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mattbrewer

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The early 1990's mark the introduction of this variety which is only grown around the area at this point. Victoria shares the same mother and birth pace as Galaxy Hopswhich has comparable characteristics. This mother is simply labeled as J78, and her pedigree is unknown.

Victoria Hops is a dual use hops with a high alpha acid content ranging from 11.5%-14.8%. Its really not that common of a variety, and is difficult to find in commercial beers. The co-humulone is high in Victoria at 38%-45%. Myrcene is the only oil to be outside of moderate range is fairly high at 30%-45%. Myrcene itself gives a fruity fragrance that is mixed with woody, and herbal peppery tones.
MOD: Post edited by Lord Raja Goomba I to insert (limited) description. Please make further descriptions available if possible. Original post below:


Hi all.

I'm having flavour issues with my home grown (Canberra) Victoria hop flowers. I have been using them as a single hop in APA/IPAs since the first harvest in February this year. I am an all grain brewer.

The resulting beers all have an unfavourable taste and a similar aroma - slightly rotten mandarins with a hint of guava. I tipped the first two batches out thinking that they were infected but will persevere with the 3rd into the bottle/keg to see if it gets better. At the same time, my other batches using other hops and brewing other styles have been working out with no issues.

Here are my thoughts

1. This is the normal taste for Victoria hops. They have been described as 'loquat' on this site. I have never tasted a loquat but I hope they don't taste like this.

2. I picked the hops too early. According to the literature, I should be getting a vegetal taste. I have imagined hard but can not come up with anything approaching canned corn or even grass. The hop flower aroma in the bags is wonderful, almost overpowing.

3. The batches are infected. I am familiar with infections from past experiences. I did all the usual cleaning and sterilizing associated with an infection. I am now convinced that this 3rd batch is not infected, it is the taste of the hops.

Any thoughts?

Matt
 

drsmurto

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Loquats are described as having mango, citrus and peach flavours/aromas.

I use Victoria often, it is the hop in my main house beer - rye golden ale.

What recipe are you using - grist, hop schedule and yeast?

It may be that you just don't like the flavour or Victoria hops, not everyone will.
 

mattbrewer

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I can taste a couple of those fruits, but with a slightly rotten edge. Almost nice but not convincing.

Here the recipe for my latest effort. It is similar to my regular schedule. I am persevering with single hop version as the variety yielded well in its first year so I expect alot over the years. It would be good to know exactly what it brings to my American ales.

American IPA (sorry no brewing software)

OG=1050
FG=1011
WYeast 1056
IBU=50ish
Rests 37, 51, 67deg

74% Pale ale malt
10% Munich malt
7% Pale crystal
5% Quick oats
4% Dextrose

20g Victoria flowers (12%?) 60mins
25g Victoria flowers 10mins
20g Victoria flowers 5mins
25g Victoria flowers 0mins
 

drsmurto

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How have the hops been handled? Did you dry them and vacuum seal them?

The rotten edge - do you mean like the smell of fruit that is overripe and beginning to go squishy or proper rotten, covered in mould?

I don't see anything jumping out of that recipe that would lead to anything unexpected. From your descriptions it doesn't sound like an infection, you'd expect aroma to be stripped and it to be evident as a sourness/slickness.

Have you tried leaving the beer for a few weeks in the keg to see if the taste changes? When fresh I find it is quite pungent (in a good way to my taste) but it does dissipate over time.

If you pick the hops too early or too late then I would expect you to get much lower aroma than what you are so is suspect that is not the cause.
 

mattbrewer

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Thanks for your insights.

The hops were picked, dried on a sunny window ledge for 12 hours, zip-locked and sent to North Queensland, dried in a drying oven until a stable moisture content was reached (3 hours) then vacuum sealed. In my limited experience, I'm not sure if the handling before they reached NQ will affect the quality. I would appreciate comments on this.

The rotten edge is very similar to eating a mandarin and getting a slightly over-ripe quart. The aroma is very similar as well.

Yes, I will leave this batch for a while and hope it tastes better with time. I am now convinced that it is the hop character. I hope I learn to appreciate it with time. The problem is that I am hesitant to add Victoria to other recipes until I sort this out.

I will update tasting results when the beer is ready to drink.

Matt
 

hoppy2B

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So let me get this straight. You grew these hops in Canberra and slightly dried them for a day and then stuffed them in zip lock bags and took them to far north Queensland and you are wondering what the problem is?
Moderated ( abusive behaviour not tolerated), after only an hour or so there would have been moisture evident in the bags and you want to know why they taste like shit?
How long did your journey take? Did you drive?
Your problem is obvious, don't come on this site and bad mouth Victoria hops.
 

bradsbrew

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Abusive language removed. Member warned. Please play nice.
 

of mice and gods

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I'd just like to say kudos to all the experienced brewers for putting some thought into helping out with this problem.

Although I don't have the same problem, it's nice to know that you can ask a question in this forum and not always get flamed. I'm sure there are lots of lurkers out there that are too afraid to post in case they get their heads bitten off, so it's a nice to see the experienced guys offering up their thoughtful opinions.

On behalf of the newbies and inexperienced, thank you :)
 

Nick JD

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Mmm rotten loquats.

I quite like loquats. There's a tree just down the road from me that overhangs the footpath. There's not much "meat" on the fruit though - just a thin layer.

Not sure I'd like a beer tasting like them though. I prefer my beer to taste like popular deoderants made by Unilever.

I also like irrational internet fights about Victoria.
 

mattbrewer

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Hi all.

Three weeks in the bottle and my Victoria hop IPA still has the familiar "rotten mandarin" taste but it has smoothed out to a point where I can drink it and appreciate the taste. Fair to say that I won't be using this hop in large amounts in the future but I think it could add something to a Golden ale with some other hop flavours.

I don't think it's just me. My wife and mate didn't appreciate the taste either.

I tried in vain to find loquats for a comparison. They are not very common up here.

Matt
 

manticle

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I get the slightly rotten fruit thing. It's not massive but it is present.

I'm enjoying my Victoria APA but it hasn't become my favourite New world hop.
 

Byran

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Wow what an amusing thread!
I think distinctive hop flavours such as what is described could work well if used as a subtle note in a multi hopped APA or IPA.
I find hops like nelson, amarillo and crystal to be quite off putting in solid quantities........ But using them as a small part of a flavour story in a beer. Magic. I think ill give Victoria a try.
 

waggastew

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Another idea into the mix............

I am assuming the 0min addition were added at flame out? If not and they are some sort of dry hop you may have got something funky from the hops ala infection. My first harvest ale was Bandaid city after wet hopping. I now only use my HG hops upto about 5min from the end of the boil.
 

mattbrewer

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The 0min addition was at flameout. For this brew I did dry hop with harvest Victoria flowers, however the distinctive taste was present at chilling and just before dry hopping. I have also re-used the yeast with success so I have completely ruled an infection out.
 

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