Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hop of the Week: Centennial

This week we will be reviewing another one of the "C" hops. Centennials are another strain that has been widely used by the American craft brewing world.

*Data from Hopunion Variety Databook

Pedigree: Selected from a cross between Brewer’s Gold and a
selected USDA male.

Maturity: Mid-season

Disease/Pest Susceptibility: No visible reaction to infection with Prunus necrotic
ring-spot virus. Moderately resistant to downy
mildew and Verticillium wilt.

Aroma: Medium intensity with floral and citrus tones
Alpha Acids: 9.5 – 11.5% w/w
Beta Acids: 3.5 – 4.5% w/w
Co-Humulone: 29 – 30% of alpha acids
Storageability: 60 – 65% alpha acids remaining after 6 months
storage at 20ยบ C
Total Oil: 1.5 – 2.3 mls/100 grams
Myrcene: 45 – 55% of whole oil 

Humulene: 10 – 18% of whole oil
Caryophyllene: 5 – 8% of whole oil
Farnesene: <1% of whole oil
General Trade Perception: Very balanced hop, sometimes called a super
Possible Substitutions: Cascade, possibly Columbus or Chinook.
Analytically a blend of 70% Cascade and 30%
Columbus will give similar profile.
Typical Beer Styles: All US Ale styles, has been used with US Wheat
Additional Information: Named from the Washington State Centennial
Celebration. At one time this variety was going to
be destroyed for lack of interest by the world’s
major breweries. Today has found a very favorable
following by craft-brewers.

As always I will include some commercial examples so you can really get the feeling of this hop.

 Two Hearted Ale
brewed by Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI
India Pale Ale style well suited for adventurous trips to the Upper Peninsula. American malts and enormous hop additions give this beer a crisp finish and incredible floral hop aroma.

brewed by Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
Get ready to bask in the glory of the frothy head’s floral bouquet. Relish the citrus accents from the abundance of dry-hopping. This one’s sweet, yet balanced. Malty undertones shake hands with the hop character for a finish that never turns too bitter.

Typical use: This is another dual purpose hop. It is high enough in alpha acids that it could be used just for bittering, but why would you want to do that with the great floral/citrusy aroma that this hop will impart in a beer.  

Style use: All American style ales, if you use this in a bitter with a nice malt profile its an American ESB, if you use this in a wheat, its an American wheat, etc. Basically this is the prototypical hop that just screams AMERICA! F*** YEAH!

Flavor/aroma: I get a highly floral aroma with a tinge of citrus. It is a really enjoyable combination. In the taste you will get a little more citrus in the form of grapefruit coming through. If using a lot up front for a bittering addition it will leave a drying bitterness at the end of the sip, so brew accordingly. 

Substitutions: Cascade would be the closest possible substitute. As I said in the first submission that for me cascade seems a little more citrusy whereas centennial is a little more floral. As noted above from the Hopunion data a mix of 70% Cascade and 30% Columbus will get you the closest. I have never tried this but in theory I have to say that sounds like a great way to substitute. Columbus alone as well would be a decent decision. The data above states Chinook which to me has a very sweet floral aroma/flavor so you'll make a good beer but be careful bittering with Chinook it is very harsh on the palate so adjust accordingly. 

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