June 9, 2011

Hops You're Not Using But Should Be, pt 2

From the lofty vantage point of my office chair (Ikea), I can see which hop varieties are the current Shiny Object, and which deserving little pellets and cones get unfairly passed over - the ugly ducklings and Cinderellas of the Humulus lupulus world, if you will. And from the lofty (ha! well, I'll call it that and maybe it'll stick) vantage of this blog I can exhort my fellow homebrewers to quit missing out.

Today's sermon: Horizon.

High of alpha and low of cohumulone; descendant of Brewers Gold, sister of Nugget, friend of all. High alpha means more IBUs per ounce/pound/kilo (that there's just good economics, I've done the math); low cohumulone means the sensory quality of said IBUs will be smooth and "neutral."

YCR says "Used for its aromatic and bittering properties due to its low cohumulone content."

IndieHops says "Brewers looking for alpha power, low cohumulone, and lots of aromatic oil character will be pleased."

Bittering? Alpha power? Aromatic oil character? Yes, please.

Sitting here at the laptop and huffing a pack of pellets, I get resiny citrus (lemons & oranges) mixed with a little fresh-hay earthy-sweetness. I bet you can think of lots of beers that would work well in.

Despite its versatility, its commercial acreage has remained small - that makes it a bit of an heirloom variety, and this is also cool - other gardeners out there know.

IndieHops also goes on to say "Horizon has remained scarce due to inconsistent availability.  Whether this is due to lower yields than other dual purpose varieties, or a desire to promote proprietary hops such as Simcoe instead, we don’t know."

Brew with Horizon, fight the power, homebrewers.

The Horizon Event
target OG 1.053

  • 0.5 lbs Bairds Carastan
  • 0.125 lbs Chocolate malt
  • 6 lbs Gold DME
  • 0.5 oz Horizon @ 60"
  • 1.5 oz Horizon @ 10"
  • Wyeast 1450 Denny's Fave 50 
  • primary @ 66 F, rack
  • 1 oz Horizon - dry hop 14 days before kegging
  • 1 oz Horizon - dry hop 7 days before kegging


  1. I've got a recipe for a stout I formulated over 15 years ago and continue to use, and that recipe contains Horizon hops. In recent years, though, it's been all but impossible for me to find them, which is unfortunate. I'm hoping that next year the availability will be better and I can us eit more often again.

  2. Ta-da!

  3. I love the hop. But, Horizon is no longer on the market for 2011 unless you've contracted for them. We contracted and were still told they can't fulfill the contract. I hope they build up the acreage!

  4. If I may I'd suggest my favorite less than overwhelmingly popular hop - Cluster. If you over use it, it can get catty, but otherwise this is a glorious hop. Combined with any other C-hop you can lay your hands on it's dynamite and compliments things exceptionally. I especially love that hint of black currants you get with the 10-20 min. additions.

  5. @Brother Mac - agreed. Cluster's bad rep is undeserved, IMO.