German Tettnang Hops (Characteristics and Profile)

If there is a King of Noble Hops, you could argue that German Tettnang Hops would rule them all. It is capable of taking on the role of both a bittering hop and an aromatic with decent efficiency.
German Tettnang Hops

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Tettnanger Tettnang is grown in the town near Germany’s south border called Tettnang. Germans take their hops seriously with such vast hop farmland that you could see it from space. So, if you are serious about making the next King of Beers, study all the information you need here.

How Do You Pronounce Tettnanger?

This long German word is tricky so a simplification of sorts is “Tett-nahng-ah.” The second and third syllables should sound something like “hangar.” Other ways you could say it are “tet-Non-guh” and “Tet-nahng-air.”

Is Tettnanger a Noble Hop?

Tettnang Hops come from the same lineage as the other Noble Hops. They all are of the landrace type of hop that evolved without the humans messing their genome. You could go as far as saying that they naturally developed their royal qualities.

Tettnang Hops Characteristics

Tettnang Hops are arguably the most versatile of the Noble Hops. You can use it for both bittering and adding aroma to a brew, which is why it is a true treasure that demands top dollar.

When looking at the Tettnang hop plant, it has a reddish tinge on its bine. It is how you would differentiate it from other varieties using the Tettnang name.

Tettnanger Hops Flavor Profile

The first thing that people describe Tettnang Hops as is fruity and citrusy and floral. Follow this with a spicy and earthy facet that is common among the Noble hops.

Furthermore, its low alpha acid content gives the right touch of hop bitterness to your brew. It is perfect for light and pale beers.

Mix and match it with other more potent bittering hops so Tettnang’s properties can shine. By doing so, you open up the floodgates to more styles with Tettnang.

What Beers Use Tettnang Hops?

Many beer styles can use Tettnang Hops thanks to it being a dual-purpose hop. Here are some of what you can expect:

Class Subclass
Lager German Pilsner, Amber Lager, German Dark Lager
Ales Belgian Pale Ales, Golden Ales, American Cream Ale
Wheat Beer Belgian Witbier, Bavarian Hefeweizen, American Wheat Beer
Sour Wheat Beer Lambic

The table above only represents the classic styles. Many craft brewers dip their toes into using Tettnang in exciting ways.

Tettnang Hops in the USA

The United States Department of Agriculture oversees all the locations where Tettnang Hops are grown in the US. They report that the hops’ acreage has swelled over the years. This started with the introduction of the US Tettnanger variety.

If you are specifically looking for Tettnang hops, you can try Puterbaugh Farms. They are a 5th generation hop farming family since the 1930s. They grow their hops in the fertile Yakima Valley of Washington State.

There are many other places to get Tettnang Hops… like in craft beer. You can try “Summer Love,” a Golden Ale down in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Or, get a “Social Science” from Milton, Delaware. It is a fusion experiment of IPA and Lager with old and new hops. The emphasis here is on the “old” Tettnanger.

Tettnang Hops in Wheat Beer

Estes Park Brewery crafted an American Wheat Beer called “Stinger Wild Honey.” It uses Tettnanger Hops with ambrosia honey for that increase in alcohol. It then proceeds to calm you from the sweet high with some coriander and chamomile.

Tettnang Hops in Sour Beer

If you have a longing for something sour, Upland Brewing Company offers “Rind.” It is a barrel-aged fruited sour ale with a buzz of coriander and orange zest. Finally, some chamomile rounds up the flavors and aromas in the barrel.

Tettnang Hops for Aroma

Aroma is what all the Noble Hops are known for, and Tettnang Hops are no exception. Its aroma is superior to ordinary hops. It also trumps the US Tettnanger in this department. There is simply no substitute… until you have no choice.

Tettnang Hops for Bittering

Tettnang Hops sits on top of all the Noble Hops when it comes to bittering. But, is not a perfect IBU pumping hop with its far from efficient alpha acid numbers. You would do better with clones of Tettnang hops designed for the task.

Is Tettnang a Bittering Hop?

For all its limitations, Tettnang is still useful for bittering, and to great effect. The craft brewer, Bad Weather Brewing Company, uses it in their beer. They specifically use Tettnang hops for bittering.

They call the beer “Dortmunder Export Lager Release”… quite a mouthful. You could describe it as something between a Helles, a Bohemian Pilsner, and a German Pilsner. Sweet, Spicy, Bitter.

Tettnang Hops Brewing

Brewing with Tettnang Hops is not rocket science, you just have to follow the recipe. If you have developed an intuition for it, there is nothing bad about carrying out creative tests.

When to Add Tettnang Hops

The generic concept of adding hops boils down to the following purposes:

  • Bittering: Put your hops in at the start of the boil when the water is lively.
  • Flavoring: Put your hops in the 15 to 30 minutes before flameout.
  • Aroma: Put your hops in at the last 5 minutes before flameout.

Dry Hopping With Tettnang Hops

The generic concept of Dry Hopping Tettnang Hops is roughly the same for every hop variant. You can put it in during the fermentation or conditioning phase of your brewing process. Some brewers go for a period inside three to fourteen days before bottling… the devil is in the details.

Tettnang Hops Alpha and Beta Acid Composition

The Alpha Acid and Beta Acid of Tettnang Hops are 4.5% and 3.8%, respectively. The actual percentages vary because of:

  • The local weather
  • The harvesting environment
  • The storage situation

Because of these conditions, the standard value is the average across 10 years.

Substitute for Tettnang Hops

There is no silver bullet substitute for Tettnang Hops. But, if you have your hands tied, you can use:

  • Saaz
  • Spalt
  • Hersbrucker
  • Santiam
  • Spalter Select
  • The good old Tettnanger (US)
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