Latest Innovation Offers Maximum Brewing Efficiency

Inefficiency and process loss is agreeably a common problem among craft brewers. With a new 100% all-natural hop product innovation created by Haas®, brewers can reduce process loss in the brewhouse, not to mention save money.

Released in 2019, INCOGNITO® is now one of Haas’ top-selling products. Offered in two sizes, 2 kg (4.41 lb) and 10 kg (22.05 lb), INCOGNITO® was crafted to deliver highly concentrated flavor while maximizing brewing efficiency.

Haas’ commitment to innovation stems from its mission “to provide brewers the opportunity to use a number of different tools to achieve the utmost quality in their beers,” said Michael Visgil, Haas® Brewing Solutions Specialist. “This includes, but is not limited to optimizing process efficiencies (i.e. beer yield savings), maximizing flavor, and providing malleability in an ever-changing landscape of craft beer and beyond.”

As brewers continue to push the envelope with experimentation and following consumer tastes, hop rates have grown markedly.

“With heavy hop loads, comes considerable loss associated with beer absorption from the hop vegetative material,” Visgil said. “In some cases, these losses can be upwards of 35% prior to packaging. So, how can we minimize these losses, but still achieve the desired flavor profiles that brewers expect in specific hop varieties? INCOGNITO® seeks to help achieve this.”

INCOGNITO®  is a CO2 extract of hops made with all hops, with no other additives, carriers or adulterations to the product and contains no vegetative material.

INCOGNITO® reduces the overall hop vegetative load into the brewing system and replaces thirsty hops that absorb wort.

“INCOGNITO® is essentially six times the impact of hop pellets (1 to 6 replacement rate to T-90 pellets),” Visgil said.

Brewers simply pour the desired amount of the liquid extract into the whirlpool. It stores at room temperature, and it doesn’t need to pre-heat because it’s flowable at room temperature. It’s as easy as that. Brewers also love INCOGNITO® because they’re getting bang for their buck. It takes up significantly less space than pellets and is notably less expensive to ship.

It’s an easy clean up too, which means fewer chemicals are used in clean up, lowering brewers’ Chemical Oxygen Demand. Because fewer solids go down the drain, Biological Oxygen Demand goes down, too, making for a more environmentally-friendly brewing process.

After experimentation, Haas found that INCOGNITO® works best with IPAs and their variants (hazy, imperial, double) because they take the highest amount of hops. But the product has also been successful in lighter styles like Pale Ales, Lagers and Golden/Blonde Ales as well as heavier stouts and porters.

INCOGNITO® is sold in several varieties: Citra®, Mosaic®, Sabro®,  Ekuanot™, and HBC 472 varieties.

The varieties are only made from the hops on their labels so they give the exact same characteristics that the hops themselves would. Brewers can create complex flavors with  INCOGNITO® because it plays well with pellets, whole hops, and other INCOGNITO® flavors.

“Essentially, INCOGNITO® needs to be seen as the same as the hops that you would normally put into a recipe,” Visgil said. “There are no limitations to style applications, however, IPA is where we’ve made most of our headway with this product.”

Another benefit of using INCOGNITO® is its shelf life. INCOGNITO® as a raw material has a considerably longer shelf life than pellets do. However, Visgil mentioned that it does depend on the internal practices of individual breweries.

Haas’ in-house sensory tests, as well as its tests conducted by other brewers who use the product have shown a true-to-type consistent flavor profile. Comparing two beers side by side, one with INCOGNITO® and one with pellets, Haas found the flavors indistinguishable.

“We have not come across an instance where INCOGNITO® has underperformed in comparison to pellets,” Visgil said. “Internally, our brewing trials, shelf-life studies, and sensory results suggest similarly, where INCOGNITO® consistently performs as well or better than pellets when compared to one another.”

Brewers don’t have to sacrifice flavor or aroma with INCOGNITO®, and they have more consistent results 100% of the time.

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