Crystal hops were bred by Dr. Alfred Haunold from the Oregon State University Hops Breeding Program as a substitute for German noble hops, specifically Hallertauer Mittelfrüh. This was due to the problem of sourcing noble hops, as American hop growers were largely unsuccessful in growing them, and importing from Europe was too expensive.
Crystal lacks the fruitiness of many New World hops but has a delicate floral, spicy, woody taste with notes of a green forest floor. With low alpha acid content, it is less popular for bittering additions. However, it is still used in various beer styles, such as IPAs, Lagers, English Bitters, Belgian Ales, and Wheat beers.
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|Hop Growers Code:||CRY|
Where To Buy Crystal Hops
Crystal Flavor And Aroma
Crystal is an aroma hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper
Crystal 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.
|3% – 6%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|6% – 9%|
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
|0:1 – 1:1|
|Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha|
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
|20% – 24%|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|0.8mL – 2.3mL|
|40% – 60%|
|15% – 25%|
|5% – 9%|
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||2.2% – 38.7%|
|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 70% of its alpha acid after 6 months of storage at 20ºC (68ºF).|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI) Rating||Good|
Crystal 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 Crystal, 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 Crystal 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