When we presented to our YouTube audience a chance to vote for the next hop to brewing in the SMaSH* format, the one that came in second place was Mandarina Bavaria hops. The whole voting idea came from someone placing in the comments of one of our homebrew tasting videos a request to brew a one gallon batch using this particular variety.

Because of that little mention, we started the whole exotic hop tasting and learning experience again.
Like we did with Jarrylo hops, this post will be a combination of sharing online research and real life, first hand tasting notes. Many of the hop profiles we have on the blog have separate pages for the tastings. Rather than have two posts, we’re keeping all the awesome hop information in one place. Watch this video to see how our beer turned out:

First of all, the online research took some time due to many of the good sources of information being in German. Google Translate was helpful in most regards but there were still some words that I had to make sense of myself. Here’s what we gathered from a few of the websites from the land of Chocolate.

One of Those Special Flavor Hops

Mandarina Bavaria is one of three “special flavor hops” that were developed by the Hop Research Institute at Hull, Germany. In addition to the sweet lady Mandarina, the other two hops are:

  • Hallertau Blanc
  • Huell Melon

These three hop varieties all have names that telegraph their flavor and aroma properties. Seems like to me that these were 3 of many experiments, trying to bring more flavor emphasis to their offerings. It makes you think about the ones that weren’t so good. While it’s wonderful to wonder, we shall be brewing up SMaSH beers of the other two at some point in the future.

Mandarina Bavaria Hops High Level Specs

Origin: Germany. This variety was added to the breeding yard in 2008 and released to the world in 2012. It was bred from Cascade and an undisclosed male from the Institute’s breeding program
Aroma: The German descriptors were hoppy, fruity, fresh, mandarin, and citrus flavor. We got some tangerine, Clementine, and lime flavors. Lastly, one source listed bubblegum as a flavor.
Alpha Acid: 7% – 10%
Typical Usage: This hop should be used late in the boil.
Beer Styles: Wheat beers – Mike wants to use it in an American orange wheat beer. In addition, Mandarina Bavaria would be a good variety to blend with other hops in an IPA like this one.

SMaSM Beer Notes

When I took a whiff of the hops out of the bag did not reveal much. These hop pellets were not particularly pungent.

The finished beer at bottling had an underwhelming aroma and taste. It did not cut through much of what I was detecting as malt-derived.

Finally, the beer has aged well over time. It makes for a refreshing beer with some subtle orange citrus notes.

*Single Malt and Single Hop