Opal hops originated from the German research center Hüll and were released in 2000 alongside Esmarald and Saphir. Bred as a daughter of Hallertau Gold, Opal is known for its sweet and spicy characteristics.
The flavor and aroma profile of Opal hops features spicy, woody aromas with notes of licorice, aniseed, sweet apricot, and flowery jasmine. Additionally, it offers subtle pepper and clean citrus flavors. The aroma specification includes herbal, pepper, grass, and aniseed elements.
Opal hops are great in German Pilsners, Belgian Ales, Pale Ales, Wheat Beers, and Saisons.
|Country of Origin:||Germany|
|Hop Growers Code:||OPL 87/24/56|
Where To Buy Opal Hops
Opal Flavor And Aroma
Opal is a dual-purpose hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
Opal 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.
|13% – 14%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|3.5% – 5.5%|
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
|1:1 – 4:1|
|Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha|
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
|28% – 34%|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|0.8mL – 1.3mL|
|30% – 45%|
|20% – 25%|
|9% – 10%|
|0% – 1%|
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||0% – 42%|
|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).
|Data Not Available|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI) Rating||Data Not Available|
Opal 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 Opal, 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 Opal 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