BBC Enhanced Hop Pellets now available at Geterbrewed

We are excited to launch The BBC Pure Hop Pellet™ to brewers in Ireland, we have been selling these to craft brewers for sometime but now we are able to offer them to the homebrew community also. Geterbrewed proudly represent Barth Haas / Simply hops in Ireland and we really care about the hops we sell, they are all cold stored below 4 degrees and packed in a professional way, we are really impressed with the quality of BBC Pure Enhanced Hop Pellets…

So what is a BBC Pure Hop Pellet?

It is specifically designed for high efficiency and heavy-use applications in both conventional and dry hopping applications. Developed in collaboration with Boston Beer Company, the BBC Pure Hop Pellet™ increases the yield of hop volatiles, resulting in higher aroma and flavour. It provides improved homogeneity and better storage stability compared to raw hops.

The proprietary pure hop process removes extraneous material, resulting in true hop flavour.

The BBC Pure Hop Pellet™ is produced using a finer, more uniform grind than standard Type 90 pellets. A sub-zero process – milling and sieving takes place at approx. -35°C (-31 °F) – prevents hop resins and essential oils from oxidation.

Supported by a long history of safe use in brewing, and in accordance with US FDA regulation 21 CFR 170.30(c) and 170.3(f), hop pellets are generally recognised as safe (GRAS).

Product Specifications

Description: Cylindrical pellets of approx. 6 mm (0.24 inch) diameter, milled and compressed whole hops

Consistency: A solid which normally breaks up into a powder

Colour: Typically from dark-green to olive-green (depending on variety)

Alpha-acids: Typically 4 – 16% (depending on variety and crop year; standardisation is possible)

Beta-acids: Dependent upon raw hops

Hop oils: 0.4 – 3.5 mL/100 g (depending on variety and crop year)

Moisture: 7 – 12%

Process Specifications:

Drying temperature: < 60 °C (140 °F), depending on raw hop moisture content

Milling and Sieving temperature: approx. -35 °C (-31 °F)

Pelletising temperature: < 55 °C (131 °F) Temperature of pellets after cooling: < 20 °C (68 °F)

Product Use:

As these are an enhanced hop pellet you could reduce the quantity of pellets you use or you could use the same and have more impact. Geterbrewed ran some trials using these and we reckoned you got 30% more bang for your buck in terms of hop flavour and aroma

For efficient provision of bitterness, the pellets should be added to the wort at the beginning or up to 15 minutes after the start of the boil. Utilisation of alpha-acids into beer depends on the boiling system and conditions and is normally in the range of 30% – 35%. Added late into the boil, utilisation of alpha-acids diminishes as the utilisation of the aroma improves giving a characteristic hop flavour in the beer. The quantity to be added is calculated using the alpha-acids content and the estimated utilisation. For aroma or dryhopping, the quantity to be added should preferably be calculated using the oil content of the product.

Packaging: Pellets are packed in laminated foils with an aluminum layer as a barrier against diffusion of oxygen. They are vacuum packed. The foil material used meets all food industry packaging regulations. The residual oxygen content in the foil packs is less than 2% by volume. Pack sizes are available in any quantity at Geterbrewed

Storage and Best-by Recommendation:

The BBC Pure Hop Pellet™ should be stored cold at 0 – 5°C (32 – 41 °F) and is best used within 3 years after processing. If stored at –20 °C (-4 °F) it should be used within 5 years. Foils, once opened, should be used within a few days to avoid deterioration of bitter acids and essential oils.

 

How long do hops last for?

Everyone wants the latest hop harvest, if your striving to achieve that amazing fresh hop aroma in a dry hopped IPA that maybe the case but on occasion sometimes the latest harvest might not be the best option…

Growing and harvesting conditions can affect the final outcome of the quality of the hops so the latest harvest may have been a poor yielding year and the previous harvest maybe the better option. The previous harvest will only be a better option however if the hops have been stored correctly.

So how do you store hops correctly and how long will they last?

The question of how long hops last for will of course raise a few more hop related questions and there is many variables, the main variables to be aware of are;

  • Temperature
  • Light
  • Oxygen

The above key points are highly relevant but will affect each variety slightly differently.

Geterbrewed have invested in cold storage to ensure all our hops are stored below 4 degrees. Correct cold chain storage from the hop farm to our cold storage warehouse is time consuming to do correctly so the latest harvest may take a little longer to arrive but its good to know the reason is we want you to receive simply the best hops in the brewing industry.

Sending hops in a refrigerated container is also much more expensive but again it preserves freshness. We want to provide the finest hops to our craft brewers and home brewers so we have set a clear focus on handling the hops correctly.

Geterbrewed recommend that when you receive your hops you store them in a fridge below 5 degrees. Hops exposed to high temperatures will degrade fast resulting in substantial losses of alpha- and beta-acids, the higher the temperature the more the hops will degrade with degradation doubling every 15 degrees.

Hops exposed to UV light will also degrade quickly and lose their flavour and aroma and can actually generate off flavours in your beer. Geterbrewed have invested in premium quality mylar foil packets to package the smaller quantities of hops for home brewers. We buy container loads of hops and they arrive in pallets made up of boxes of hops in 5kg, 10kg and 20kg foil bags, for craft brewers we ship in these volumes but for home brewers we open one of these pack sizes and breakdown into smaller volumes usually 50g, 100g, 225g, 450g and 1kg

When we have visited hop farmers during harvest we have noted when they cut the bottom of the bines they have a maximum time limit of 2 hours to get the hops picked and into the processing plant as the sunlight will degrade the hops. The foil packaging we use prevents UV rays, vapours and moisture getting into the hop package so they are preserved for ultimate freshness, we also nitrogen flush and vac seal the foil packages.

Oxidised hops aren’t pleasant and can cause cheesy off flavours in your beer, we mitigate this with our handling and packaging and storage methods. Hop Flower or Hop Leaf degrade and oxidise much quicker than hop pellets.

We prevent oxygen pick up with the packaging that we use, a high micron foil package that is nitrogen flushed and vacuum sealed ensures the hops have the best packaging for storage, combined with cold storage means we can confidently put a 3 year shelf life on our hops, we can stand over these hops to guarantee freshness for this period of time

Geterbrewed Hop Packaging

We have recently ordered new foil packaging that has a resealable ziplock, these new hop packs will start to roll out at the end of the month, ideally if your resealing it should be carried out with a vac sealer but if you squeeze out the air and use the ziplock and place back into cold storage this would help preserve the hops and slow down the ageing process.

We are passionate about providing the best hops in the brewing industry, this is only achieved by handling and storing the hops correctly, we hope you appreciate the time and effort this takes but most of all we hope you notice a marked difference in the quality of our hops.

 

Australian Hop Harvest Tour 2019 – Rostrevor Hop Farm

Australian Hop Harvest 2019 – Rostrevor Hop Farm (5 min read)

Rostrevor Hop Farm Entrance

We have just returned home from a trip to visit Hop Products Australia, they produce 90% of the hops that come out of Australia, they are the sister company of Simply Hops who we exclusively distribute hops for in Ireland.

I have to say this was an amazing experience, as the Irish Brewers that work with us know we are a family business and to leave our girls to fly to the other side of the world to buy hops was a big ask and tricky to manage but I’m so glad Deborah and I got to experience this.

Galaxy Hop Harvest 2019

Long Haul flights, jetlag and excitement mixed with a few drinks, great company and every emotion you can imagine made for an eventful journey to see the hop harvest.

We were joined in the group by John from Simply Hops, John from Oakham Ales, John from Vocation Brewery, plus other ‘non John’ called lovelies Simon from Gipsy Hill, Greg from Five Points, Dan from Simply Hops & Sylvain from Reflect Digital. Rockstar HPA guys joined us at various stages and I’ll name drop like an excited fangirl later in the blog

Aussie Hop Tour 1st Night

Arriving into Melbourne at 6am tired and emotional the only thing to do was to try and stay awake, so we went for a walk about in the city, its great place to go for a dander and living up to the Irish Reputation we gravitated towards a few bars in the early afternoon. As Simon from Gipsy Hill Brewery said by late evening we were bumping into each other and laughing like little drunk babies, innocent vulnerable and generally loving life.

The brewing industry allows me to meet some interesting people and enjoy some amazing experiences. We spent two days travelling around Melbourne visiting some brilliant breweries, standout was Stomping Ground Brewery, we had a great meal in their beerhall and the venue is beautifully presented. We enjoyed a fresh ‘Gipps Street’ Pale Ale straight off the canning line and a personal tour by Ashur the head brewer. We were joined by Dave Edney from HPA , he’s a legend in Australian beer, name dropping done and shamelessly too, he took us to a few local breweries for more tours and yes more beers, we did drink responsibily of course.

Dave Edney HPA

Quaint pop up taprooms packed with a warming vibe and beer drinkers , it was nice to see a full bar on a Wednesday night and such a buzz around craftbeer, as Ireland is a juvenile craftbeer market I’m hoping we get to this stage it really is the way beer should be enjoyed. We stopped into Mountain Goat Beer for a tour and Moon Dog which was a great little venue and had some tasty beers pouring in a packed out venue, which actually had a pop up Garden centre going on, strangely it worked

Moondog brewery

Michael Capaldo fom HPA joined us for a few beers and a bite to eat that evening, he’s a another legend in the Australian brewing scene, hoping he visits Ireland soon as his wife is originally from here and we can introduce some of our Irish brewers to this guy.

The bus journey from Melbourne to Rostrevor saw us take a pit stop at a vineyard for a tasty lunch and a cheeky glass of red wine before arriving at the first HPA farm in Rostrevor.

What a beautiful location for a Hop Farm and a warm welcome from Allan & Gail the husband and wife team who manage the farm. Initial impressions are that the place is immaculate. Dave Edney did the safety induction and got us kitted out in our trendy Day Glows and Hard hats and off we went like a bunch of school kids with a belly full of skittles.

Rostrevor Hop Farm Managers

Precise attention to detail and professional quality control was a theme understood from the off, we cleaned our shoes as Australian Hop Farms don’t suffer from many of the diseases experiences elsewhere in the world.

I love hops, this was an awesome experience, not the first hop farm that Deborah and I have visited but to walk into the hop field and witness in live time the most sought after hop in the hop industry being harvested was a special moment for us.

Hop Field Australia

 

They grow 5 varieties at this Rostrevor farm; Galaxy, Ella, Vic Secret, Topaz and Superpride. One visual I picked up on immediately was that they use Sheep to clear the weeds and the foliage from the bottom on the hop bines. Apparently New Zealand and Australian Hop Farms are the only two to do this. The sheep eat the foliage but not the hops and Allan says they do have their favourite hop varieties, no prizes for guessing what’s their favourite, its Galaxy…

Sheep maintaining Hop Bines

This clearing allows the maintenance of the crop and easy access for the bottom cutter to easily cut the hop bines and then within a very short period of time window (maximum 2 hour) they use the top cutter to bring the bines in from the fields for processing. The processing is what sets HPA apart and we will mention this in more details later

There is a nice buzz around the harvest, large numbers on site , say 130 people or so, just so you have an idea hop farming costs sit at roughly 50% of the costs going into labour, if you weren’t aware every hop bine is hand trained so it grows up the bines. We spoke with a few of the workers literally living the dream, hop farming to generate cash to travel the world. Warm friendly and genuinely nice people. Strangely I met a guy from Wexford working in the Galaxy Hop Pellet Packaging line and had a great little chin wag, he’s been working on the farm for over 2 years and loves it!

Galaxy Hops are in huge demand so it’s important for you to understand why they don’t just grow more and more of it. The harvest window is small and the processing facility can only process at a certain rate . The Rostrevor farm has a total growing land of 307 Hectares , with a recent new addition of  a further 50 hectares near the Buffalo river . So it has taken huge investment to grow this and we heard first-hand the plans to take it up to 600 Hectares in the next 4 years, so the processing facility is being doubled and thus allowing the volumes to grow without affecting the quality.

The unique thing about the HPA Rostrevor Hop Farm is that the hops are pelletised on site as they come off the hop kiln. I’ve visited many hop farms and never seen this focus on freshness at this level. Usually hops come out of the kiln and get baled for storage and then onwardly transported to a hop pelleting plant, sometimes there can months of delay, HPA Rostrevor are pelletizing on site instantly and then sending straight to cold storage.

HPA pelletising Operation at Source

We saw the pelletizing first hand and it was exciting to see the difference. I also noticed they have built a cold room around the pelletizing hammer to ensure the pelletizing process is maintaining all the essential oils and volatiles. Foil vac packed with nitrogen flushing and then into cold storage. Simply the freshest and finest hops in the brewing industry.

Hop Products Australia (HPA) put a shelf life of 3 years of their hops but if stored correctly and handled properly they will be fine to use even longer. I spoke personally with the quality control manager Peter Hamilton on this specific issue as we have brewers that always want the latest harvest. He explained that their process combined with cold chain storage would mean they can guarantee premium quality for 3 years.

We work exclusively with Simply Hops for this very reason, cold chain storage is more time consuming and more expensive but the quality is exceptional. We maintain these processes at Geterbrewed maintaining all our hops below 4 degrees, this experience visiting Australian hop farms made our investment in cold storage facilities easy to justify to ensure our Irish brewers receive the finest hops in the industry.

Allan explained that this was his 46th harvest, a friendly gentle character who clearly still loved what he did. Willing and eager to share information as I bounced many questions off him as we walked around the hop farm. He runs this hop farm to an exceptionally high standard. How do I tell the story of the focus on their quality control? I feel it’s difficult to do it justice, the whole farm is immaculate , we had to put shoe covers on to walk into the hop processing areas, the processes in place all working in harmony to produce the product to as close to perfection as they can.

We picked a fresh hop from the Vic Secret Hop Paddock and dropped it into a glass of beer, the hop oils observed moving through the beer were visually hypnotic, the aroma was beautiful and the hop flavor was something I have never experienced before. This is the very reason HPA hops are selling out , if you want to blow peoples mind with a hop forward beer you need to get some Aussie hops into the brew.

We enjoyed one of the most refreshing beers of the trip at the end of this Hop Farm Tour, casually chatting to Peter he drops in he was responsible for the pairing of Galaxy’s parents, I reckon that makes his a rockstar in the craftbeer world!!

Cheers for an epic experience Simply Hops & HPA

Sincerely enjoyed Experience

Thanks

Jonathan & Deborah

Cryohops – Luplun2

Cryohops are designed for enhanced flavour, aroma and yield

Cryo hops

Geterbrewed have a fresh batch of Cryo Hops landing into our warehouse at the start of this week. Not many suppliers are trusted with these hops as you have to handle them very carefully to ensure they are stored and subsequently sold in optimium condition.

We have a purpose made distribution centre for storing all our all grain brewing ingredients, in the hops section all the hops are cold stored at 4 degrees, we then nitrogen flush and foil package all hops that are repacked into smaller amounts, this level of careful packaging and cold storage ensures we offer the best hops on the market and can be trusted as a reseller of cryohops.

Developed by Yakima Chief – Hopunion, Cryo Hops™ represents the most innovative technology in hop processing. It uses a proprietary cryogenic separation process which preserves all components of each hop fraction, producing two simultaneous co-products, LupuLN2™ and Debittered Leaf.

LupuLN2 is the concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops containing resins and aromatic oils. It is designed to provide intense hop flavor and aroma, enabling brewers to dose large quantities of hops without introducing astringent flavors or vegetative cone material. During early R&D trials, brewers specifically cited ‘juicy’ and ‘resinous’ characteristics.

LupuLN2 offers twice the resin content of traditional whole-leaf and hop pellet products, and should be dosed at approximately half the amount by weight.

Cryohops Luplun2 boast;

  • CONTROLLED, NITROGEN-RICH PRODUCTION
  • SOLVENT, HEAT AND PRESSURE FREE PROCESSING
  • INTENTIONAL PRESERVATION OF LUPULIN GLANDS
  • INTENSE HOP FLAVOR AND AROMA
  • COLD-PRESSED PELLET PRODUCTION
  • INCREASED EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY