Waimea hops are a triploid cultivar of the hop plant developed and released in 2012 by the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research. The name “Waimea” refers to the terroir of the Waimea Plains in Nelson, New Zealand, where the hop is grown in rich, fertile soil that is also one of the sunniest spots in the country.
Waimea hops are a dual-use variety with a high alpha acid content (16-19%) that makes them well-suited for bittering big IPAs. Still, they are also prized for their high oil content (particularly myrcene) and aromatic impact, which includes fruity tangerine, grapefruit citrus, and pine needle characteristics.
Waimea hops are typically used for aroma in various beer styles, from early kettle additions to dry-hopping.
|Country of Origin:||New Zealand|
|Hop Growers Code:||WAI HORT3953|
Where To Buy Waimea Hops
Waimea Flavor And Aroma
Waimea is a dual-purpose hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
Waimea 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.
|16% – 19%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|7% – 9%|
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
|2:1 – 3:1|
|Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha|
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
|22% – 24%|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||20% – 26%|
|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|
Waimea 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 Waimea, 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 Waimea 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