Nick Carr on November 5, 2016 1 Comment History of Magnum Hops Just a year or two ago, Hallertauer Magnum was the main bittering hop grown in Germany. According to the 2015 Northern Hemisphere Hop Report (PDF) the Herkules variety has taken over the top spot, but Magnum still enjoys the second place spot and continues to be popular around the world. Its consistent popularity stems from a relatively high alpha acid content which includes (PDF) high amounts of humulone, but comparatively low cohumulone. Click Here to Buy Magnum Hops This combination is thought to create a less harsh, more pleasant bitterness, with little to none of the “grassiness” present in many other high alpha varieties. Combine this property with a rather non-descript aroma due to the overall combination of oils and you have one of the finest “clean” bittering hops around. Magnum was bred at the Hops Research Institute of Hüll, Germany; a city right smack dab in the middle of the renowned Hallertau hop growing region. Its pedigree is made up of a combination of Galena (a U.S. super-alpha variety) and a male German variety with only the number designation 75/5/3. The Magnum breeding program was started in 1980 and culminated in its release to commercial markets in 1993. Today, Magnum hops are grown in a number of countries beside Germany, including Poland, America, and France. In the U.S., it is limited to minimal plantings in the Pacific Northwest. Those grown in Germany are often called Hallertauer Magnum, indicating the region of origin. A slight change in character, due to environmental factors or terrior, might be expected depending on where the hop is grown. But this difference will be minimal and almost impossible to distinguish. How to Grow & Brew Magnum Hops If you plan on growing this variety in your backyard, we would suggest a few recommendations to help you get started. Before you choose any hop variety, it is always a good idea to talk to other local growers or possibly someone at your local homebrew supply store. They may be able to point you toward certain varieties that will do well in your backyard. Acid Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 11-16% Beta Acid: 5-8% Co-Humulone: 21-29% Co-Lubulone: 38-48% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 1.6-2.6mL / 100g Myrcene Oil: 30-45% (of total) Humulene Oil: 30-45% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 8-13% (of total) Franesene Oil: < 1% (of total) B-Pinene Oil: 0.4-0.8% (of total) Linalool Oil: 0.2-0.7% (of total) Geraniol Oil: 0.3-0.6% (of total) Unlike other varieties, such as Amarillo, Magnum hops are not under patent and there are absolutely no restrictions when it comes to privately growing it on your own. Magnum hop rhizomes are available from several online retailers. General Characteristics: Climate — Grows well in most climates; but best in warm, dry, sunny regions. Growth Rate — Moderate growth rate; Medium dark green leaf color. Yield — Low to Low-moderate; average 1800 lbs. per acre. Cones — Medium-dense large cones. Maturity — Medium-late to late. Susceptible to — Powdery Mildew. Resistant to — Verticillium Wilt, Downy Mildew. Ease of Harvest — Fair; the very large cones tend to break apart during picking. Storage — Excellent stability. Maintains 80% to 85% of alpha acid content after 6 months storage at 68°. Sensory Description: Magnum has few distinct characteristics when it comes to aroma and only mild flavor qualities. Generally, these qualities are characterized as faint or weak, but in line with some noble hops. It may have hints of spice and citrus with some inclination toward mild flowery and/or fruity flavors. Bitterness is balanced with medium intensity and a hoppy tang. Use: The Magnum hop variety is most often used for its neutral bittering properties, which allows it to combine well with most other hop varieties. It is not often used for later hop additions because it offers an aroma similar to Saaz and other noble hops, but at a much reduced level. This resemblance to noble hops, its clean bitterness, and higher alpha acid content make it a cheaper alternative to bittering with the more expensive “true” nobles. To this end, you can save your nobles for the delicate work of flavor and aroma, and use Magnum for the early additions. Can Substitute With/For These Hops: These are general substitutions and are not perfect German Magnum clones in any respect. Each hop variety is unique in some way, so do not expect the exact same beer you’d get by substituting Magnum hops. Obviously, this goes the other direction too, using Magnum as a sub for the below listed hops. Columbus Nugget Horizon Northern Brewer Common Beer Styles Using German Magnum Hops: Magnum has a clean bitterness that can find a place in just about any style of beer. Some of the more common styles are listed below. Pale Ales & IPAs American Brown American Amber Blonde Ales German Pilsner American Lagers Czech Lagers Stouts Commercial Examples: To help you gain a better idea of what this hop variety smells and tastes like, I would recommend you sample as many of these as you can find. This, ummm… research will broaden your understanding of how Magnum works in different types or styles of beer, give you a better idea of what to expect, as well as how to best use it within your own recipes. Uses Only Magnum Hops: Single Hop Series Magnum from Hermitage Brewing Company Coffee Milk Stout from Stone Brewing Company Combines Magnum With Other Varieties: Torpedo IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company — Uses Magnum hops for both bittering and finishing; Also uses Crystal and Citra for finishing. Paulaner Premium Pils from Paulaner Brauerei — Uses Hallertau Magnum for bittering; Hallertau Tradition and Hallertau Spalter Select for aroma. Hurricane Amber from Newport Storm Brewing Company — Also uses Tettenang. In fact, many of their other beers combines Magnum with other varieties. Outlier from 12Degree Brewing Company — Also uses Styrian Golding; Dry-hopped with U.S. Cascade. Dick’s Danger Ale from Dick’s Brewing Company — Also uses Mt. Hood. Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest from Boulevard Brewing Company — Also uses Vanguard. Wild Hen from HopperBraü — Bittered with Magnum; dry-hopped with U.S. Citrus and Amarillo. Eye Patch Ale from Monday Night Brewing Company — Also uses Columbus and Cascade. Umbrella from Pelican Brewing Company — Also uses Ella hops. Additionally, many of their other beers include magnum hops. Ulrichsbier from Berg Brauerei — Also uses Tettnanger Perle. Pop Gun Pilsner from Speakeasy Brewing Company — Also uses Hallertau and Saphir. Pith N’ Peel from Greenport Harbor Brewing Company — Also uses Centennial hops. Weisse Versa Wheat from Karbach Brewing Company — Also uses Hallertau-Mittelfreuh.