New hops are always fun to write about and this variety is as new as they get. Since I am on an AU kick, here’s another variety from that country.
Vic Secret hops, which had a name change when a certain chain of women’s intimate apparel told them they couldn’t use the formal name anymore, were made available to commercial production last year.
Clearly named for the state of Victoria and not the store, the variety was developed in 2000 with the same parents as Topaz hops. They have been used in some brews as experimental or showcase beers with local breweries in coordination with Hops Products Australia for a few years now.
Since they are new, they may not be in your local home brew shop here in the States, but be on the look out for them since the fruity hop revolution is underway. Read below to learn more about the details of this hop.
Aroma/Flavor: Pineapple, pine, passionfruit. The flavors are lighter than the ones you will find in Galaxy hops.
Alpha Acid: 14 – 17%
Typical Usage: This variety is definitely a flavor hop. The notable fruit flavors really come out in the finished beer when Vic Secret are added as a whirlpool addition or when dry hopping.
Beer Styles: Any hoppy beer style you can think of.
When it gets down to it, these fruity varieties inspire me to do a few things. The first thing is to not waste their delicate flavors by putting them in early in the boil. The second thing is to come up with a game plan to use hops with flavor profiles that complement each other. Does pineapple go with apricot? I don’t know. Maybe a better plan is to find hops that fit in the same flavor quadrant and max it out with unique but similar hops. Lastly, getting the dry hopping practice down is imperative. I cannot say I have a ton of experience doing it but maybe that is something I can work on this summer.