Riwaka hops are a bold and fruity variety of hops developed by the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research hop breeding program and released in 1996. They are a triploid aroma variety bred from “Old Line” Saaz and specially developed New Zealand breeding selections. Riwaka has a higher-than-average oil content and an almost 1:1 ratio of alpha and beta acids, which gives it a powerful grapefruit and sweet citrus hop character.
Riwaka hops are best suited for big-beer styles such as IPAs and Imperial Pilsners and are known for their tropical passion fruit aroma that carries through from the fields to the fermenters. Although Riwaka hops are in high demand, they are temperamental and take dedication to grow.
|Country of Origin:||New Zealand|
|Hop Growers Code:||RWA SaazD or 85.6-23|
Where To Buy Riwaka Hops
Riwaka Flavor And Aroma
Riwaka is an aroma hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
Riwaka 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.
|4.5% – 6.5%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|4.0% – 5.0%|
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.
|29.0% – 38.0%|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|0.8mL – 1.5mL|
|67% – 70%|
|8% – 10%|
|2% – 6%|
|0% – 1%|
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||17.9%|
|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|
Riwaka 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 Riwaka, 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 Riwaka 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