|Country:||United States of America (USA)|
|Cultivar/Brand ID:||HBC 394|
|Ownership:||® Hop Breeding Company|
Purchase Citra Hops
This hop can be purchased at Yakima Valley Hops.
Origin and Geneology of the Citra Hop
Citra was developed by the Hop Breeding Company of Yakima, WA and released to the public in 2008.
Gene Probasco, who led the hop breeding program at John I. Haas for 39 years, originally created the plant that would eventually become Citra back in 1990. Gene crossed two unnamed varieties and formed what was known as X-114 or HBC 394 for years. While the two hop varieties directly used to create it were unknown, their parentage included American Tettnanger, Brewer’s Gold, Hallertau Mittelfrüh, East Kent Goldings and an unknown hop variety, most likely an American wild hop.
A single plant was selected by hop farmer Jason Perrault in 1992 and then expanded to a test plot of four plants in 1993. This plot was located in Washington state. The evaluation went so well that by 2003 it was expanded to 21 plants. It would be more than four additional years before the hop would be ready for commercial tests.
US hops begin to be harvested in mid-to-late August for most aroma varieties.
Flavor & Aroma Profile of Citra Hops
Citra is a dual-purpose hop that can be used in all hop additions throughout the brewing process.
The Citra hop is a high alpha acid hop with a strong, yet smooth floral and citrus aroma and flavor. It has specific aroma descriptors that include grapefruit, citrus, peach, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit and lychee. These tropical fruit flavors have made Citra the most popular hop to craft brewers in the world.
Citra adds a smooth bitterness when added to the boil. This is due to Citra having a fairly high alpha acids percentage, while also having enough flavor and aroma to be considered an aroma hop.
Citra overtook Cascade as the most grown hop variety in 2018 and has yet to relinquish that title. Citra has redefined what could be expected out of a hop. It helped push IPAs to the forefront of craft brewing popularity with its extreme citrus flavors.
Read More: The Complete History of the Citra Hop
Brewing Values for Citra Hops
These are the common ranges that we've seen with Citra hops over the years. Each year's crop can yield hops that have slightly different qualities, so these number ranges are based on history.
|Alpha Acid % (AA)|
Alpha acids are the main source of bitterness in beer. Longer boil times will result in isomerization of more alpha acids leading to increased bitterness. Learn more »
|Beta Acid %Beta acids are a component of hop resins responsible for contributing volatile aromatic and flavor properties. Beta acids contribute no bitterness.||3-4.5%3.8% avg|
|Alpha-Beta RatioThe ratio of alpha to beta acids dictates the degree to which bitterness fades during aging. 1:1 ratios are common in aroma varieties.||2:1 - 5:14:1 avg|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI)The HSI indicates the percent of alpha and beta acids lost after 6 months of storage at room temperature (68°F or 20°C). The freshest hops will always be the best.||27% (Good) 0.25-0.281|
|Co-Humulone as % of AlphaLow cohumulone hops may impart a smoother bitterness when added to the boil as opposed to higher ones that add a sharper bitterness to the final beer. Learn more »||20-35%27.5% avg|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)These highly volatile, not very soluble oils are easily boiled off, but add flavor and aroma to the finished beer when added very late in the boil or during fermentation. Learn more »||1.5-3 mL2.3mL avg|
|Total Oil Breakdown:|
|› MyrceneFlavors: resinous, citrus, fruity (β-myrcene)||60-70%65% avg|
|› HumuleneFlavors: woody, noble, spicy (α-caryophyllene)||7-13%10% avg|
|› CaryophylleneFlavors: pepper, woody, herbal (β-caryophyllene)||5-8%6.5% avg.|
|› FarneseneFlavors: fresh, green, floral (β-farnesene)||0-1%0.5% avg|
|› All OthersIncluding β-pinene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||8-28%|
Hop Pairings with Citra Hops
Some hops just taste better together. We recently analyzed  hundreds of the most popular beers to find which hops are commonly paired together. We found that Mosaic, Simcoe, Amarillo, El Dorado, Galaxy, Columbus, Centennial & Chinook hops are commonly used alongside the Citra hop. This is not a complete list, but should give you a good idea of what hops are commonly used together.
Here is the relative frequency of the top 8 hops that are used with Citra:
Beer Styles using Citra Hops
Some popular beer styles that make use of the Citra hop include American Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA & Pale Ales.
Citra is also sometimes featured as a single hop in beers to highlight its unique flavors and aromas. It can be added either as a fresh hop, or via hop pellets. Some popular examples of commercial beers that use 100% Citra hops in their recipes are Three Floyds Zombie Dust, Toppling Goliath Pseudo Sue, Hill Farmstead Citra Single Hop Pale Ale & Verdant Fruit Car Sight Exhibition.
Citra Hop Substitutions
If the Citra hop is hard to find or if you are simply out of it on brew day, you can try to substitute it with a similar hop. The old way of choosing replacement hops was done by experience and "feel". There is nothing wrong with that way. However, we wanted to build a data-driven tool to find your Citra substitutions.
Experienced brewers have chosen the following hop varieties as substitutions of Citra:
Is Citra available in lupulin powder?
Yes! There is a version of the Citra hop in lupulin powder form. Citra lupulin powder is suggested to be used at about half the amount as you'd normally use with pellets. The Cryo/LupuLN2 (Yakima Chief Hops), Lupomax (Haas) and Hopsteiner products are pure concentrated lupulin powder, which add big flavor when used in the whirlpool or dry hop additions.
Citra Hop Statistics
We love statistics. We've analyzed hundreds of IPAs, dug into the Hop Growers of America's annual reports and researched the history behind some of the most popular beer ingredients. Here are a few of the things we've found interesting about the Citra hop:
- Citra was the fastest growing US hop (in terms of production) between 2014 and 2019.
- In 2019, over 12 million pounds of Citra hops were harvested in the United States, second only to CTZ.
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