Next up on the Hop-epedia Project: Simcoe® hops. Known as “Cascade on Steroids”, Simcoe is a dual-purpose variety. Its relatively high alpha acid content means it imparts plenty of bitterness; but its low cohumulone content translates to more of a clean bitterness than high-cohumulone hops. Myrcene constitutes a very high percentage of its essential oil content, which means…oh, hell if I know…but it’s somehow responsible for the aroma. And it has a nice aroma/flavor, which is why all the cool kids these days are using Simcoe.
Generally, one will find that Simcoe imparts a woody/piney and citrusy quality. To a lesser extent, there can also be a certain spiceyness to them at times (much like Cascade). Also, I often pick up the smell of peaches and apricots in Simcoe beers. I thought I was crazy, but after a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum-related Twitter exchange with DrinkBlogRepeat, and after trolling homebrewtalk.com, I discovered that I’m not alone. Mmmm, I love me a ripe peach…
I have also heard you can get passionfruit from Simcoe, but I don’t know what the hell a passion fruit tastes like. And Whole Paycheck isn’t getting them in for another couple weeks. I will report back if I find one; but, in the meantime, they look like this:
Some Simcoe beers:
–Bells HopSlam is dry-hopped to high heaven with Simcoe. I always get a huge, intoxicating peach aroma.
–Sierra Nevada Hoptimum uses Simcoe (in addition to their super-secret proprietary varieties) late in the boil and to dry hop.
–Lagunitas Hop Stoopid – Lagunitas allegedly released their recipe for this, and it includes Simcoe as a late addition and to dry hop.
–Lagunitas Maximus is speculation on my part, but several homebrew clone recipes call for Simcoe in the dry hop.
–Weyerbacher Double Simcoe is solely Simcoe. This one is curious, though. It has a significant malt base with a distinct sweet, caramel flavor, so it is not hugely hop forward for an American IPA. No peaches, but there is definitely citrus, pine, and a tropical fruit character (perhaps this is the elusive passionfruit).
–Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
–Peak Organic Simcoe Spring
–Snake River Brewery Pako’s IPA
–Fat Head’s Head Hunter (I need to get my hands on this)
–Firetstone Walker Union Jack bitters and dry hops with Simcoe (amongst other hops).
–Firestone Walker Double Jack dry hops with Simcoe (amongst other hops).
Specs from USA Hops variety manual
Simcoe® (YCR 14 cv.) is a bittering/aroma variety bred by Yakima Chief Ranches and released in 2000. It is used for its bittering properties and aroma qualities that impart a unique, pine-like aroma. It is very popular in American style Ales.
Yield (kilos per hectare) 1,905 – 2,240
Yield (lbs per acre) 1,700 – 2,000
Alpha Acids 12 – 14%
Beta Acids 4.0 – 5%
Cohumulone (% of alpha acids) 15 – 20%
Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) 2.0 – 2.5
Myrcene (as % of total oils) 60 – 65%
Caryophyllene (as % of total oils) 5.0 – 8%
Humulene (as % of total oils) 10 – 15%
Farnesene (as % of total oils) 0.0%
Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months storage at 20° C) Good
Possible Substitutions: Summit, Magnum