Hop producers around the globe are hearing us shout our love of hops to the heavens and are coming up with new, innovative ways to give us what we want. And what we want is more beautiful aromatic oils and bittering alpha acids found in the hop bud that fills our senses and brings us joy.
The NEIPA has brought about a brewing style that is more dry-hop heavy than any style before it, and with that has brought about the need for efficiency to reduce beer loss (wort absorbed into spent hop material), maintain costs for both the brewery and the consumer, hop and beer production rates, and quality of the finished product. Hops have those beautiful aromatic and bittering compounds found in the hop’s lupulin glands, but they also have a lot of green, vegetal matter that leads to hop burn (astringency) and green/ grassy characters. Striving to maximize their good parts, and minimize those less favourable, scientists have found different ways to isolate those aromatic oils and resins so that brewers can pack as big a hop punch as possible into their brews.
If you haven’t already, you’re sure to start seeing more of these innovative brands show up beer labels;
John I. Haas LUPOMAX®/ Yakima Chief Cryo Hops®/ Hopsteiner Lupulin Pellet®: Designed to encapsulate as high a ratio of hop oil into a hop pellet as possible. Though the exact process to do such by each brand is kept close to their hearts, the general gist of it is that the lupulin glands are separated from the green matter (bract & strig etc.) through excessive cooling. Yakima Chief utilizes liquid nitrogen in order to isolate the lupulin to produce their Cryo Hops. This month’s Beerthusiast includes Good Land’s Something Something Citra Citra which uses Citra LUPOMAX.
John I. Haas INCOGNITO®: Opposed to pellets, this is a liquified version of pure lupulin essential oils and alpha acids that will pour at room temperature and is designed for use in the whirlpool stage of brewing/ for use with heat.
BarthHaas SPECTRUM®: Complimentary to INCOGNITO but for use on the cold side of the brewing process.
HopBurst®: Lupulin essential oils (no alpha acids) in liquid form via “extraction and distillation meothods” (NZhops & TNS) that only requires 2-4 hours contact time with the beer, and for use after fermentation.
Hopzoil®: Another form of pure hop oil, with no bittering qualities, captured via steam-distilling harvest fresh hops. Since this product is pure hop oil, it is to be used without heat addition so all the aromas don’t evaporate off the wort.
Wondering about the brewing process? Check out our articles on it here