The Best Hops to Complement London III Use

Ratio Beerworks has used the yeast strain London III primarily in seasonal or rotating Hazy IPAs. But what hops go best with this strain? 

In the brewery’s Undone Series, for Vol. 12, Evan Beggs explained to Brewer they used a derivative of the London III strain from a local yeast lab.  

“We paired it with Strata, El Dorado, and Nectaron which produced great citrus, peach, passionfruit, and slightly dank strawberry notes,” Beggs said. “Along with those great aromatics and flavors, the grist bill we chose produced a beautiful bright yellow and thick hazy appearance, which lent to a fluffy yet slightly crisp mouthfeel.

Of course, the list could go on and on with all of the great hops that are out there to use to complement London III, but some of Beggs’ favorites — just to name a few — are Strata, El Dorado, Citra, Nectaron, and Cashmere.

READ MORE: Originally called “WOW,” New Hop Nectaron Still Impressing Brewers

“The London III derivative we’ve typically used produces fruity/tropical aromas and a soft mouthfeel when paired with the right hops and fermented at slightly warmer temperatures, around 72 degrees,” they said. “This boosts the citrus, tropical, stone fruit, and sometimes dank aromas of the hops giving a whole array of an aromatic experience as the beer warms from the tap to about halfway through the glass.”

It’s so cliche, said M Special’s Joshua Ellis, but Citra and Mosaic shine with the yeast. 

“Citra with this yeast lends an apricot/stone fruit soft flavor and aroma that you can’t get with the hops by themselves,” he said. “Mosaic turns into a very Hawaiian profile with plenty of Pineapple and Guava notes.”

Citra and mosaic are probably the most classic combo for a juicy New England, but Nocterra also had fun using West Coast hop combos that trick your brain a little when you taste them in a hazy. 

“The best example would be our Hazy Pale called Lunar Orbit,” said Lab Specialist Evan Hudgens. “And it’s made with Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe.”

For Fall Brewing, any American, New Zealand, South African, or Australian hops are all great options for brewing with London III.  

“The tropical fruit esters derived from the yeast work great with hops like Citra and Simcoe or Nectaron and Southern Cross,” said Brewer Dan Ouellette. “It really depends on what flavor profile you are shooting for.  

“We tend to lean on the classics (Cascade and Citra) when brewing with London III.”

Brendan Arnold of Alternate Ending said he’s found it best to keep the yeast character in mind when layering in the hops. 

“It’s a flavor component that needs to be complimented,” Arnold said. “When the ingredients work in harmony and it’s easy to drink it will keep you coming back for more.”

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