In the ever-evolving world of craft beer, few hop varieties have made as significant an impact as Citra hops. Known officially as HBC 394 cv., Citra hops have ushered in a new era in the brewing industry, primarily due to their intense aromatic oils and versatile flavor profile that can completely transform a beer. Today, we will explore the origins, characteristics, and unique flavor of Citra hops. We will also discuss their many uses in brewing.

The Origins of Citra Hops

Citra hops made their debut in the beer world in 2007, after being developed by the Hop Breeding Company, a joint venture between John I. Haas, Inc. and Select Botanicals Group. The mission was clear: to create a hop variety that not only was a workhorse in terms of brewing efficiency but also provided a distinctive flavor and aroma that could stand out in an increasingly competitive craft beer market. Citra, with its genetic roots tied to several varieties including Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Tettnang, East Kent Goldings, and others, was a product of this innovative breeding initiative.

The development of Citra was meticulous, focusing on a process that highlighted selected qualities like high alpha acids and unique oil compositions. These attributes would later define Citra hops’ reputation in the brewing world. Grown primarily in Washington State and Idaho, the climates of these areas turned out to be ideal for cultivating Citra hops, giving them their unique qualities that are celebrated worldwide today.

Citra Hops Characteristics

Citra hops are distinguished by their high alpha acid content, typically ranging from 11% to 13%. They are an excellent option for hop-centric beer styles such as American IPAs and pale ales, which demand a robust hop presence. The Citra hops are rich in essential oils such as myrcene, caryophyllene, and humulene, which contribute to their powerful and distinctive aroma.

The physical characteristics of Citra hops are noteworthy as well. Hops are usually moderately sized, with a rounded and somewhat compressed shape, making them perfect for use as whole cones or for pellet production. Their ability to maintain quality over time when stored properly is highly valued by brewers who require consistency in their brews regardless of the season.

Citra Hops Flavor Profiles and Aroma

When it comes to Citra hops flavor profiles, the name itself hints at what one might expect. Citra hops provide a variety of citrus flavors like lime, grapefruit, mango, and passion fruit. Citra hops are a great choice to improve any hop selection, with a mix of herbal, floral, and nectar-like flavors.

The aroma of Citra hops follows closely on the palette of its flavor profile. Brewers and beer lovers say it smells like fresh citrus peels or a tropical cocktail, bright and strong. This scent can be the main thing you notice when you drink the beer. Citra is a standout choice for dry hopping because of its bold and vibrant scents.

Citra Hops in Brewing Applications

Citra’s incredible versatility is evident in its wide range of uses in brewing. Aside from being commonly used for adding bitterness because of its high alpha acid content, it also shines when added later in the boiling process or during dry hopping, giving it a chance to showcase its aromatic qualities. From hazy New England IPAs to more balanced American Pales, Citra hops are a fan favorite, adding layers of depth, flavor, and aromatics that are hard to replicate with any other single hop variety.

Citra hops are widely celebrated in single-hopped beers, where they are the sole hop used. This strategy highlights their strong profile and lets brewers emphasize the diverse flavors and aromas that Citra hops bring. They are also often used in conjunction with other hop varieties to create a more complex or balanced flavor and aromatic profile.

Culinary Ventures and Beyond

Interestingly, the use of Citra hops extends beyond beer making. Their strong citrus and floral notes make them a perfect candidate for culinary recipes that call for a zesty touch. Hop-infused oils, vinegars, and even desserts can benefit from the zing that Citra hops can provide.

As craft brewers continue to experiment and push the boundaries of traditional brewing, Citra hops will undoubtedly play a leading role in the innovation of new beers and flavors. Whether you are a homebrew enthusiast or a professional in the beer industry, understanding and utilizing Citra hops can elevate your beer profiles to new heights.

Engage with the Essence of Citra

Appreciating the unique qualities of Citra hops can transform your brewing and drinking experience. Hop Havoc is proud to offer high-quality Citra hops to enhance your craft beer creations. Dive into the Citra experience and discover the boundless possibilities in your next brew. Contact us for the best hops and innovative brewing. Let’s create something amazing together!