In working to continue the proud heritage of innovation in the field of advanced hop products, Kalsec, in partnership with Firmenich®, is debuting a new format in which hop oils can be delivered. Combining Kalsec’s expertise in hop oils along with Firmenich’s Durarome® encapsulation technology has led to the creation of Lupulock™ Encapsulated Hop Oils. This new product offers huge benefits to both brewers and beverage producers alike.
Encapsulated hop oils are free-flowing granules consisting of hop oil trapped in a dense carbohydrate matrix. This delivery technology offers distinct advantages that are unique in the hops industry.
Using Hop Extracts
Hops are an essential component of the brewing process, imparting both bitterness and aroma to beer. The most traditional hopping methods employ either whole cone or pelletized hops. These forms of hops have the flexibility of being used for kettle additions or during fermentation as dry hop additions. Despite this flexibility, traditional hops can have many downsides. They are bulky to store, susceptible to oxidation, and can cause loss of beer due to the plant material absorbing liquid when used.
CO2 hop extract is another commonly used form of hops. Using CO2 extraction, hop acids, oils, and resins are separated from the plant material. The use of extract helps solve the issue of beer loss caused by the use of traditional hop forms but restricts the use to kettle additions. As technology has progressed in hop processing, the development of advanced hop extracts has allowed for the separation of bittering acids and aromatic hop oils. Use of advanced hop extracts offers the ability to break the link between bitterness and aroma and adjust them independently of each other. These extracts also offer more sustainable options and consistency.
Benefits of Using Encapsulated Hop Oils
One advantage of using encapsulated hop oils is a two-year shelf life at ambient temperatures. Unlike hop pellets, encapsulated hop oils do not require refrigeration and have a much longer shelf life. The protection offered by the encapsulation ensures that the hop oil does not oxidize or fade over the shelf life of the product, and the desired consistent hoppy flavor and aroma always make it to the finished beverage.
Another major benefit of encapsulated hop oils is that they are highly concentrated. To illustrate the power of encapsulated hop oils, the graphic below compares the replacement of 30kg of pellets with 89g of encapsulated hop oils in a 100 hL batch of beer.
Despite the high concentration of oils in the encapsulated product, it is still easily soluble into beverages without any predilution or preparation. Dosage is as simple as adding the product to a clean bright tank and transferring beer on top of the encapsulated product.
More Sustainable Hopping Process
Encapsulated hop oils also work well in conjunction with traditional dry hopping to increase the sustainability of the dry hopping process. Combining encapsulated hop oils with traditional pellets will reduce beer loss without sacrificing aroma and quality. Use of these products will also allow for innovation in flavor that would not be achievable using pellets alone.
Encapsulated hop oils are the future of sustainable advanced hop extracts. They offer greater shelf life, ease of use, and a multitude of sustainability benefits that offer value for both the brewer and the taste of the final beverage.
About the Author
Jacob Kirkendall received his Bachelors in Chemistry from Western Michigan University in 2017 as well as a certificate in Sustainable Brewing from Kalamazoo Valley Community College the same year. Jacob joined Bell’s Brewery in 2017 and published research showcasing the dry hop effects on alcohol content in beer. In 2018 Jacob was a brewing instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and also joined Short’s Brewing Company in their quality control laboratory. In late 2018 he joined Kalsec as a Scientist in Hops and Brewing Innovation working on projects involving hop oils and their application in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.