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Evaluating the impact of kilning temperature on hop quality in American deep bed dryers
L. N. Rubottom, S. R. Lafontaine and T. H. Shellhammer

Kilning represents a substantial energy input for processing hops and has the potential to significantly impact hop quality. As part of a multi-year project to understand how different kilning parameters influence the brewing quality of popular American hop varieties, this study examined how kilning temperature impacts chemical and sensory changes of Amarillo® and Simcoe® hops. Kiln temperature was manipulated on pilot and commercial scales and the resulting hops were assessed for their chemical, sensory, and brewing qualities. Static drying temperatures ranging from 49 – 82 °C (120 – 180 °F) on pilot scale kilns and 49 – 71 °C (120 – 160 °F) on commercial scale kilns were examined. In general, hop chemistry and sensory were only modestly impacted by higher temperatures, while drying time was substantially reduced at higher temperatures. Given that significant differences in chemistry or sensory were not observed for hops kilned over a broad temperature range, these results offer hop growers potential flexibility in hop drying temperature while minimally impacting Amarillo® and Simcoe® aroma quality.

Descriptors: hops, kilning temperature, hop quality, hop chemistry, beer sensory

BrewingScience, 75 (November/December 2022), pp. 98-108