Measurable Hop Quality Parameters and How They Relate to Impact in Beer

July 17, 2019
When: Wednesday
Date: 4 September 2019
Time: 11:45am
Room: Bintani Room РBrewery

Each hop cultivar has an underlying chemistry that defines its flavour (or aroma) potential in beer. Grown under different conditions, or in different regions, that potential may be expressed a little differently. Further, there are factors in the hop production system that may modulate the flavour potential of a particular cultivar. In this presentation we will demonstrate how hop breeding, selection, and biology interact with the framework of commercial scale production to produce a cultivar with characteristic brewing performance. Factors such as horticulture, acreage, picking and kilning capacity, interact with the biologically determined maturation profiles to determine how closely a commercially produced cultivar matches genetically determined potential of a particular hop genotype.

Modern gas chromatographic and mass spectral techniques (such as multidimensional gas chromatography and chiral separation) are essential for the task of delineating the precise nature of hop flavour chemistry in beer, and the precursors in hops. Despite this, it is still possible for brewers and hop producers to effectively use readily available parameters to understand the quality of their hops batch for batch, or year for year. We will refer to industry standard analytical methods (for example: moisture content, alpha acid content, alpha acid to beta acid ratio, hop storage index and oil content), reference current peer reviewed material and constructively add to recent hop topics presented by the IBA and HPA. Brewers should walk away with increased understanding of the hop farming context, plus relevant information to better aid brewery practices as it relates to assessment and utilisation of hops.