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Jester Hops


Grandmaster Brewer
Dec 18, 2013
Reaction score
Wiltshire, UK
I've ordered some Jester hops, a new and very different English Variety available to home brewers for the first time.  This is what I've read about them:

Flavour Intensity: 8/10 :  An intense, punchy aroma with flavour notes of Grapefruit and tropical fruits. Complex bitterness with fruity and herbal flavours.

Alpha acid: 7-9%  Beta acid 4-6%  Co-Humulone 23-28%  Total Oils 0.6-1.2ml/100g  Myrcene 45-50%  Humulene 2% Farnesene 0.1-0.2%

It sounds astonishing. I was thinking of doing something like this for a 23L batch:

4.6 Kg Maris Otter
300g Munich Malt
100g Aromatic Malt

25g Challenger - Boil 60 mins
50g Jester - Boil 15 mins

WLP 023 Burton Ale Yeast

Jester is expensive at the moment and Challenger gives a smooth, rounded bitterness that blends well with any late addition hop. This recipe will allow me to see what it tastes like.
Roadrocket said:
An intense, punchy aroma with flavour notes of Grapefruit and tropical fruits. Complex bitterness with fruity and herbal flavours.

Easy, man! You'll get yourself deported to America with those flavo(u)rs.  :D :p

But, I really like that malt bill. Very toasty.
They were delivered this morning and they are amazing. They smell more NZ than US. They have an intense, fresh, citrusy, tropical fruit aroma which is totally unlike any British hop I've ever known. To me the aroma is similar to Riwaka but possibly a bit spicier. If they taste as good as they smell they'll have to beat the breweries off with a shitty stick.

They were named Jester because people thought the developer was joking when he told them it was a British Hop. Now I understand why. Wow!
Well, you know what you like, thats for sure. Perhaps you could sell them by the pound,  from England. It will be the genesis of a great new beer.
I finally got round to brewing a couple of weeks ago and I spent a large part of this morning bottling. I had some Northern Brewer and Crystal I wanted to use up so this was the final recipe:

5kg Crisp Maris Otter
.25kg Fawcett Light Crystal
.20kg Dingemans Aromatic Malt
20g Northern Brewer (German) boil 60 minute
15g Jester boil 60 minute
25g Jester boil 10 mins
10g Jester at flameout
WLP002 English Ale Yeast

The aim was to brew a good, easy drinking session beer with lots of flavour. One that you can sit and drink all evening.

The result is excellent with strong flavours of soft tropical fruits with a touch of grapefruit. It's also quite herbal. The Jester is a lot punchier than I expected. It's far removed from being a typical English hop. However, it still has a sort of Englishness to it which I can't explain. I like it a lot. I can't wait to try it with a good hot curry (I make a good pork vindaloo, even though I say so myself).

The WLP002 finished in 5 days and dropped like a brick. 3 days later it was perfectly clear. It'll taste better once it's carbonated and mellowed out over the next couple of weeks. The small amount of Northern Brewer, a great hop, has added a good bitterness.

I've got enough Jester left to brew a few more batches. The next one I'll use Challenger instead of NB and Vienna or Light Munich instead of the Crystal. I may use WLP005 to make it slightly drier.

Jester, which is grown in Worcestershire, is the first of several British hops being developed to take the craft beer world head on. I've read that the next one if successful, is truly unique and will astonish us all.