Nick Carr on May 29, 2020 0 Comments Hop growing in France has been going on for many centuries. Some of the first evidence of hops being used specifically in brewing come from Northern France and date back to 822. Small scale cultivation goes back a long way, but commercial farming started in Alsace, the main hop growing region, in the early 1800s. Strisselspalt is the main cultivar of the Alsace region and made its first appearance in 1885. It’s a landrace variety, meaning it was open-pollinated and over time has become extremely well-adapted to that particular region. Though Strisselspalt’s origin isn’t completely clear, it’s thought to be related to German Splater and/or Hersburcker Spät. It was once heavily featured in Anheuser-Busch beer, but the macro brewery has moved almost completely away from its use in the last decade. Its acreage has slowly dwindled due to low yields and high alpha acid aroma hops taking its place. However, it continues to have the most acreage and the largest harvest of any variety grown in France, thanks in large part to its dedicated French fan base. How To Brew With Strisselspalt Hops If you plan on growing hops in your backyard, here are a few recommendations to help you in your endeavors. Before you choose the variety you want to grow, it’s 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. The Strisselspalt variety is a landrace variety which means it is not protected. Plants and rhizomes should be available for purchase by those wanting to grow Strisselspalt as part of a home garden. However, it isn’t very disease resistant and this, coupled with the fact that it’s a European variety, makes rhizomes and plants almost impossible to find in the U.S. You may have better luck substituting with Mt. Hood or Crystal for planting and resigning yourself to buying Strisselspalt when you really want the real thing. General Characteristics Origin- France Year Released- N/A Growth Rate– Fair to High Yield– Moderate; 1,500 – 2,000 Cones– Medium; moderately compact Maturity– Late Susceptible to– Downy and Powdery Mildew Resistant to– Tolerant to Wilt Diseases Ease of Harvest– Moderate Storage– Good; Retains 60% to 70% alpha acid content after 6 months of being stored at 68oF Patented or Public- Public Acid Composition Breakdown Note: Hop oil composition will vary between harvest years and where the hop was grown. The numbers below are meant to be an average only. Alpha Acid: 1.8 – 2.5% Beta Acid: 4 – 4.7% Co-Humulone: 20 – 23% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 0.6 – 0.8 ml/100g Myrcene Oil (% of total): 35 – 52% Humulene Oil (% of total: 12.5 – 21% Caryophyllene Oil (% of total): 2.06% Franesene Oil (% of total): <1% B-Pinene Oil (% of total): information not available Linalool Oil (% of total): 0.8% Geraniol Oil (% of total): Information not available Aroma & Sensory Description Strisselspalt is known for its subtle, delicate, yet very pleasing profile of earthy herbs, citrus, and floral elements. The herbal/earthy qualities have been described as hoppy and tobacco-like, while the notable citrus can come through as anything from grapefruit to lemongrass. It may also have whispers of Cassis or Eucalyptus. Availability Though its acreage is slowly dwindling in its native France, Strisselspalt hops can still be purchased with relative ease by homebrewers. They are exclusively available in pellet form within the U.S. This is due to Strisselspalt being a European variety and pellets ability to stay oxidized less quickly than cones. Strisselspalt may also be sold as Strisselspalter, Alsace, or Alsace Strisselspalt. Some sites also list the names Elsaesser, Tardif de Bourgogne, or Precoce de Bourgogne as possible names, but though similar and likely related, according to filings at the USDA, they are not the same variety. Use Strisselspalt’s low AA content, 1.8 to 2.5%, lends itself as an aroma hop. It’s rarely used early in the boil, though it’s possible in styles that don’t necessarily require “showy bitterness” (some lagers, Saisons, etc). It’s most often sought after for its finishing aroma qualities and it’s these elements of spice, herb and citrus that are so well showcased when it’s used in the last minutes of the boil or dry-hopped. Can Substitute With/For These Hops Hersbrucker Mt. Hood Crystal Common Beer Styles Using First Gold Hops Bière De Garde Lagers Pilsners Belgian Ales Saison Goldens Blondes Wheats Amber Ales Commercial Examples To help you gain a better idea of this hop’s aroma and flavor I would recommend you sample as many of these as you can find. This research will deepen your understanding of how Strisselspalt works in different beer styles and give you a better idea of how to use it in your own homebrewing. Uses Only First Gold Kronenbourg 1664 from Brasseries Kronenbourg (France) (read our review) Biére de Garde from Sugar Creek Brewing Company (USA) Uses Strisselspalt With Other Hop Varieties Nooner Pilsner from Sierra Nevada (USA)- Also uses Perle, Saphir, and Tettnanger (see our review) Holiday Ale from Two Roads Brewing Company (USA) Powder Pils from Heavy Seas Brewing Company (USA)- Also uses Tettnanger, Saaz, and Hallertau Mittlelfruh Stammtisch from Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (USA)- Also uses Hallertau Merkur, Hallertau Mittelfruh, and Hallertau Hersbrucker Signal De Botrange from Elevation Brewing Company (USA)- Also uses Northern Brewer Borgne Bio Blonde from Brasserie de l’Abbaye de Brogne (Belgium)- Also uses Aramis and Triskel Cuvee des Jonquilles from Brasserie au Baron (France)- Also uses Brewers Gold and Hallertau Mittelfruh Lager from Gallia Brewing Company (France)- Also uses Tettnanger Scurry from Off Color Brewing Company (USA)- Also uses Northern Brewer and Hallertau Hersbrucker Happy Brewing!