Hop Flavour compounds

What important information should you know about your hops and hop flavour compounds?

Hop Flavour Compounds

Each batch of hops has an analysis carried out identifying the many hop flavour compounds. Hop oils only make up a small proportion of the actual hop but they do play a pivotal role in achieved those hop aromas and flavours that craft beer lovers desire. Different compounds can impart different flavours namely Citrus, Green fruits, menthol, vegetal, cream caramel, woody aromatic, berries & currant, grassy-hay, sweet fruits, herbal, floral and spicy

Lets look at the flavour compounds:

Is a terpene and the main hop oil component in most hop varieties. It is responsible for a green, hoppy aroma. However its low solubility and high volatility mean that only small amounts are transferred into and retained in beer, primarily when dry hopping.

Humulene, Caryophyllene and Farnesene are the main sesquiterpenes in hop oil. They impart herbal, woody, spicy and sometimes citrus or floral aromas. Like myrcene, they are present in beer in low concentrations due to their low solubility and high volatility. The ratio of caryophyllene to humulene and the presence or absence of farnesene are considered characteristic makers for different hop varieties.

Linalool and Geranoil are the two most abundant Terrene Alcohols in hops. Terpene alcohols are more soluble than terpenes or sesquiterpenes and thus play a major role in both late hop and dry hop aroma. Linalool is generally described as floral and citrus reminisentent of lavender or bergamot, and geraniol as floral with a hint of citrus, rose or geranium. Other Terpene alcohols and terpene esters can impart floral, woody or spicy notes.

Thiols, specifically 4-mercapto-4-methylpentant-2-one (4MMP) , 3-metcaptohexan-1-ol (3MH), and 3-metacaptohexyl acetate (3MHA), are present only in very small concentrations in hops but due to their extremely low sensory detection thresholds, they can have a major impact on hop aroma perception. 4MMP is usually described as tasting of blackcurrant or robes or, to some people, “catty”, while 3MH and 3MHA imparts notes of passionfruit or guava.

Hop Ketones and Isobutyrates also show good solubility and impart fruity, sometimes waxy notes, contributing to banana or pineapple flavours.

Geterbrewed can provide full traceability with all our hops, each hop packet will have the name, batch number, alpha acid and year of hop harvest. We proudly work as Irish distributor for the Barth Haas Group, Simply Hops & Hop Products Australia, if you require a detailed certificate of analysis we can provide this for you.

The Barth Haas group can provide everything you need under the one umbrella to maximise hops in your brewing process, the sheer size and diversity of hops on offer allows you to create unique hop forward beers, always professionally cold stored at our warehouse and express shipped to provide the best service in the industry.

Want to know more about the hops varieties we stock, check them out here: