2006, 08:57 AM
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QUOTE(Lund @ Apr 21 2006, 01:55 PM) *
Blends very well with east kent goldings and target in my experience.

I'd agree. I've never used them as an aroma hop but they work very nicely as a kettle hop. Many UK breweries use them in that way - often in conjunction with varieties like Target and Northdown.
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phalanxausage
post Apr 21 2006, 09:26 AM
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I'm a big fan of them in all stages of the boil. Not long after I started full-time at HBA I wanted to make a bitter with british hops but felt the need to break out of the old fuggle/golding rut. So I cleared off a table in the back of the shop & made a circle consisting of one pile of every british hop we sell. I cupped my hands over each pile & got a good smell, the started pulling combinations to the center of the circle in various ratios & got a good smell of each of those. I ended up using a 50/50 blend of golding and challenger for the two late additions & bittered with target. The beer, which was also the first time I added biscuit to a bitter & tried the WLP-022 Essex yeast, was friggin' fantastic! Challengers are like a lemony golding. Not a juicy lemon/citrus like you get with american hops but more a lemon peel aroma intermingled with a golding-like earthiness, some floral notes & a slight spiciness. Coniston's Bluebird Bitter features challenger, and I'n certain Monty Python's Holy Ail gets its subtle lemony aroma from a late challenger addition. Highly recommended.
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cj in j
post Apr 21 2006, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for that! Excellent analysis and description. Looks like I might have to get some Challenger and give them a try.
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Lonnie Mac
post May 5 2006, 09:56 PM
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My Upper Mississippi Mashout winner...

An ESB...

I really love Challenger, especially when coupled with Progress. VERY British!

BTUJ's ESB (Better than Uncle Jessie's ESB)
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 11/5/2005
Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale) Brewer: Lonnie
Batch Size: 6.00 gal Assistant Brewer: Deb
Boil Volume: 7.76 gal Boil Time: 75 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 78.0 % Equipment: Seabrook Brewing 90 Min
Actual Efficiency: 76.2 %

Taste Rating (50 possible points): 40
Winner UMMO 2nd place ESB

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
5 lbs 15.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 51.6 %
5 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 43.4 %
9.3 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 55L (55.0 SRM) Grain 5.0 %
1.00 oz Challenger L [7.50%] (60 min) Hops 20.7 IBU
1.00 oz Progress L [6.30%] (22 min) Hops 11.2 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent L [4.00%] (5 min) Hops 2.2 IBU
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 items Servomyces (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Ringwood Ale (Wyeast Labs #1187) [Cultured] Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile Estimated Original Gravity: 1.055 SG (1.048-1.065 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.016 SG (1.010-1.016 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
Estimated Color: 7.1 SRM (6.0-18.0 SRM) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 34.0 IBU (30.0-55.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 2.3 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 5.1 % (4.6-6.2 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 5.0 %
Actual Calories: 242 cal/pint


Mash Profile Name: Seabrook Brewing Mash Mash Tun Weight: 7.50 lb
Mash Grain Weight: 11.52 lb Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 79.0 F Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
Sparge Water: 5.92 gal Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE

Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash-in Add 3.22 gal of water at 167.6 F 154.0 F 60 min
Recirculate Heat to 168.0 F over 30 min 168.0 F 0 min



Carbonation and Storage Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Carbonation Volumes: 2.4 (1.5-2.4 vols)
Estimated Pressure: 8.7 PSI Kegging Temperature: 35.0 F
Pressure Used: - Age for: 4.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F


Notes
Vitals:
Water used: Filtered
HLT Chemicals used: None
Strike Temp:154
Mash temp before recirculation: 148
Mash temp after recirculation: 168
Rise Time to mashout: 20 Minutes
Sparge Water Temp: 180
Temp after sparge: 150
Pre Boil SG: 1.044 @ 140
SG in carboy: 1.054
Final Volume: 6.0

Sparged slooow for 45 minutes, (5 gallons) then dumped mash to 6.26 gallons. Added top off water.

Collected .5 gal for starter.

Cooled to 65 in 20 minutes, let settle for 10. TX and added 2000ml Ringwood starter.

This post has been edited by colplink: May 5 2006, 10:14 PM
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cj in j
post May 5 2006, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE(colplink @ May 6 2006, 11:56 AM) *
My Upper Mississippi Mashout winner...

An ESB...

I really love Challenger, especially when coupled with Progress. VERY British!

BTUJ's ESB (Better than Uncle Jessie's ESB)

1.00 oz L [7.50%] (60 min) Hops 20.7 IBU

Congratulations! I assume that the 1.00 oz "L" means Challenger, right? (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif)
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Lonnie Mac
post May 5 2006, 10:13 PM
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Wow...

Yes! I don't know why that didnt come through... 1.00 oz Challenger L (Leaf)

For some reason my cut-and-paste failed me!

Thanks... Fixed it!

(IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/biggrin.gif)

This post has been edited by colplink: May 5 2006, 10:15 PM
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MtnBrewer
post May 5 2006, 10:33 PM
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I've used them as kettle hops mostly. In fact, I couldn't really tell you what they smell like. They're supposed to be spicy and that sounds nice in a pale ale but I've never used them for aroma. I may have to try that. Anyway, nice clean bitterness. I agree that they go well with EKG and that's how I've used them mostly. Either that or WGV.
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DerekT
post May 6 2006, 06:19 AM
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QUOTE(phalanxausage @ Apr 21 2006, 10:26 AM) *
I'm a big fan of them in all stages of the boil. Not long after I started full-time at HBA I wanted to make a bitter with british hops but felt the need to break out of the old fuggle/golding rut. So I cleared off a table in the back of the shop & made a circle consisting of one pile of every british hop we sell. I cupped my hands over each pile & got a good smell, the started pulling combinations to the center of the circle in various ratios & got a good smell of each of those. I ended up using a 50/50 blend of golding and challenger for the two late additions & bittered with target. The beer, which was also the first time I added biscuit to a bitter & tried the WLP-022 Essex yeast, was friggin' fantastic! Challengers are like a lemony golding. Not a juicy lemon/citrus like you get with american hops but more a lemon peel aroma intermingled with a golding-like earthiness, some floral notes & a slight spiciness. Coniston's Bluebird Bitter features challenger, and I'n certain Monty Python's Holy Ail gets its subtle lemony aroma from a late challenger addition. Highly recommended.


"Coniston's Bluebird Bitter features challenger"

Challenger is a good hop but I'm not so sure about this part unless that is their bittering hop which could be. The reason I say that is that the Coniston's I have been buying uses Cascade (as stated on the label). What I drank from the cask in the UK some years ago also had a badge on it that said the same, "made with Cascade US hops." Who knows, maybe they import two versions.
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phalanxausage
post May 6 2006, 09:29 PM
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QUOTE(DerekT @ May 6 2006, 07:19 AM) *
"Coniston's Bluebird Bitter features challenger"

Challenger is a good hop but I'm not so sure about this part unless that is their bittering hop which could be. The reason I say that is that the Coniston's I have been buying uses Cascade (as stated on the label). What I drank from the cask in the UK some years ago also had a badge on it that said the same, "made with Cascade US hops." Who knows, maybe they import two versions.

Here's the entire spiel from the label, as printed on the bottle in my hand:
"BLUEBIRD is a fine session ale with a light golden color. The intense resinous and spicy hop character which is the beer's trademark is derived from the use of unusual quantities of English Challenger hops, each bale being individually and personally selected by the brewer. The malt is, of course, Maris Otter fermented slightly warm to give a soft fruitiness with a faint hint of scented geranium."
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Tim
post May 6 2006, 09:33 PM
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Would Challenger/Target/EKG be a good combo for an english hopburst?
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CAFFEINE
post May 7 2006, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE(Tim @ May 6 2006, 09:33 PM) *
Would Challenger/Target/EKG be a good combo for an english hopburst?


I would say so. I used target/styrian golding/challenger in my last IPA and it is great.
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consumes
post Aug 29 2007, 01:53 PM
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i stuck my neck out and bought a 1lb of challenger pellets .. looking forward to using them .. they sound interesting

This post has been edited by consumes: Aug 29 2007, 01:54 PM
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just-cj
post Aug 29 2007, 04:57 PM
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I wasn't able to find any whole Challenger, so I never got a chance to use them. Now that hop season is upon us again, I think I'll give it another try.
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