Chinook hops were developed at Washington State University’s USDA hop-breeding program in the Yakima Valley. They were initially used for their high-alpha bittering properties. However, in recent years, Chinook’s high oil content has been used for its aroma profile in late-boil, whirlpool, and dry-hop additions.
Chinook is a member of the American C hops known for its grapefruit, pine, and spice flavors and aromas. However, some find high hopping rates can produce harsh bitterness and unpleasant smells (catty). Despite this, Chinook-hopped American beer styles such as Porters, Stouts, Pale Ales, and IPAs remain popular among brewers and drinkers alike. The longevity of Stone Brewing Company’s Arrogant Bastard is a testament to the popularity of Chinook hops in American craft beer.
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|Hop Growers Code:||CHI|
Where To Buy Chinook Hops
In recent years, Chinook has found favor as a dual-purpose hop in the craft brewing community as a result of its spice and pine aroma characteristics.
Chinook Flavor And Aroma
Chinook is a dual-purpose hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
Chinook Hop Oil Breakdown
Hop oils can vary from year to year and farm to farm but based on our research, here are the typical values we have seen reported. This information comes from various hop farms, The Hop Aroma Compendium, and For The Love Of Hops.
|Alpha Acid % (AA)|
Alpha acids are what is isomerized when boiling to create bitterness in beer.
|12% – 14.5%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|3% – 4.5%|
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
|3:1 – 5:1|
|Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha|
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
|27% – 35%|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|1mL – 2.7mL|
|20% – 30%|
|18% – 24%|
|9% – 11%|
|0% – 1%|
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||34% – 53%|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI)|
The HSI indicates the percent of alpha and beta acids lost after 6 months of storage at room temperature (68°F or 20°C).
|Retains 71% of its alpha acid after 6 months of storage at 20ºC (68ºF).|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI) Rating||Good|
Chinook Hop Substitutions
Replacing one hop for another is seldom straightforward but sometimes you don’t have the right hop or the right quantity of hops for the beer you want to make. For those situations, we have made a comprehensive list of hops to substitute on brew day.
These substitutions aren’t perfect as hop chemistry is pretty complex.
We wanted to make this list of substitutions with varietals that are easy to find when possible. For Chinook, we recommend substituting with the following hops:
For the most part, any hop could have a place in just about any beer style. Based on popular beers, historical usage, and our own preferences, we would recommend using Chinook for IPA, New England IPA, Pale Ale, Wheat Beer, Golden Ale. That being said, experiment and see what works best for you.
Hieronymus, Stan. For The Love of Hops. Brewers Publications, 2012
The Hop Aroma Compendium. 2012