Brewery Pespectives: Cryo Hops™ in California

Brewery Pespectives: Cryo Hops™ in California


March 16, 2017 / Brewing

At YCH, we believe that with any new product release, it is important to moderate hype with measurable data and real customer feedback. So while our Twitter feed and Instagram account were being flooded with double tap love over the release of the Cryo Hops™ last month, we decided to go behind-the-scenes and poll three hop-forward breweries from the nation’s IPA haven (aka Southern California) about their experiences with LupuLN2 hop powder. Below is a glimpse of the West Coast perspective on our newest product line, Cryo Hops™:

Green Flash Brewing Co.
Kevin Barnes, Head Brewer

What drives your brewery in terms of innovation and trying new products & ingredients?
“We make very hoppy beers at Green Flash. [We were] one of the breweries that helped solidify San Diego’s reputation as the IPA/hoppy beer haven it still is today.We are constantly striving to improve and innovate.That includes trying new techniques, new ingredients and new products to come up with better ways to make our beers and/or to create new beers.”

What were your first impressions of Cryo Hops™ LupuLN2®?
“I was quite surprised about how the powder looked, it is a bit jarring to see hops ground up like that!I was also pretty stunned by the intensity of the aroma.They seemed very fresh and pungent.They also seemed to have a more pronounced fruity aroma compared to pellets of the same variety.”

How have you been using Cryo Hops™, specifically LupuLN2® in your brewery?
“We brewed a pilot batch of our monster Double IPA “Palate Wrecker” with cryo hops.We use a ton of late kettle addition and whirlpool hops for this beer, as well as a big dry hop.We thought that by using the cryo hops we might be able to increase our yield and make more beer with less time/effort/cost.We replaced half of the pellets for our 15 minute, whirlpool and dry hop additions with cryo powder.We used Cascade, CTZ and Simcoe powder.”

What advice would you offer to brewers brewing with LupuLN2® in the future?
For us it worked very well to replace half of the pellets by weight with cryo powder.Because of the concentration that meant we used a total of ¾ of the weight we normally would have. The powder mixed well with the pellets and we were able to dry hop using our normal technique.

What feedback have you received from consumers?
No awards or accolades, but people seem to enjoy the beer thoroughly.

How do you see LupuLN2® impacting how brewers use hops, if at all?
If the claims on yield increase prove to work out, I could see tons of brewers using LupuLN2® for that purpose.

Faction Brewing Company
Rodger Davis, Owner/Brewer

Which beers have you been brewing with Cryo Hops™ LupuLN2® and how have you been applying the product?
We have brewed our Pale Ale and “one off” IPA’s with the Mosaic Cryo powder. We mostly add in the dry hop but have also used it in the whirlpool. [We] have tried it at 50% to 100%.

Were there any noticeable difference in finished product when your recipe was converted to LupuLN2®?
We did a trial of our Pale Ale that was done three ways. One the normal way, with hops. One with 50% LupuLN2® and one with LupuLN2™ used at 100% the hopping rate. The one at 50% LupuLN2® was identical to the one we brew on a regular basis. The 100% version had more aroma and seemed to have picked up some bitterness.

What are the top three things you have learned from brewing with LupuLN2®?

  1. Use at 50% of actual hops
  2. We seemed to have picked up around 20% more yield when packaged
  3. Make sure the powder is broken up when adding to a small port.

What do consumer say about your Cryo Hops™ beers?
Most consumers are enjoying the beers brewed with LupuLN2®. We advertise that we use it in all of the [Cryo Hops™] beers so that consumers know.

What do you see as the future for LupuLN2®?
I see this becoming a fairly large trend in producing hoppy beers. It is a way to get better yield out of the brewery if used as suggested.

Alvarado Street Brewery
J.C. Hill, Head Brewer

What drives your brewery to new products and ingredients?
We pride ourselves are brewing progressive, hop forward beers that are focused on aroma and flavor, with balanced bitterness. Aroma is the main target, and flavor seems to fall in line with that approach. We are always looking to try new hop varieties, processes, and hop products to continue pushing the limits of hop aroma and flavor.

How have you been using LupuLN2®?
We’ve used LupuLN2® in two beers; a double IPA and a West Coast-style IPA. For the West Coast IPA, we used all LupuLN2® in the kettle for bitterness, and 2/3’s ratio to pellets in the dry hop. Bittering additions were 15 minutes and below, so all very late with the focus on hop flavor and aroma. The overall impression was that the LupuLN2® lended a very intense aroma and hop flavor. Our customers found it somewhat polarizing; some loved it, some thought it was a little too intense. Our brewers were particularly fond of the aroma / flavor combo, and the yield we achieved was very much higher than we usually get.

Were there any noticeable difference in the finished product?
The intensity of aroma and flavor were more so than using pellets. We could improve yield by substituting cryo for pellets, but we found that just the cryo by itself was somewhat lacking. More trials are needed.

What advice would you offer to brewers brewing with LupuLN2® in the future?

  1. Cryo powder must be broken up in the bag before being used, otherwise you’ll end up with giant chunks of powder that I assume will not mix well into beer.
  2. LupuLN2™ must be agitated once it’s made contact with the beer. The best way we’ve found to mix the powder into solution is to apply CO2 pressure to the bottom of the fermenter, and run at 15 PSI for five minutes, while slowly bleeding the blowoff valve. Once that is done, we’ve repeated the same step through the racking arm, facing up.
  3. We don’t think it’s as easy as subbing one part LupuLN2® for two parts pellet hops regarding dry hopping. Dry hops still have a place at the table, in our book. We need to make sure the yield justifies the cost.

Summary

In addition to these breweries, YCH HOPS has collected survey responses from more than 70 brewers utilizing Cryo Hops™. Nearly all experimented with LupuLN2® in the brew house (late additions or whirlpool) and/or in dry hopping. When asked how likely they would be to recommend LupuLN2® to other brewers, the average response was 8.36 out of 10. When substituting LupuLN2® for T-90 hop pellets, the majority responded with 50% by weight. A common concern was whether yield increases would justify costs. For most brewers, this is a matter of needing more data on a production level. Of those that measured yield increases, the majority reported 3-5% gains, some as high as 9%.

About Cryo Hops™

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. Each Cryo Hops™ product is designed with breweries in mind, enhancing hop flavor and aroma, process efficiency, cost savings and sustainability.

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