Saaz (or noble hops) hopping schedule

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Mar 3, 2021
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Hi! Short long history. I don't like fruit/citrus beer that much, neither dry hoping process and results. I'm quitting whirpool/flameout additions as well. As they seems to fade quickly and it's difficult to predict bitterness level.

I'm looking for some advice about hopping schedule for Saaz hops. Searching in the internet, I found very conflicting opinions about.

Some says that should be treated like any other hop, with late additions. Others says that longer boil are better. And I'm here, a little confused, looking for advice in homebrew forums. Hehehe
Hey guys, I still need some advice here.

Anyone experienced in use of noble hops? How hop schedule interfere with flavours in this case?
This is recipe I did from the Greg Hughes book
It turned out well
I can’t say if my latest efforts are successful as one was kegged last night, first impressions are good, and the other is still fermenting.

A couple of weekends ago I brewed too smash beers both with Saaz.

A Patersbier with a hop schedule of 35g @ 60 mins and then 25g @ 10 mins.

A Czech Pilsner with a hop schedule of 50g @ 60 mins, 25g @ 10mins, finally 25g whirlpooled.

All with 60 min boil.
I too have had similar thoughts over the years regarding Noble hops and how to give the depth that commercial German or Czech Lagers and beers give.
Yes, listening to the many and varied opinions on the internet can lead to many proverbial "blind alleys" or "Cul-de-sac's" !!
My thoughts are that Noble hops in themselves are very delicate in flavour compared to many other stronger flavoured hops such as American high alpha acid types.

For my Lager or Pseudo-Lager types I tend to use a higher Alpha German hop at the 60 minutes mark, to contribute to the total bitterness at the end. A higher "AA" German hop for example could be something like Magnum at around 10% Alpha acid.
Then through the boil I would start to increase hop additions (with something like Saaz) to the end, i.e. 30 minutes, 15 minutes and 5 minute additions. I have tried one brew with a Zero minute addition and left it in to steep for roughly 30 minutes. The reasoning behind these addition times is to "Layer" flavours.

The final conclusion that I have come to regarding using these noble hops to give flavour, is that making beer only with them as a variable, and try and emulate these continental types is not the full answer.....For me repeated pseudo Lager or Lager brews I expected only Saaz to give more, but it has lead to disappointment (in my experiments).
Closer to the desired outcome in my opinion is to firstly use a yeast which gives correct flavour which matches with noble hops. I have also tried Decoction mashing, which leads to depth and Maltiness you would normally not achieve from single step mashing, but for me is a bit of a pain to do !!

You can also use other Noble types, such as the Hallertauer , or Tettnang types, one of them as an experiment may suit your taste.

Best of luck,
In my experience, noble hop character is much better when used only for bittering additions. I have been less pleased sometimes when noble hops are added late in the boil. Saaz especially, I don't like as a late hop addition. It tastes lemony to me, and I don't like that in a lager or noble hopped beer. Some of my favorite hops include Hallertau and Tettnang. And while I have experimented a lot with late hopping with each of these hops, I now use them only for bittering. It might sound odd, but I swear I still get great flavor from 60-minute hop additions (added at beginning of the boil).
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I wonder if that lemony edge was typically lost through open fermentation and long lagering of the Czech classics, and retained through modern homebrew practices geared to citrusy pales and IPAs, when similar hopping schedules are used.
I’ve just put a Munich Dunkel recipe into brewfather for next week. 24g Saaz Lupomax at the top of the boil and that’s it. For a Helles I’ve found mittlefruh to be the least intrusive aroma addition, something small added late in the boil.