Quite popular in the craft brewing industry, Crystal hops display similar characteristics as Hallertau Mittelfruh. The most pungent of hops derived from the Hallertau variety, Crystal has found utilization in a wide variety of American ales and lagers, from Pilsener to IPA. Described as mild, spicy and floral, the varietal exhibits flavors and aromas of chamomile, apricot, spice, citrus and most specifically lime, lemon grass, passionfruit, earthiness and pungent pine. Crystal displays surprising variety in application.
Typical A.A: 3.5 – 5.5 %
Possible substitutions: Mt. Hood, Hersbrucker, French Strisselspalt, Liberty and Hallertau.
Imparting a wonderful, dry and tart flavor, Crystal hops provide spicy character blonde ales, adding, in proportionate quantities, a delicate counterpoint to pale or pilsner malt background. Crystal is perfect for summer thirst quenchers such as lagers with a fair amount of corn or rice in the malt bill.
In American Brown ale, the hop variety, while used judiciously in dry hopping, will contribute a slight pungent quality to the finished beer.
For wheat beer, Crystal hops give the beer the requisite mild balance between hop, malt and wheat.