We were excited to brew with this variety ever since we purchased a pouch this summer from Hops Direct. The team there tells a good story about the origin of Belma Hops and the descriptors are very enticing. It worth noting that they gifted us a second pouch. Not because we are semi-famous homebrewing bloggers, but because they give out free hops to anyone. If you haven’t subscribed to their email list, you may be missing out. Using just one ounce of hops for this SMaSH beer leaves me 15 to brew again. Let’s see what we thought about this variety in our video and what the plan could be for a future brew.
Our Belma Hops Notes
The expression on Mike’s face hopefully communicates his overwhelming delight in showcasing the marketing material that we received from Hops Direct. In all sincerity, it’s a well-done presentation of the hops and one that is unique to these homebrewers. I am sure this piece of collateral wasn’t cheap so thumbs up from us.
We wrote about these hops way back in 2013 and the consensus from other homebrewers is the strawberry-forward aroma and flavor note from this variety. With that in mind, we poured a few glasses of the SMaSH beer and dug in.
My SMaSH beer format is small batch – a volume of 1 US gallon using 2 pounds of 2-row Pale Malt and 1 ounce of hops fermented with US-05. This beer fermented for 10 days at room temperature and then was kegged.
The biggest flavor note we got from this hop was a strong Noble hop presence overall. It seemed to have all the good spicy/earthy elements from a Hallertau or East Kent Goldings and turned them up to high level. This amplification made for a delicious beer. Sometimes the SMaSH reveals to us hops that can’t stand on their own but this one certainly can. It makes we want to brew with them again.
I wish there were more strawberry notes to report but we didn’t find any. There was a bit of a grapefruit pith sensation in the aftertaste. After the session, Mike said that brewing with a yeast strain that emphasizes thiols may bring out that strawberry aroma and flavor that Belma delivers.
I will make sure that my next brew session with these hops includes a different yeast strain. BREW ON!