Origin and Description
Cluster Hops comes from, as they say, mass selection. This translates to varieties were likely transported from europe, potentially by the Dutch and English settlers, and after years of growing, hybridization, likely open pollination, a strong sample was chosen and given the name Cluster. Due to its history trail, and early use, it is believed to be one of the oldest American hops used en mass beer production.
Cluster Hops is not grown in the capacity it once was, it has faced a similar fate as many varieties falling to the shadows of the super alpha varieties, and those with more disease tolerance. However, Cluster hops is still widely available, and makes a great dual purpose hops in homebrews and commercial beers. The alpha acid content of Cluster Hops is 5.0%-8.5%. The bitterness from this variety is not overwhelming, and is balanced with its floral flavor and aroma. Cluster Hops has fairly high myrcene oil content which definitely adds to this floral bouquet, which is a nice mix between earthy flavors and sweet fruits.
Cluster hops isn't exceptionally well at producing large yields, and has a susceptibility to mildew. However, its storagability is near the top of the pack. It seems to be more used in heavier beers, such as Porter, Stouts and Barley Wines, but its flavor profile and bitterness ranking make it great for moderately light ales. If it is used in many beers, its not overly marketed. However you will find cluster used by notable craft brewers.
Cluster Hops Usage
Cluster hops is commonly used for both its aromatic qualities as well as its bittering qualities.
Cluster Hops Characteristics
Below is a list of characteristics for cluster hops that impact farming, chemistry, transport & trade, beer production, as well as the final character of the finished product.
Cluster Hops Acid Composition
|Alpha Acid Composition||5.5%-8.5%|
|Beta Acid Composition||4.5%-5.5%|
Cluster Hops Cone Physical Characteristics
|Cluster Lupulin Color||Yellow|
|Cluster Cone Size||Medium|
|Cluster Cone Density||Compact|
Cluster Hops Growth, Harvest, and Storage Details
|Yield||Yield for Cluster Hops is Low to Moderate at 1600 - 2140 kg/hectare|
|Susceptibility to Disease and Pests||Susceptible To:|
Downy Mildew: Powdery Mildew,
Prunus Necrotic Ring-Spot Virus,
|Storability||Cluster Hops maintains 80%-85% alpha acid comtents after 6 months storage at 20 degrees C|
|Ease of Harvest||Good|
Cluster Hops Oil Composition
|Total Oil Composition||0.4-0.8 mls/100 grams|
|Myrcene Oil Composition||45%-55%|
|Humulene Oil Composition||15%-18%|
|Caryophyllene Oil Composition||6%-7%|
|Farnesene Oil Composition||0%-1%|
Cluster Hops Substitutes
|Galena||Galena Hops was part of an Idaho breeding program in 1978 that involved the cross between Brewers Gold...|
|Northern Brewer (GR)||Northern Brewer is an England native who is seeing its days live out mainly in Germany and the U.S. There is a separate|
Common Beer Styles for Cluster Hops
|American Barley Wine|
|English Pale Ale|
|India Pale Ale|