Can Hop Extracts Save Money as a Dry Hopping Option?

Finding ways to increase volume during dry hopping for maximum aroma profiles just doesn’t add up to most brewers.

Although a hop extract can produce both flavor and aroma, the liquid extraction process just can’t recreate the same profile in the finished beer that a solid hop addition can provide.

If volume-to-volume efficiency wants to be created, stick to first-addition hop extracts.

“Bittering hop additions are a better place to use liquid hop extracts for two reasons,” explained Crazy Mountain head brewer John Allshouse. “First, the liquid bittering content has been measured by a lab and the bittering potential is stated on the can. Second, solid hops actually decay over time even though they are packed in nitrogen filled bags and kept cold.”

Additions based on bittering potential reported up to a year previous can be off by as much as 25-30 percent. For these reasons, Allshouse said that a canned bittering hop liquid will be a much more accurate representation of calculated hop potential.

The same rings true for Avery Brewing. Currently the only extract product used at the brewery is extract added as a first hop addition in the boil.

“Using extract in the first addition allows us to have much more precise BU control over our beers maintaining a consistent product for our fan base,” said Avery process engineer Dan Strevey.

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Hop extracts for aroma or as a dry-hopping substitute have not yet been considered for Avery recipes added Avery production manager Bernardo Alatorre.

“The addition of extracts with our current hopping recipes represents technical advantages for us as a wet hopping substitute,” he said, “but does seem to reach a point where the advantages start to decline, namely bitterness stops increasing with increased addition.”

So, is there a cost effectiveness in either money or time for extract use as an aroma hop? Not necessarily pointed out Allshouse.

“Clearly, adding the process of extraction will increase the cost of the hops,” he said. “But volume yields will be higher when less hop solid matter is added… so sales of packaged goods will be greater.”

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