Frozen Fresh Hops
Fresh hop ales have long since been one of the most celebratory beers in the craft beer community. Brewed with whole wet cones straight from the bine and into the kettle within 36 hours of harvest, they represent hops in their most natural form while honoring their rich agricultural roots. Brewers within reach of farm fresh hops go to great lengths to plan their brewing operations and recipes around these highly anticipated seasonal beers. As a hop ingredient that is dependent upon the unpredictable nature of hop farming, brewers traditionally get one shot each year to clear their kettles and make it happen.
With the global expansion of the craft beer industry and the growing popularity of fresh hop ales, the need to create a more flexible and sustainable fresh hop product has increased. With innovation and creativity at our core, we discovered a way to offer Frozen Fresh Hops in partnership with Wyckoff Farms who is skilled in the art producing and preserving quality, frozen agricultural products.
“Bringing Frozen Fresh Hops to the global brewing community speaks directly to our grower-owned mission of connecting family hop farms with the world’s finest brewers,” said Dean Monshing, YCH’s European Vice President of Sales. “We are excited about the opportunities our Frozen Fresh Hops program offers to our brewery customers to innovate in their local market and, importantly, providing global access to American hopped fresh hop beers to craft beer enthusiasts."
YCH’s Frozen Fresh Hops are raw, un-kilned, flash frozen whole cone hops produced in a state-of-the-art BRC-certified food processing facility. The flash freezing process helps retain the delicate nuances of un-kilned hops by protecting cell wall and lupulin gland integrity. Unlike traditional freezing, flash freezing maintains the integrity of the hop cone from both a physical and aromatic perspective. The result is a product that perfectly preserves the magic of fresh hop season with very low perishability and better ease of transport.
“As a northwest brewer, Fresh Hops have always had a very special place in my heart,” says YCH Brewery Manager, Jeremy Wattenberg. “These new Frozen Fresh hops are going to be an absolute game changer in the way we look at fresh hopped beers. I cannot wait to get these in the hands of brewers around the world and see what they are able to come up with!”
The overall benefits of Frozen Fresh Hops include better storability, higher quality upon arrival and logistical flexibility both with shipping and brewhouse operations. If stored at any temperatures between fourteen and thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit, they must be used within 48 hours. Application and usage recommendations are the same as traditional fresh hops. We recommend three to six times by weight versus regular T90 pellets. Ideally, Frozen Fresh Hops should be utilized in the whirlpool or hop-back situations and are not ideal for dry hopping due to high water content and a tendency to float.
“We've thoroughly enjoyed brewing with Frozen Fresh Hops - they bring the harvest buzz to our brewery, outside of the picking the window!” said Steve Luke, Head Brewer and Founder of Cloudburst Brewing. “The quality of the hop cones has been exceptional, and we've seen zero differences when compared to our traditional Fresh Hop beers.”
Inspired by the fresh frozen fruits and vegetables exported across the globe, we have found a way to supply a more attainable fresh hop product. Cheers to sharing this unique experience with more brewers and beer drinkers everywhere!