Hallertau Mittlefrüh

Alpha Acids

3.5 - 5.5


Hallertau Mittlefrüh or Hallertau Mittlefrueh is also written Hallertau m.f., as the verbose and redundant Hallertau Hallertauer Mittelfrüher, or some combination of the above. This tradional aroma-hop is prized for its exceptionally smooth bitterness, pleasant hoppy aroma, and slight spiciness. Hallertau is a classic German Noble Hop.

Hallertau m.f. has extremely high concentrations of an essential oil called humulene. Humulene and its oxidation products are responsible for clean "hoppy" aroma. As a result, Hallertau has essentially no detectable amount of the less-tradional hop aromas produced from the other hop essential oils.

Possible Substitutes

Several hop cultivars are currently grown in Hallertau as agricultural substitutes for Hallertau Mittlefrüh – these cultivars may or may not be brewing substitutes. However, some have similar character and they are frequently named after the region. Hallertau Hersbrucker is a similar variety possibly with less spiciness and more earthiness than Mittlefrueh. Perle is a hybrid between Hallertau m.f. and Northern Brewer. Perle has some Noble Hop charater and similar spiciness with considerably higher alpha-acids, but it is debatable if it is a true one-to-one substitute. Hallertau Gold and Hallertau Tradition are both considered acceptable substitutes for Mittlefrüh, although with less cachet.

Tettenanger is a tradional Noble Hop cultivar with very similar character to Hallertau. The other two Noble Hops, Saaz and Spalt, are also mild and pleasantly hoppy. However, Saaz and Spalt are both known for a prominent farnesene-character.

Liberty, Crystal, Ultra, and Mt. Hood are all American-grown hops descended from Hallertau m.f. They generally combine improved disease resistance and yeild with aroma characteristics similar to Noble Hops. These American hops are often put to similar use in delicately hopped lagers.

Beer Styles

Munich Helles, Bavarian Pilsner, Kolsch, German wheat beers, Dortmunder Export, any lagers. Any style where extremely restrained hop character is the goal.

Chemical Composition

Alpha Acids: 3.5 - 5.5 %
Beta Acids: 3.5 - 5.5 %
Alpha:Beta Ratio: 1
Cohumulone: 18 - 28 (% alpha-acids)
Essential Oils: 0.7 - 1.3 (mL/100g)
Myrcene: 20 - 28 (% essential oils)
Caryophyllene: 10 - 15 (% essential oils)
Humulene: 45 - 55 (% essential oils)
Farnesene: 0 - 1 (% essential oils)

Chemical composition values from [1].

Origin and Genetics

Hallertau Mittlefrüh is a very old landrace variety from the hop-producing Hallertau region in Bavaria. In the past Bavaria was an independent kingdom, but today Bavaria is a German state in the far southeast of the country. Bavaria shares borders with Austria and the Czech Republic to the east and Munich is the state capital.

Hallertau has been an important hop producing area since the 9th century AD, and it is one of the oldest known locations where hops were cultivated for use in brewing. Hallertau Mittlefrüh may be closely related to the earliest cultivated hops. Unfortunately, this variety has poor disease resistance, and production was decimated in the 1970's by outbreaks of Verticillium wilt. Growers in Hallertau steadily switched to growing hardier cultivars with similar properties. True Hallertau Mittlefrüh now accounts for a very small portion of all Hallertau-grown hops. Hallertau Hersbrucker is one of the most popular alternatives to Hallertau Mittlefrüh along with Perle, Hallertauer Gold, and more recently Hallertauer Tradition.


  1. ^ Simply Hops. http://www.simplyhops.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-09.