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> Hop of the Week (HOTW) -- Crystal, What do you think?
Hop of the Week (HOTW) -- Crystal
Overall opinion of Crystal
5 -- Love them! [ 9 ] ** [18.37%]
4 [ 9 ] ** [18.37%]
3 [ 5 ] ** [10.20%]
2 [ 1 ] ** [2.04%]
1 -- Yuck. [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
0 -- Never tried them. [ 25 ] ** [51.02%]
Total Votes: 61
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cj in j
post May 21 2006, 06:50 PM
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By request, we turn to Crystal this week. Let's have a look at what Crystal hops are all about (from Hop Union and Yakima Chief):
QUOTE
US CRYSTAL

(IMG:http://www.yakimachief.com/hopvarieties/images/crystalsm.jpg)

Pedigree: Crystal is a triploid aroma-type cultivar, developed from the German Hallertau aroma hop variety with primary contributions from Cascade, Brewer's Gold and Early Green. Released in 1993 to the hop industry. Crystal is a half-sister of Mt. Hood and Liberty.
Maturity: Mid-season
Pickability/Drying/Baling: Good
Cone-Structure: Medium-sized fairly neat cone
Lupulin: Moderately abundant, normal yellow color
Aroma: Mild, spicy & flowery
Alpha Acids: 3.5 – 5.5% w/w
Beta Acids: 4.5 – 6.5% w/w
Co-Humulone: 20 – 26% of alpha acids
Storageability: Storability is poor. 50% alpha acids remaining after 6 months storage at 20°C
Total Oil: 1.0 – 1.5 mls/100 grams
Myrcene: 40 – 65% of whole oil
Humulene: 18 – 24% of whole oil
Caryophyllene: 4 – 8% of whole oil
Farnesene: <1% of whole oil
General Trade Perception: Used for its aromatic properties. Very popular in the craft-brewing industry. Viewed as the most pungent of the new triploid Hallertau family of hops.
Possible Substitutions: Mt. Hood, Hersbruck, French Strisselspalt, Liberty, Hallertau
Typical Beer Styles: Pilsner, Lager, Kölsch, ESB, Alt, Belgian-Style Ales
Additional Information: Primarily grown in Oregon. Acreage is increasing. Released in the 1990s.

Experiences, growing, recipes, questions, comments, whatever are more than welcome!

I already have a hop for next week, but if you have any suggestions for future HOTW discussions, PM me. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
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Rhythm Brew
post May 21 2006, 07:50 PM
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I know Rogue Brutal Bitter uses only Crystal.
http://www.rogue.com/brews.html#brutal
It really gives a wonderful floral flavor/aroma to that beer. I've brewed the clone from Zymurgy a few times and it's really worth a shot. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif)
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kenlenard
post May 22 2006, 07:26 AM
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I was at my LHBS last year picking up hops and one of the guys said, "here, take these hops. No one buys them and I need the space.". He gave me a big handful of the foil pellet bags and a good amount of them were Crystal (others were Liberty and some were Saaz and Willamette in 1/2 oz bags). I read up on the Crystal and saw that they were a descendant of Hallertau which I like. I tried them in a few beers like Blonde Ales and Amber Lagers and although the beers came out fine, the hop character was non-descript. Maybe these were just old, but the aroma didn't seem overly impressive and the flavor seemed a little flat. Maybe I should try them again.
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DJ in KC
post May 22 2006, 07:59 AM
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Every time I have used Crystal I wasn't happy with it. Being related to Hallertau made me think this would be a good one to try.

Even tried an all Crystal batch once - this hop just doesn't do it for me. OTOH, I still have quite a bit of it and I think it's a great choice for dry hopping.

dj
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dagomike
post May 22 2006, 08:01 AM
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I used Crystal in an amber ale as a 1 min addition. Used it as a sub for Hallertauer. No complaints from it. It turned out pretty well.
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al_bob
post May 22 2006, 10:42 AM
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Haven't tried them yet, but I love Brutal Bitter!
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HBrewer
post May 22 2006, 10:51 AM
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Crystal is a good lager hop as well as a light ale hop. I make an American Wheat with crystal that turns out very nice.
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erichonour
post May 22 2006, 11:22 AM
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I bought a pound of Crystal with my last Hops Direct order (so I got almost 2 pounds (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif) ). I agree with HBrewer -- I've had the most success with Crystal as a substitute for Hallertauer in lagers, especially the maltier lagers, where you want very little hop presence. I've used it in some wheats and other light ales as well. It's very neutral in those beers; very subtle. I actually don't like it as well as Mt. Hood and Liberty, both of which have more character, in my experience. However, if you want a hop that has a very clean, mild flavor/aroma, it's a good choice. I gave it a 3.

EH
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Guest_drunkard_*
post May 22 2006, 11:28 AM
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I make an IPA that uses columbus and crystal, there is a flavor that those two hops used together make that neither will contribute alone. I love that flavor, yet really cannot describe it.

I havent used it in any other context, but always keep a # around for that beer.
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Lagerdemain
post May 22 2006, 11:37 AM
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I think Crystal is ok, but there are better Hallertauer substitutes like Mt. Hood and Liberty. I think of Crystal as an "in a pinch" hop I'd throw in only if I didn't have a Hallertauer varietal or legitimate substitute on hand.
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blksabbath
post May 22 2006, 03:56 PM
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I use crystal in almost every wheat beer I brew...american and german. I think it's a great hop. Actually, I use it in combination with mt. hood most of the time. I need to do the side by side batches with and without though to see exactly what it's adding. I've used it in a bunch of other beers too just for a very mild bitterness.
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kenlenard
post May 22 2006, 05:15 PM
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I see a lot of references to Mt. Hood which may be my favorite hop of all time. When I open the bag, it bursts with great hop aroma. My Red Ale uses Mt. Hood for bittering & flavor and then Cascade for aroma. Off the subject, I know. Lo siento.

This post has been edited by kenlenard: May 22 2006, 05:15 PM
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cj in j
post May 22 2006, 07:26 PM
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The first time I used Crystal, I was under the impression that it was a citrussy hop, so I added it three or four times for flavor and aroma in a pale ale. Man was I surprised when I took a taste of the sample! My first impression was, Wow, this isn't very citrusy -- what did I do wrong? My second impression was, This reminds me of something -- what is it I'm tasting here? By the time the beer was carbonated, I had it figured out -- Liberty and Mt Hood-esque. I like Liberty better, but Crystal is a nice mild hop with a delicate aroma. I won't hesitate to use it in the future if/when I get a chance.
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John Vigent
post May 22 2006, 09:40 PM
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I love it, I made a Brutal Bitter clone last summer that came out awesome.
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SammyP
post May 22 2006, 11:42 PM
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I'm a big fan of Brutal Bitter, so I've been wanting to use some. I've got 4oz, but must not have realized when I bought them that the AA is so low. 4oz of the stuff doesn't go too far!

So, I'm planning to put together a nice recipe so I can use them up soon.
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