• Flavor

The right timing for hop harvesting

How the harvest time influences the intensity of the hop aroma

Beer sommelier Sylvia Kopp explores the secret of hop harvesting: What role do timing and hop aroma play? How can hop quality be permanently guaranteed? The hop lover answers this and much more in the article. The hop harvest holds many secrets. One of them is the right timing. As flavor experts, we have made an exciting observation about this: the overall intensity of the hop aroma is significantly influenced by the timing of the hop harvest. How to deliver consistent quality despite this?

Hop harvest and hop aroma study

A valuable basis for the relationship between harvest time and hops is provided by a study conducted by Oregon State University together with John I. Haas, Nyseos and Asahi from 2019. The core of their study was how harvest maturity influences hop aroma. Another component was the analysis of the chemical composition of Cascade hops of 2014, 2015, 2016 vintages in dry hopping. 


The researchers found remarkable: with increasing maturity, the intensity of citrus aroma increased. For this reason, late-grown Cascade hops in dry hopping produced beers that tended to have a more intense hop aroma as well as a distinctive citrus note.


As a precious essence, the study proves that later-harvested hops contain both higher oil content, increased geraniol concentration and less thiol precursor, as well as greater concentrations of free thiols. Additionally, in dry hopping, it imparts a stronger hop aroma to the beers. This information is an important basis for our claim to always guarantee an optimal taste experience.


Constant quality with hop products

So how to obtain a constant-quality product after the hop harvest? Targeted blends of pellets, extracts and hop oils provide the solution. These can balance out the variations in maturation within a hop variety. Choosing the right hop product makes all the difference. It is the tried and tested means for consistent quality and flavor (aroma, taste and mouthfeel).

LUPOMAX® hop pellets

A good example of such a hop product is the LUPOMAX® hop pellet. It was developed by John I. Haas in the USA and has only recently become available on the market. What advantages does LUPOMAX® offer? Its strengths are clearly its reliability and an increase in intensity.


More specifically, these are lupulin-enriched pellets from selected, true-to-type hop batches. These are selected in the so-called Sensory Plus™ Program and tailored to a consistent lupulin concentration. The program also includes a specially developed manufacturing process and chemical and sensory analysis. These ensure that the hops used are typical of the variety. The outcome of LUPOMAX® is thus optimized, consistent flavor intensity with reduced pellet volume and less beer loss - in standardized processes.


Would you like more information about the hop harvest? Then contact us at brewingsolutions@barthhaas.de.

An article by

Marketing and Content Management Hops Academy

Sylvia Kopp

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