Nick Carr on January 15, 2018 0 Comments History of Liberty Hops The Liberty hop variety is another one that comes from noble decent. In fact, Crystal, Mt. Hood, and Ultra, are all half-sisters to Liberty, sharing the same mother: tetraploid Hallertau Mittelfrüher. Of the sisters, it is the Liberty variety that is considered the most like Hallertau in character. Because the mother was tetraploid, all four sisters are triploid, meaning they produce few to no seeds even when grown among fertile male plants. The selection program that ultimately resulted in Liberty started in 1983, a year before her sister Crystal’s program. Liberty’s father was a German variety simply designated as “USDA 64035M.” Buy Liberty Hops on Amazon USDA 64035M was a downy mildew resistant variety bred by Friedrich Zattler while he worked at the Hop Research Center Hüll. This variety is also in the lineages of Horizon and Bitter Gold. Liberty was released in June of 1991, according to this “Registration of Liberty Hop” page published on the USDA’s website. The USDA page goes on to say there were 6 commercial acres in both Oregon and Washington in 1991. Compared to many other varieties, Liberty has a rather low yield, with only 1070 to 1780 lbs per acre. However, it has a marked advantage when compared to yields of Hallerau Mittelfrüher grown in the U.S., which only produces approximately 1,115 lbs per acre on average. Liberty hops are moderately resistant to hop downy mildew and, at least in the 5 years of testing, showed no symptoms of vertricillium wilt. However, there was not enough data to say exactly how resistant it was to vertricillium w. Liberty’s major draws for both growers and brewers is its character similarity to Hallertauer mittelfruh, its medium-early maturity and higher yield than its parent variety. It is noted as having very little noticeable American influence in its character; making it an excellent choice for the brewer seeking an American variety that can play imposter in authentic examples of European beer styles. How to Use Liberty Hops In Your Beer Unlike other popular varieties, there are no growing restrictions on Liberty hops. Towards the end of the Spring season, you should be able to find rhizomes available to purchase at many online retailers, and maybe even at a few homebrew suppliers. There are a couple places that even sell fully rooted plants, which if it’s a little later in the season, is the way you want to go. Acid Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 4.0 – 6.0% Beta Acid: 3.5% Co-Humulone: 24 – 28% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 1.3 mL/100g Myrcene Oil: 30 – 45% (of total) Humulene Oil: 30 – 40% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 9 – 12% (of total) Franesene Oil: <1.0% (of total) B-Pinene Oil: 0.1 – 0.3% (of total) Linalool Oil: 0.6 – 1.0% (of total) Geraniol Oil: 0.1 – 0.3% (of total) Tips for Growing Liberty Liberty hops require acidic soil. They grow best when they are planted in raised rows of well-draining soil. It takes two seasons to establish. It is a good choice if you plan to densely plant your hops. This variety is recommended for the more experienced grower. Of course, before you choose any variety to grow in your backyard, it’s a good idea to talk to other local hop farmers, brewers or your local supply store. They may be able to point you toward varieties that grow well in your area. General Characteristics: Growth Rate — Vigorous. Yield — Low; 1070 – 1780 lbs/acre Cones — Medium sized and compact. Maturity — Medium Early. Susceptible To — Shows some susceptibility to Downy Mildew. Resistant To — Moderately resistant to Downy Mildew; better resistance to Verticillium wilt than its parent, Hallertauer. Ease of Harvest — Good. Storage — Fair to Good; maintains 55 – 65% of alpha acid after 6 months storage at 68°F. Aroma & Sensory Description: When compared to her three sister varieties, Liberty is said to come the closest to having the same delicate noble aroma found in Hallertauer. Liberty has a mild and clean spiciness with subtle floral notes. You will not find any citrus or fruity American character. Availability: Liberty is available at many online retailers, including here on Amazon Prime. Because it’s such a popular variety among brewers, it’s likely that your local homebrew supply has it in stock. Although, you may want to call ahead to be sure. It is usually available in both whole leaf and pellet form, though the whole leaf may become harder to find as the year drifts further away from the bounty of harvest season. Use: Because of its delicate aromatics, Liberty hops are most often used in aroma additions. Its pedigree makes it particularly suited to the American brewer looking for a hop that will work well in German beer styles. Use it in the last few minutes of the boil to take advantage of its mild, clean, and spicy character in pilsners and lagers where hop subtlety is key. But don’t be afraid to throw it into the brew pot of a Golden or Cream ale; even a Brown can always do with a little refinement. Can Substitute With/For These Hops: Mt. Hood Hallertauer Hallertau Tradition Common Beer Styles Using Liberty Hops: American Wheat European & American Lagers Pilsners Gose Bocks German Kolsch California Common American Amber Ale Brown Ales, Stouts & Porters Commercial Examples: To help you gain a better idea this hop’s aroma and flavor I would recommend you sample as many of these as you can find. This, ummm… “research” will deepen your understanding of how Liberty works in different beer styles and give you a better idea of how to use it in your own homebrewing. Uses Only Liberty: Nine Band Pale Ale from Nine Band Brewing Company (USA) Ridgetop Red from Silver City Brewing Company (USA) First Light from The Brew Foundation (UK) Good Chit Pilsner from Rogue Ales (USA) Seis Hermanos Lager from Australian Brewery (Australia) Uses Liberty With Other Hop Varieties: Winter Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company (USA) — Also uses Northern Brewer (Read our Review). Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing Company (USA) — Also uses Willamette and East Kent Goldings (Read our Review). King Pin from Bridgeport Brewing Company (USA) — Also uses Nugget and Crystal. Bavarian-Style Hefeweizen from Silver City Brewing Company (USA) — Also uses Nugget. Blonde Bombshell from Cascade Lakes Brewing Company (USA) — Also uses Citra. Amber Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing (USA) — Also uses Cascade. Shine On from Milestone Brewery (UK) — Also uses Cascade. Hooked Up Hefeweizen from Pert Aransas Brewing Company (USA) — Also uses Crystal. Promis Gone Aw-Rye IPA from Rogue Ales (USA) — Also uses Centennial and Simcoe. Messiah Brown Ale from Shmaltz Brewing company (USA) — Also uses Warrior and Cascade.