Cryo hops: super-cool tech for cool beers

Cryo hops: super-cool tech for cool beers Lupulin-rich hops are produced by using super-cold temperatures and palletised to offer up double the aroma and the flavour of a standard hop cone.

Great beer isn’t defined by barrels or buzz. It’s a product of craft, commitment, and amazing hops. Temperature control is not only essential to making great beer, it’s also important when experimenting with new styles and products.

Just look at the ‘cryo hops’ trend. Cryo hops are produced by using super-cold temperatures and some cool technology to produce a pellet that has twice the aroma and twice the flavour.

With up to twice the concentration of T-90s and reduced vegetal matter, Crosby Hops’ CGX (cryogenic Lupulin pellets) offers brewers another tool to deliver variety-specific hop flavour with increased efficiencies in the brewhouse.

Lupulins are the natural oils that can be found inside hops and are largely responsible for each varietal’s distinctively resinous character.

CGX makes it possible to brew aggressively hopped beers that can improve yields and margins while reducing the environmental footprint of production: packaging, logistics and cold storage.

What are the benefits? Increased brewing yield, reduced shipping and storage costs, reduced environmental impact, increased revenue per batch, decreased hop creep, and amplified flavour and aroma.

How it’s done

In a recent report from Craft Brewing Business, the Oregon-based (US) hop merchant Crosby Hops highlighted how many concentrated Lupulin-rich hops are produced by using super-cold temperatures and then palletised to offer up double both the aroma and the flavour of a standard hop cone.

The trend for this concentration, also found in Yakima Chief’s (Washington, US) own patented ‘cryo hops’ has come into its own over the past few years following the popularity of hop-forward hazy IPAs.

While companies like Yakima Chief have led the way with concentrated Lupulin products, including Lupulin powder and their branded ‘cryo hops’, other farmers and merchants are now getting in on the trend.

In a video that explains how cryo hops are made, Crosby Hops draws attention to its CGX cryogenic Lupulin pellets, a new hop product that has just hit the beer sector and is making more varietals available in this concentrated form.

The hops are chilled and then put through a separation and “sieving” process that reportedly enriches the pellet with lots of Lupulin. Crosby Hops explains, “The oxygen factor is basically non-existent. Using liquid nitrogen is a really big benefit. The system is totally enclosed, from bale breaker all the way to the pellet mill.”

Brewer benefits

Industry insiders have identified how this united effort greatly broadens brewers’ chances of experimenting in creating new beers with the benefits of cryogenic Lupulin products, especially with multiple outlets from which to source them.

Additionally, the benefits for brewers looking to unleash the potential of the trend means that breweries can increase brewing yield by using a reduced amount of plant material during brewing – as such reduce trub loss and increase the amount of usable beer brewed.

Two premier global hop providers and partners, Indie Hops and Hop Revolution, have access to the patent-pending CGX. This innovative and united effort greatly broadens the availability to brewers who desire the benefits of cryogenic Lupulin products and multiple outlets to choose from.

Since the 2022 Craft Brewers Conference, where Crosby Hops revealed its forthcoming concentrated hop product release, the business has seen CGX demand accelerate, with pre-orders already pushing some varieties into waitlist status.

According to Crosby Hops, it expects all 14 of its debut CGX varieties to be available soon, with additional inventory hitting the beer industry in due course.