Getting to Know Premiant Hops and their Flavour Profile

Explore the world of Premiant hops, a unique hop variety known for its balanced bitterness and subtle aroma. Dive deep into its flavour profile, characteristics, and best uses in brewing.

BREWING INGREDIENTS

Mat Stuckey

9/2/20232 min read

Getting to Know Premiant Hops and their Flavour Profile

If you enjoy brewing Belgian, Czech and German style lagers and ales, you've likely encountered the hop variety known as Premiant. This prized hop serves as an ideal neutral bittering agent that provides clean, smooth bitterness highly suited for Pilsner and pale continental styles.

Keep reading to learn all about Premiant hops - their background, characteristics, best uses, and how brewers employ them to craft traditional European beer recipes. Understanding this versatile bittering hop will help you formulate complex yet balanced lagers and ales.

Premiant Hop Overview and Background

Premiant hops were first released in 1996, bred as a descendant of the classic Northern Brewer hop in the Czech Republic. Some key traits:

  • Dual purpose bittering and aroma hop

  • Provides clean, smooth bitterness without flavour of own

  • Imparts mild spicy, herbal notes in later additions

  • Low cohumulone content makes bitterness smooth

  • Similar profile to other continental hops like Saaz, Tettnanger, Hallertau

Brewer preferences:

  • Favoured for Belgian, Czech, German style beers

  • Widely used for bittering Pilsners and pale lagers

  • Provides neutral canvas for specialty aroma hops

Premiant delivers an ideal bittering base for delicate European styles.

Premiant Hop Characteristics and Alpha Acids

Specifications:

  • Alpha acids: 8-12.5%

  • Beta acids: 4.5-8%

  • Cohumulone: 22-23% of alpha acids

  • Total oils: 1.1-1.8 mL/100g

Aroma characteristics:

  • Clean, smooth bitterness

  • Mild herbal, spicy notes

  • Neutral profile allows specialty hops to shine

How Brewers Utilise Premiant Hops

Brewers value Premiant for:

  • Bittering agent without flavour dominance

  • Low cohumulone provides smooth bitterness

  • Imparts enough character for single-hop beers

  • Augments more aromatic hops when blended

  • Ideal for delicate lagers and Belgian styles

Premiant shines when used for:

  • Primary kettle bittering addition

  • Bittering in Pilsners, pale lagers, Belgian ales

  • Blending with Saaz, Tettnanger, other continental hops

  • Any beer where clean, neutral bitterness is desired

Premiant Hop Substitutes

Similar hops include:

  • Czech Saaz - More spicy/earthy than Premiant

  • German Hallertauer - Slight more herbal than Premiant

  • Sterling - Comparable clean bitterness, less spicy

  • Liberty - Clean bittering but higher alpha acids

  • Crystal - Clean bittering but some spicy/floral

Consider these strategies:

  • Sub with Saaz/Hallertauer for an extra spice/herbal edge

  • Swap for Sterling to maintain a neutral bitterness

  • Increase Crystal amounts to compensate for lower alphas

  • Adjust boil times for other subs with higher alpha acids

Get close with hops offering clean, smooth bitterness profiles.

Using Premiant Hops for Classic Beer Styles

Where Premiant shines:

  • Czech Premium Pale Lager - First wort hopping delivers clean foundation

  • German Pilsner - Bittering balance allows noble hops to accent

  • Belgian Blonde Ale - Smooth canvas to layer pear, citrus, pepper

  • Biere de Garde - Provides clean balance to rich, malt-forward ale

  • Maibock/Helles Bock - Ideal neutral bittering support

Tips for brewing with Premiant:

  • Limit to early kettle additions for bitterness only

  • Pair with continental hops like Saaz, Spalt, Tettnanger

  • Add subtle herbal complexity with small late boil charges

  • Adjust quantities based on brewing goals and system

Exploring Premiant Hops in Your Homebrew

Next time you brew a Bohemian Pilsner, Helles Lager, or Belgian Strong Ale, consider featuring Premiant hops for clean, smooth bitterness. Their neutrality provides an ideal foundation to layer dynamic aroma hops.

Try using Premiant as the sole bittering charge in a Belgian Single or German Koelsch to appreciate its delicate herbal character. For an added twist, blend Premiant with your favourite floral, fruity hops.

Understanding this prized, prize-winning hop will help craft your best lagers and ales yet. Get familiar with versatile Premiant hops today! Want more homebrewing tips and insights? Check out the Brewpedia blog!