Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hop of the Week: Sterling

Yes, I know this is called Hop of the Week, but hey it just sounds better then Hop of the any time I freakin feel like it. Got one of my favorites today that is only a little over 10 years old. US Craft breweries seem to have taken a liking to them though, just as I have.

*via Pelican Brewery

Pedigree Released in 1998
Maturity Medium
Yield 2020 - 2245 kg./ha. or 1800 - 2000 lb./ac.
Growth Habit Moderately vigorous
Disease/Pest Susceptibility Moderately resistant to downy mildew.
Pickability/Drying/Baling Good
Cone-Structure Medium
Lupulin Pale yellow
Aroma Herbal, spicy with a hint of floral and citrus.
Alpha Acid 6 - 9% w/w
Beta Acid 4 - 6% w/w
Cohumulone 22 - 28% of alpha acids
Storageability Good alpha acids remaining after 6 months storage at 20°C.
Total Oil 1.3 - 1.9 mls/100 grams
Myrcene 44 - 48% of whole oil
Humulene 19 - 23% of whole oil
Carophyllene 5 - 7% of whole oil
Farnesene 11 - 17% of whole oil
General Trade Perception Perceived to be similar to a Saaz and Mt Hood combination. Finding favor as a Saaz replacement.
Possible Substitutions Czech Saaz
Typical Beer Styles Pilsner and other Lagers, Ales and Belgian-Style Ales
Additional Information Limited, but stable acreage.
Typical Hop Use Dual purpose

Commercial examples today both come from the great brewing state of Oregon. 

 Elemental Ale 
Brewed only once a year at peak hop season, this beer is made with 400 pounds of freshly picked, "wet" Sterling hops from Goschie Farms in Silverton, OR. The hops were only 3 hours from the vine when they went into the kettle. The mash tun was also used as a hop back, holding 300 pounds of hops!!! This beer features a huge floral, spicy, grassy aroma with a firm malt background and a huge, snappy hop finish.

» PILSNER « Matt's own "Bohemian Rhapsody", featuring traditional ingredients used in a distinctly Northwest recipe. We aged this beer for between six and nine weeks -- two to three times our normal program -- to give our Czech lager yeast enough tie to do its thing, and to allow the flavors to mellow and merge. The result was a hophead's Pilsner that was supremely satisfying. Brewed with organic Pilsner malt, Czech lager yeast, and Sterling hops. 5.5%ABV, 50 BU    
Typical use: Sterling hops can be used all over the board. Usually weighing in somewhere around 8%AA they can be used as a bittering addition for lagers and ales. They also have a great aroma and flavor profile which suits them even better for those additions. 
Style use: Pilsner, summer ales, european style lagers, wits, weizens, and Belgian ales.  
Flavor/aroma: Herbal, spicy, earthy, have a touch of citrus, and a little bit of a floral quality. The fresher they are the more citrus and floral come out, I use these for lighter ales quite a bit and I am always happy with the results.
Substitutions: Czech Saaz or Mt. Hood hops would be the closest substitution. I find a lot of the same qualities. They all have very clean bittering. Saaz hops would leave you more on the spicy side whereas Mt Hood will give you a milder, slighty floral spiciness.


  1. I'm drooling after reading about Double Mountain. Hope it makes it back this year I don't see it on their seasonal list

    You'll have to post a reminder once it does!

  2. wow, it would be about 90 bucks to get a case shipped out to me....just a little steep.