Rakau hops originated in New Zealand and were rediscovered and re-released in 2011 by the country’s hop breeding program. They are known for their fruit-forward character, with dominant flavors and aromas of apricot, plum, mango, pear, and other stone fruits and lighter notes of lime and pine. Myrcene oil makes up 56% of the total oils, contributing to its unique aroma profile.
This hop variety is ideal for brewing beer styles that require intense fruitiness and well-constructed bitterness. Rakau is excellent for New World IPAs, hop-forward lagers, Belgian ales, highly aromatic American wheat beers, and lighter styles with multiple kettle additions.
|Country of Origin:||New Zealand|
|Hop Growers Code:||RKU 70-4-9|
Where To Buy Rakau Hops
Rakau Flavor And Aroma
Rakau is a dual-purpose hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
Rakau 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.
|5.8% – 10.9%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|2.6% – 4.8%|
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
|Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha|
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|44% – 65%|
|3% – 8%|
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||15% – 20%|
|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 72% alpha acid after 6 months storage at 20ºC (68ºF).|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI) Rating||Good|
Rakau 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 Rakau, 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 Rakau 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