Craft brewers are increasingly embracing advanced hop products such as lupulin powder, as more efficient use of ingredients becomes a necessity for their businesses, according to YCH Hops chief operating officer Steve Carpenter.
Carpenter told Radio Brews News that many craft brewers have begun to reconsider their views that using hop resin and lupulin powder puts them on a par with big brewers’ widespread use of tetra hops in industrial lagers.
“There’s kind of a stigma that goes with that – you know a lot of them say, ‘oh that’s corporate beer’,” he said.
“I think we’re seeing less of that, as some of the smaller craft brewers get larger and get focused on efficiency and how they can make the same hop forward beer only using less material or using them more effectively.
“There’s still some small craft brewers that just flat won’t even try something like that because they want to use the traditional Type 90 pellets, and that’s fine too.
“I think everyone deserves the right to make the decisions that are going to benefit them and their beer drinkers the best.”
YCH last year launched its proprietary product Cryo Hops, which consists of the concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops containing resins and aromatic oils.
Carpenter said brewers that have embraced the product are reporting improvements in efficiency, and also yield, due to the reduction of beer lost along with hop debris.
“The brewery will typically use half as much because it has twice as much resin in it, and they’re getting in essence free beer when they produce a mass batch of beer because they don’t have to throw as much away,” he said.
Carpenter said some brewers are making beers using purely Cryo Hops, while others are combining it with traditional hopping methods.
“It just depends on what they’re trying to create. The folks that are making the hop forward beers are the ones that are most interested in our lupulin product,” he said.
Avoiding vegetal hop flavour
Feral Brewing had motivations other than improving yield and efficiency when it trialled the Cryo Hops lupulin powder on its Finn Diesel beer, according to co-founder Brendan Varis.
“We have to fight hard in Hop Hog to make sure we don’t get that vegetal, over-extracted… woody, stemmy-type flavour,” he told Radio Brews News in July 2017.
“We really walk a fine line with the amount of hops that go in and the contact time and the temperatures that we’re using, so if there was something that would allow us to do that with more consistency and to get a cleaner hop flavour then we thought we would trial it.
“I think that’s an important distinction when it comes to using adjuncts. Is your motivation to improve the quality or make the beer taste better, or reach a different taste profile that you couldn’t otherwise? Or is it just simply so you could bank another couple of dollars?”
Look out for the full interview with Steve Carpenter tomorrow on Radio Brews News.