Hops Connect & Commodity Lab Vancouver Partner in Hop Testing Service
One of the most important ingredients in your favourite beer is hops. Hop flowers are from a bine that is grown around the world. In beer, the hop acts as a stabilizing agent as well as offering unique flavours depending on the variety of hop(s) being used. The characteristics of a hop are crucial for maintaining the consistency and the quality of the beer. There are properties of hops that brewers can use to understand how a specific hop sample can be used to achieve their brewing goals. These include Alpha Acid, Beta Acid, Total Oil Content, Moisture Content and Hop Storage Index (HSI).
Much like beer itself, the quality of hops deteriorates over time. If hops are stored in less than ideal conditions the quality deteriorates even faster. For example, a big Northwest Centennial hop may have a starting Alpha Acid Content of 11.0%. Stored properly this value may be 10.5% after one year. Stored improperly the Alpha Acid content may drop below 8.0% which has a great affect when brewing.
There is no simple way for a brewer to know the values of the hops that they are brewing with other than the specs that are provided to them when purchasing. As time passes, these specs may be very different than expected. This is a major issue for many brewers as the specs of the hops determine quantities and proportions when brewing.
Within North America there are few organizations that analyse hops; those that do are usually found south of the border which can led to increased costs from exchange rates and the possibility of shipping delays. This is why Canadian hop distributor Hops Connect has partnered with Commodity Lab Vancouver (CLV) to offer hops testing in Canada.
CLV’s laboratory is located in North Vancouver and they primarily tests grains for growers and re-sellers. They have branched into testing hops with the help of Hops Connect. Using a set of standardized tests CLV is able to quickly and accurately determine the levels of Alpha Acid, Beta Acid, Total Oil, Moisture and HSI. Brewers or hop growers can expect a turnaround time of 72hrs for tests with pricing starting as low as $40.00.
Hop Testing is not just for breweries either; with a burgeoning hop farming industry in British Columbia, small, private growers can also determine the quality and marketability of their hops. The scale and affordability of CLV’s testing service makes it accessible to farmers and brewers of all sizes.
Seeing the growing support for craft brewing in British Columbia and across Canada is a testament to the impact that craft beer has on our economy. The growth of craft beer has created new elements of the economy from brewery tours to hop farming, tourism to lab testing. None of these businesses would be possible without our thirst for craft beer.
Learn more about CLV and Hops Connect’s lab testing services at hopsconnect.com