Looks like I've got a spare day tomorrow so I thought I'd get an AG brew on the go. What I've been wanting to do for a little while is brew a fairly plain, 1-dimensional 5 gallon test brew, and when it comes to dry hopping I will split it into 5 separate containers with a different hop in each. Being just a beginner I figure this would help me understand the flavour contributions from hops a little better.

I've got 5 varieties of hops I've not tried before coming through in the next couple of days so I should be able to get the brew on now in preparation.

So I need to make a simple brew from the ingredients I have. I'm thinking about 5kg Maris Otter and 500g light crystal malt for the grains... Perhaps some maize for better head retention and clarity?

However, when it comes to hops I'm not quite sure what to do... At my disposal tomorrow I have EKG, fuggles, challenger, target and first gold. I want to add hops purely to bitter so that they won't affect the flavour so whichever I choose it'll be for a thorough 60min boil at least with no later additions.

Then, when it comes to dry hopping, how should I proceed? Weight of hops and duration etc.

Any suggestions and tips?

Tips on the grain choice for this experiment greatly received too!

  • There are a lot of questions here - I think you should split this up into multiple questions, e.g. keep this one as suitable choice for a bittering hop, then separate questions on dry hopping / grains.
    – mdma
    Feb 15, 2014 at 7:10
  • 2
    Maize will not promote head retention or clarity.
    – Denny Conn
    Feb 15, 2014 at 20:14
  • A good source about hops (for future reference): hopunion.com/hop-varieties Mar 3, 2014 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


With the hops you have listed, I'd go with Challenger or Target, and keep the IBU's in the 20-25 range to minimize the flavor.

For the Dry Hopping, about an ounce in a 5gal batch is detectable, while a radio of 1:1 ounces/gallons is the standard way to get pungent dry-hop goodness.

If you want the dry hop aroma to be fairly strong, I'd split the batch into five 1-gal containers for dry hopping and use one ounce of the listed hops per container. Go down to 1/2 ounce each if you aren't looking to have the dry hops totally dominate the aroma.

I believe all of those hops will perform well as Dry Hops, but a fair amount of people seem to dislike Fuggles for its "earthy" flavor.

  • In the end my hop delivery arrived so I went with Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and First Gold. I put 20g in each gallon which worked out really nicely - however I misjudged my volumes and put 20g of Simcoe in just 2 litres of beer... the result was really good. Serendipity :) First Gold was a little boring and is not something I'd try again.
    – Doug
    Apr 8, 2014 at 13:04

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