What is it that makes Czech hops so good?
Pilsner beer is the hot topic today so I am contributing to the larger topic.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Mature hops growing in a hop yard (Germany)The term noble hops traditionally refers to four varieties of hop which are low in bitterness and high in aroma. They are the central European cultivars, Hallertau, Tettnanger, Spalt, and Saaz. They are each named for a specific region or city in which they were first grown or primarily grown - Hallertau, Tettnang, Spalt and Žatec (Saaz in German). They contain high amounts of the hop oil humulene and low amounts of alpha acids cohumulone and adhumulone, as well as lower amounts of the harsher-tasting beta acids lupulone, colupulone, and adlupulone.
Their low relative bitterness but strong aroma are often distinguishing characteristics of European-style lager beer, such as Pilsener, Dunkel, and Oktoberfest/Märzen. In beer, they are considered aroma hops (as opposed to bittering hops); see Pilsner Urquell as a classic example of the Bohemian Pilsener style, which showcases Noble hops.
As with grapes, land where the hops were grown affects the hops' characteristics. Much as Dortmunder beer may only within the EU be labelled "Dortmunder" if it has been brewed in Dortmund, Noble hops may only officially be considered "Noble" if they were grown in the areas for which the hops varieties were named.
Some consider the English varieties Fuggle and East Kent Goldings to be noble. They are characterized through analysis as having an alpha:beta ratio of 1:1, low alpha-acid levels (2–5%) with a low cohumulone content, low myrcene in the hop oil, high humulene in the oil, a ratio of humulene:caryophyllene above three, and poor storability resulting in them being more prone to oxidation. In reality this means that they have a relatively consistent bittering potential as they age, due to beta-acid oxidation, and a flavor that improves as they age during periods of poor storage.
The term Noble Hop is a traditional designation for hops grown in four areas in Southern Germany, mainly Bavaria. Saaz in Austrian Bohemia resp. Sudetenland, though, became part of Czechoslovakia after 1918, as Zatec, and the German population was expelled in 1945. The traditional names are like the French appellations for grapes & wine. Historically, these regions produced superior quality hops, particularly well suited for continental European style beers. Hops grown outside these regions cannot be 'Noble Hops' but nonetheless may be excellent hops.
Hallertau or Hallertauer – The original German lager hop; named after Hallertau or Holledau region in central Bavaria. Due to susceptibility to crop disease, it was largely replaced by Hersbrucker in the 1970s and 1980s. (Alpha acid 3.5–5.5% / beta acid 3–4%)
Saaz – Noble hop used extensively in Bohemia to flavor pale Czech lagers such as Pilsner Urquell. Soft aroma and bitterness. (Alpha acid 3–4.5% /Beta acid 3–4.5%)
Spalt – Traditional German noble hop from the Spalter region south of Nuremberg. With a delicate, spicy aroma. (Alpha acid 4–5% / beta acid 4–5%)
Tettnang – Comes from Tettnang, a small town in southern Baden-Württemberg in Germany. The region produces significant quantities of hops, and ships them to breweries throughout the world. Noble German dual use hop used in European pale lagers, sometimes with Hallertau. Soft bitterness. (Alpha Acid 3.5–5.5% / Beta Acid 3.5–5.5%)
I got this from the wikipedia site but many sites have information on these special hops. As stated noble hops have special oils to give beer a special aroma and spicey flavor.Source(s): u
- Anonymous1 decade ago
They are known as noble hops because of the oils they possess and give to beer aroma. True noble hops such as Saaz have an almost skunkiness to them. But they have been used for brewing the classic Czech pilsners such as Pilsner Urquell.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
High sensorial quality of beer is in numerous aspects directly connected to the quality of hops and hop products used for their production. Polyphenols are substances directly connected to the stability of beer. They come into beer from barley, i.e. malt, hops and hop products as natural ingredients which influence immensely the sensorial character as well as overall shelf-life.
Natural polyphenols in beer that come from hops and hop products show a great antioxidant effect which demonstrate itself predominantly in inhibition of oxidation changes of lipid forms and thus stopping the ageing processes of beer. A moderate beer consumption is one of natural sources of antioxidants and substances with proved anti-sclerotic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbiological and anti-inflammatory effects. Beer for health!
A higher content of polyphenols in Saaz fine aroma hops contributes to their extraordinary high brewing value.
Hop resins and essential hop-oils
At present hop resins and essential hop-oils are considered to be the most valuable components from the point of view of the brewing process. Saaz hops are the most important representative of fine aroma hops and are considered as having a high-quality hop standard. The basic characteristic of Saaz hops is the delicious hop aroma given to beer without secondary disagreeable fragrance and smell.
Essential hop oils
The second and no less important group of hop components is essential hop oils. Fresh hops contain 0,1-0,5% of essential oils. According to latest information hop oils are a mixture of several hundred components predominantly of terpenic character. Essential oils are a carrier of hop aroma whose quality depends above all on the genetic origin of variety, grade of maturity, growing district and other factors. Approximately three quarters of essential hop oils form hydrocarbons, the best known of which are myrcene, humulene, caryophylene and farnesene belonging to a groupd of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Czech hops are typical in their content of farnesene.
Essential oils held in hops or hop products applied during the brewing process, give wort and beer the typical hop aroma and taste. This combination of hop taste and hop aroma is usually called "hop character".
The excellent feature of fine Saaz aroma hops is the well-balanced and harmonious content of individual components giving beer a typical and pure hop aroma.
The fine aroma of Saaz hops enables their use for various alternative ways of hopping. The required intensity of bitterness and fine hop aroma can be reached by combining of the first portion of high alpha hops at the beginning of brewing and a second portion of fine aroma hops at the end of brewing process. This way of hopping is today considered as the most suitable for making Czech type beers.
Other fine Czech hop varities