Brewing Substitutes: Hops to Use When You Run Out of Citra


Citra is the king of citrusy hops, and this makes it one of the most sought after beer hops. There might be times you won’t be able to get your hands on them, and there might be times you want to change things up a bit but still use citrusy hops.

1. Galaxy

Galaxy is often touted as the Citra of Australia. Like Citra, Galaxy is the most popular and most successful beer hop in Australia. It doesn’t reach the Citra’s level of citrusy flavors, but it comes close. Galaxy hops produce purely fruity and citrusy flavors and aromas. Passion fruit and peach stand out the most, but there is a bit of pineapple and tropical fruits in the mix. Galaxy is a multipurpose hop that works well in bittering, flavoring, aromatics, as well as in conjunction with another hop. It is also one of the few foreign hops with wide circulations, making it readily available in stores or online.

2. Motueka

If you like Citra’s lime flavors, you’ll love Motueka. This New Zealand hop bursts with citrusy flavors of lime, lemon zest, and tropical fruits. The distinct lime flavor of Motueka brews is often compared to that of mojitos. Motueka is a multipurpose hop, but you might want to use a separate hop for flavoring. Motueka isn’t as widely produced as Galaxy and may be hard to find. Motueka blends well with Simcoe if you want a more mature brew and with Centennial if you want more citrusy flavors.

3. Amarillo

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Citrusy hops are flourishing in the USA, and Amarillo is another popular citrusy hop. It contains a bit of floral and spice tones, but strong orange and lemon tones dominate its flavor profile. Amarillo brews have intense grapefruit aromas mixed with a hint of orange notes. Brewing with Amarillo may make your beer a little on the sweet side, but you can temper the sweetness by blending a little Simcoe or Nugget to the mix.

4. Centennial

Centennial is one of the earliest American hops that can genuinely be considered citrusy. Like Citra, Centennial has a bit of grapefruit in both its flavors and aroma. Centennial brews have a strong but crisp bitterness that highlights its grapefruit flavors and its underlying floral and other citrusy notes. Centennial is a multipurpose hop, and it is widely used for bittering.

5. Sorachi Ace

Japan’s Sorachi Ace is getting quite a bit of buzz for its overwhelmingly lemony flavors. Flavors of lemon peel, lemon curd, and even lemongrass will dominate your brew’s flavors and aroma. Sorachi Ace also produces a bit of spice, tea and mint flavors with subtler notes of cedar and oak. Sorachi Ace is a multipurpose hop that produces clean bitterness if used as a bittering agent.

In the end, citrusy brews have become quite popular in the USA, as well as across the globe. Citra might be the king of citrusy hops, but remember that exploring other hops can widen the range of your breweries citrusy beers.

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