Nick Carr on October 27, 2017 1 Comment History of Pacific Jade Hops The release of the Nelson Sauvin variety back in 2000 may have been one of the catalysts that turned the world’s brewing eye on the Southern Hemisphere, but New Zealand’s hop program certainly wasn’t a one trick pony. Other exciting varieties soon followed. One of the most popular hops was Pacific Jade™, also known as HORT1524. Pacific Jade is a triploid hop and was released to the public in 2004 from the New Zealand Hop Research Programme by the Hort Research Centre in Riwaka. Triploid means that it is a sterile and, thus, seedless hop. This allows the male plants to be grown alongside the female plants (instead of being removed), a practice which is thought to boost cone production, increasing yield. Along with creating root rot resistant varieties in the 1940s, producing seedless hops is one major achievement of the New Zealand breeding program. The problem of creating seedless varieties was cracked in the 1970s when Dr. Roborgh, the head of research at the time, crossed diploid female plants with teraploid male plants. There are a few traditional and New World varieties still grown in New Zealand, but it is the triploid varieties, including Pacific Jade, that have built New Zealand’s standing in the brewing world as a producer of “hops with a difference.” Pacific Jade’s pedigree is a cross between a First Choice female and an old line Saazer male. First Choice is a relative to the Late Cluster variety. It had some commercial success from the ’20s to the ’80s, but it is no longer grown for commercial use, possibly due to its low alpha acid content. Pacific Jade is a good bittering hop at 12 to 14 percent alpha acid, but with relatively low co-humulone levels that bittering isn’t as harsh or “edgy” as some other varieties with the same alpha acid content. Instead, its bitterness is considered rounded and soft. Add a good balance of oils to the mix, and you have a hop that has something unique to offer in the realms of aroma and flavor also. How to Brew Beer With Pacific Jade Like many other new varieties Pacific Jade hops are protected. It is held under New Zealand national plant variety rights. Thus, Pacific Jade rhizomes are not available to the home grower. So, unfortunately, you’ll have to buy your Pacific Jade hop processed and ready to brew with, at least until the protection runs out, which could be up to 30 years from registration. It’s been 13 years since its release, so it looks like we’re in for a bit of a wait, I’m afraid. Acid Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 12 – 14% Beta Acid: 7 – 8% Co-Humulone: 24% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 1.4 mL/100g Myrcene Oil: 33.3% (of total) Humulene Oil: 32.9% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 10.2% (of total) Franesene Oil: 0.3% (of total) B-Pinene Oil: ? Linalool Oil: 0.7% (of total) Geraniol Oil: 0% (of total) If you plan on growing hops in your backyard, we would make a few recommendations to help you in your endeavors. Before you choose the variety you want to grow, it is 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 varieties that grow well in your area. General Characteristics: Growth Rate — Vigorous. Yield — Moderate (1800-2100kg/hectare). Cones — Long and dense. Maturity — Mid to late season. Susceptible/Resistant To — There are no hop diseases in New Zealand; resistant to root rot, but unknown how it would fair in the face of other diseases. Ease of Harvest — Good. Storage — Good. Sensory Description: Pacific Jade is most often associated with the bold and complex spicy aromatic bite of cracked black pepper, fresh citrus, and an underlying herbal note. It is often compared to Saaz. The low co-humulone content in Pacific Jade creates a bitterness that is often described as rounded and soft. Availability: If your local homebrew shop doesn’t have these, which they may not as Pacific Jade is a lesser known imported hop, the bigger online homebrew supply stores certainly will. (Here’s a list to all that are currently available on Amazon.) I have only seen these variety sold in pellet form, at least in the U.S. They may be available as whole cones to New Zealand homebrewers. Use: Pacific Jade has wonderful versatility. It is considered a “high-alpha” dual purpose hop. With its alpha acid content ranging from 12% to 14% it can easily be used early in the boil to create a soft bitterness, reminiscent of other noble varieties. The balancing nature of its oil content also allows it to work magic later in the boil, bringing the herbal aroma and flavor of pepper and lemon citrus. Can Substitute With/For These Hops: There are no truly good substitutes for Pacific Jade. Pacific Gem – This variety may be a close substitute, but with higher co-humulone the bitterness won’t be as soft. A combination of Magnum for bittering and Saaz for aroma/flavor might also work as a substitute. Common Beer Styles Using Pacific Jade Hops: Lagers & Pilsners American Pale Ale Strong Ale Belgian IPA Extra Special Bitter (ESB) Porters & Stouts Brown & Amber Ales Barley Wine 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 Pacific Jade works in different beer styles and give you a better idea of how to use it in your own homebrewing. If you know of other commercial examples that make use of Pacific Jade send us a comment, so that the knowledge can be shared. Uses Only Pacific Jade: Jade IPA from Lawson’s Finest liquids Jade Pale Ale from 18th Street Brewery Uses Pacific Jade With Other Hop Varieties: Hayride from Baxter Brewing Company — Also uses Pacifica. (And featured in our Autumn beer list) Kiwi Double IPA from Lawson’s Finest Liquids — Also uses Nelson Sauvin. Hop Vice From Drakes Brewing Company — Also uses Amarillo, Hallertau Blanc, Idaho #7, Jarrylo, Cascade, Kobatu, and Chinook. Old Barn Saison from Fernie Brewing Company — Also uses Warrior and Willamette. Snowblind Belgian IPA from Fernie Brewing company — Also uses Warrior and Galaxy. BBC Pacific Pale Ale from Birkenhead Brewing Company — Also uses Kohatu, Pacifica, and US Chinook. 02|01 from Brew By Numbers — Also uses Motueka. Pacific Jade & Simcoe from Almasty Brewery — Also uses Simcoe (if you hadn’t guessed). Spring Ale from Allendale Brewery — Also uses Summit Sorachi Ace, Mosaic, Saaz, Target.