HVG Germany: Hopfen

Many scientists have tried to find out what contribution hops make to the beer aroma and its taste. Nowadays in the USA, England, New Zealand and Germany they are trying to decipher the complexity of the aroma by applying the latest methods. In this field especially Prof. Peter Schieberle has shed some light on the deep mystery of the hop aroma.

At present we do not know exactly which hop oil/which hop oil fraction or which synergies enfolding in flavour between them, are actually responsible for an elegant hop bouquet. Here too it is unlikely that hops will reveal their secret. The practice up to now shows that …


1.… a late hopping before casting or in the whirlpool imparts a stronger sensorial "hop bouquet".
2.… with pellets the aroma substances dissolve faster in the wort than with extracts. After a while this effect evens out. This phenomenon is of interest as far as the last hop dosage is concerned.
3.… the manner and intensity of boiling influences how the aroma components react.
4.… to a certain extent there are distinct differences in aroma and taste between the various hop varieties.
5.… a low ester content in the hop oil can be advantageous to the taste.
6.… also substances from the leaf fraction are relevant for aroma and taste.
7.… the hop aroma in the beer decreases due to the beer aging.
8.… a perceptible hop character can mask the aging taste.
9.… the same hop doses can convey other flavours in different beers.
10.… over 1000 years of experience with the hopping practice has shown in an almost "Darwinist" way what has to be done to obtain a fine hop bouquet and a first-class taste in the beer. In this respect you only have to study the old brewing recipes.