Long known as a hop “made for lagers”, Saaz has become much more than just a lager hop in recent years as we have unlocked the possibilities within its oils containing 2 polyfunctional thiols.
Today, Saaz is used in multiple different areas of the brewing process to contribute Passion Fruit, Grapefruit, and Lemon thyme characteristics to a variety of beers. 3MH is the primary Thiol produced by Saaz. Data shows that 3MH is at its highest when there is no dry hopping, although the difference is only around 5%; so you can dry hop, but it’s recommended to dry hop below 1lb/bbl. When mash hopping is around 2lbs/bbl, it will increase 3MH, giving you the desired fruity flavors in your final brew. Mash hopping will typically only contribute around 30% of the bitterness that a 60 min addition would of an equal amount of hops. So over hopping and making a bitter bomb is a low risk, unless you want to Bill Nye your beer.
CZ Saaz is limited this year across the US due to supply issues. But luckily growers have been growing Saaz in the US for quite some time now. If you’re looking for affordable thiols to go into your beer and replace the EU Saaz that brewers have been relying on for years, 3MH is still very much available inside of our US Saaz.
Cheers to continuing to make great beer!