If there is a hop that’s rarely talked about it would be Bramling Cross. This hop was first bred in 1927 by crossing Golden hops with a Manitoban wild male hop. Reason why we don’t hear about hops like this is because England is the only place that allows hops from the male plant to be used. (Except in Hampshire)

Commercial hops used to flavor beer grow on the female plants because they don’t have seeds. So if you ever see seeds in your hops, you more than likely will have English hops.

All in all, these are actually pretty pleasant hops that will give your beer a mild currant or berry-like flavor.

If you store them at 68 F they will maintain up to 70% of their alpha acids for up to 6 months.

Here’s what you need to know about these hops:

Bramling Cross (UK) Hops Alpha Acid %

5 – 7 %

Bramling Cross (UK) Hops Beta Acid %

2.3 – 3.2 %

Bramling Cross (UK) Hops Oil Content

0.7 – 1.0 %

Bramling Cross (UK) Hops Cohumulone

34%

Some of the beer styles where you’ll see these hops being used are ESB, Bitter, and pale ales. It’s no surprise that you will see them mostly on English style beers, but they actually have an American-like aroma.

It can be a good hop variety to use for a Christmas ale or other beer where you want to give it a blackcurrant like flavor through dry hopping or late additions.

Some possible substitutes would be U.K. Kent Goldings, U.K. Progress, and Whitbread Golding Variety. In fact the Bramling hop was supposed to replace Goldings, but Goldings has better aroma.

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    2 replies to "Bramling Cross (UK) Hops"

    • Les

      Some misunderstanding here. Male plants produce pollen and females produce seeds!!! Male plants do not produce cones but star-like clusters of small flowers. Generally beers use hop cones from unfertilized females (no seeds) because they contain higher levels of alpha acids than fertilized cones (seeds). Females are reproduced vegetatively, not from seeds but from splitting the rhizomes.

      Male hops are generally rooted out if they appear, as growers do not want the hops fertilized. However, female plants may develop male flowers under stress conditions and have the appearance of both male flowers and female cones, not a problem as it is generally too late for fertilization.. In some parts of Europe male plants were/are “illegal” and a bounty was paid if they were found and uprooted.

      It is argued that the fats present in the fertilized cones inhibit flocculation and head retention, perhaps more of an issue in US beers and continental lagers that British styles.

      It is true that it is common in British hop fields to have a few male plants and thus British hops are likely to be fertilized. The reason dates back to 1904 when it was decided to grow males in the fields because fertilization reduced the effects of powdery mildew, which is more common in the UK than elsewhere.

      • Jorge

        Cool! Thanks for that clarification…

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