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What Are Hallertau Mittelfrüh Hops (and How Do You Use Them)?

German beer aficionados affectionately call Hallertau Mittelfrüh Hops “Kaiser.” It is the emperor of German hops in terms of its unique and refined aroma, revered the world over.
What Are Hallertau Mittelfrüh Hops

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The Kaiser hop is best used to infuse an imperial perfume into your brew. The likes of which evolve the basest of beers into a masterful composition. The great thing is, it is not that difficult to use. So, if you want to be the Beethoven of brewers, check out these notes and make your beer Haute.

Where Do Hallertau Hops Come From?

The origin of the original Hallertau Hops is in an area known as Hallertau. Located in the southeast of Germany, in the state of Bavaria. It is a hot spot for the largest hop acreage in the world. Because of this, it is home to close to half of all German breweries.

Where Are Hallertau Hops Grown?

Beyond the Hallertau area, you can find Hallertau Hops in the regions of Tettnang and Spalt. To identify Hallertau from specific regions, you prefix the region to the name. For example, you would use Hallertauer Hallertau, Tettnanger Hallertau and Spalter Hallertau.

When the original Hallertau hops were transported to the US to be grown locally. Only a certain area in the state of Idaho was successful in proliferating the hop. That particular area became a reserve site for farming Hallertauer Mittlefrüh.

Germany and the US are the areas of note but many other places have long since created new cultivars as their own.

What Do Hallertau Hops Taste Like?

The spiciness is something that you could say stands out with Hallertau Hops. There is the taste of earth, berries, and herbs. As the hops age, it tastes woodier, like tobacco in a cedar box.

There is a lot of overlapping flavor descriptions when it comes to tasting the big four Noble hops. Thus, wise men advise that you try them yourself and come up with your own description.

What Beers Use Hallertau Hops?

By no means this table is exhaustive. It is intended to give you an idea of the range of Hallertau Hops.

Origin of Style Style
German Pilsner, Bock, Kolsch, Munich Helles, Weizens, Altbier
American American Wheat Beer, Pale Ale, Lager
Belgian Lambic, Belgian-Style Ale

An example of a commercial implementation of this noble hop is Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Craft brewers have the freedom to go beyond the classic forms to come up with next-level beers. Whether it be a combination of many hops or just single hopping with Hallertauer.

Single Hopped Beer with Hallertau Hops

A Single Hopped Beer means you use only a single hop cultivar for your brew in the whole process. That said, take a shot at “Harpoon Goldenmilk” from Mass Bay Brewing Company. It is a Blond Ale beauty dedicated to Hallertau but flirting with a heap of sexy spices. From “A” to “T”: black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, lactose, and turmeric.

How Do You Use Hallertau Hops?

Always refer to your recipe when using any hop, especially costly ones like Hallertau. But when in doubt:

  • Flavor your wort by adding the hops in a window of 15 to 30 minutes before the target finish of the boil.
  • Perfume your wort by adding in the hops for 5 minutes before finishing up the boil.

If you do not want to raise beer bitterness any further, chuck in the hops after flameout. Or, do it right around the fermentation stage of your brew.

Is Hallertau a Bittering Hop?

Hallertau Hops is a Noble hop that is a very popular choice for flavoring first-class beers. That said, it has a marginal bittering capability at best.

Nonetheless, if your beer is more on the light to the normal end of the spectrum, this hop should be right on the money. You would not want too much alpha acid in those kinds of beers because it is a tough balancing act. It could work if you had some other source of intense complementing flavor.

What Hops Go Well With Hallertau?

Many hops complement or supplement Hallertau Hops. However, it really depends on the individual brewer’s palate and skill. Just laying out a list of hops’ names does not really hammer home the point. It is best to give examples, so here are two craft beers that use a symphony of hops:

  • Pilsner Cold Fermented Lager’s hops list (from Ninkasi Brewing Company)
    • German Magnums, Saaz, Tettnanger, and Hallertau Mittlefrüh
  • Rip City Lager’s hops list (from Deschutes Brewery)
    • Lemondrop, Crystal, Hallertau Mittelfrüh

Now, it is up to you if you want to believe that these recipes work, or you can try them yourself.

Hops Similar to Hallertau

Because Hallertau Hops are very sensitive to plant infections, growers sought similar hops. The goal was to have pest resilience and get a high yield while maintaining premium quality. They ultimately bred replacements like:

  • Hersbrucker
  • Perle
  • Hallertauer Gold
  • Hallertauer Tradition
  • Saphir
  • Smaragd

Of course, the quality was never truly matched because it is a trade-off after all, per the natural order.

Hallertau Mittelfrüh Hops Substitute

You can readily substitute Hallertau Mittelfrüh with similar hops to it. But sometimes, even that is not possible if you have constraints. That is why you can substitute Hallertau hops with the more common variants:

  • Hallertau (US)
  • Crystal
  • Liberty
  • Vanguard
  • Ultra
  • Hood

Or, if you are just not into Hallertauer, you can try the other Noble hops like Tettnanger.