Aroma Profile: Crystal has a floral, woody and fruity aroma with some lovely spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper.
Alpha Acids 2.8-4.4%
Beta Acids 5.8-7%
Total Oils 0.82 mL/100g
Crystal is a beloved hop by craft brewers and the homebrewing community. It’s considered by many to be the best American substitute for Hallertau Mittelfruh, a German noble hop variety.
Crystal was created because American hop farmers were having trouble cultivating European hop varieties in their terroir, and importing them was getting to be very expensive. So, one Dr Alfred Haunold decided to create a breeding program to develop some American hop varieties that were as similar to these European varieties as possible.
Crystal is a cross between a male hop with the designation USDA 21381M and a tetraploid Hallertauer Mittelfrueh. The males pedigree included such hop varieties as Brewer’s Gold, Cascade and Early Green. Crystal was one of four hops to come out of the breeding program, and it has continued to be grown ever since. Its acreage has continued to grow over the last few years, and it has become the third most grown aroma hops in Oregon.
Crystal has done better than many expected it would. Despite its low alpha acid content, it has even been used in bitters and IPAs. This is thanks to its beautiful flavours and aromas. When it is treated right, Crystal can have some lovely woody, floral and even fruity flavours and aromas. However, when added a little later into the brew, you can expect to taste some cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg notes.
Crystal is an aroma hop, so these flavours have been crucial to its success. Commercially it has been used in many different beers including Mountain Sun’s Belgian Dip Chocolate Stout and Rogue Brutal Bitters. However, other breweries like to use Crystal in light lager, pilsner, pale ales, IPAs, American lagers and loads more.
For an aroma hop Crystal is indeed very versatile. It has loads of possibilities it just needs to be added into the brew at the right time, and you can enjoy some very different and exciting notes and see why Crystal is such a popular hop variety.