Author Topic: Alpha Analytics  (Read 985 times)

S. cerevisiae

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Alpha Analytics
« on: September 12, 2014, 04:33:24 AM »
I just wanted to put a plug in for Hopunion's analytical unit.   I sent 150 grams of dried cones from the hop cultivar formerly known as Wye Challenger to Alpha Analytics for analysis.  I ordered the "Hop Profile Package."  The hops were delivered to Alpha Analytics on Monday, and my reports were posted on Tuesday.  The hop plants that I thought were Wye Challenger appear to be Zeus.   

Here are sanitized versions of the reports that I received from Alpha Analytics (the reports can be enlarged by clicking on them):


Hop Analysis Summary Report





Detailed Hop Oil Analysis Report




Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 11:44:01 AM »
That's impressive service and interesting information.  How much of the hops did you have to send in for the analysis to be done?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 12:53:21 PM »
Wow! I'm impressed at the level of detail you're able to get from them. If the price and sample sizes are right I'd even consider sending some samples from hops I've purchased in bulk.

Did they tell you that these were Zeus as part of their analysis, or did you have some reason to suspect that these were Zeus and their results confirmed that suspicion?
Eric B.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2014, 01:06:00 PM »
Yeah, that is an impressive level of detail, more than I'd have expected.
Jon H.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 02:16:20 PM »
Wow! I'm impressed at the level of detail you're able to get from them. If the price and sample sizes are right I'd even consider sending some samples from hops I've purchased in bulk.

The service cost $100.00.  I took advantage of the 15% discount that Hopunion was offering to AHA members.


Quote
Did they tell you that these were Zeus as part of their analysis, or did you have some reason to suspect that these were Zeus and their results confirmed that suspicion?

There's a back story to why I sent the hops for analysis (a lot of e-mails were exchanged with the propagator and authorities from Wye Hops and the USDA Corvallis); however, in nutshell, I suspected that the plants were not Wye Challenger all summer.  It was not until a British hop grower posted a photo of Wye Challenger on another website that I had the evidence to prove my case. Wye Challenger has a distinct bine color, which my plants lacked.  I had a feeling that the plants were either Columbus or Zeus when they became sexually confused.  Columbus and Zeus are notorious for going monoecious (developing male and female flowers on the same plant).  I am assuming that the plants are Zeus because the test results match Zeus more closely than Columbus (they are within a margin of error that can be attributed to terroir).  There are not many cultivars that are capable of producing cones that contain 16.4% alpha acid.  That's off the charts for homegrown hops.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 02:21:22 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 02:42:46 PM »
Wow! I'm impressed at the level of detail you're able to get from them. If the price and sample sizes are right I'd even consider sending some samples from hops I've purchased in bulk.
The service cost $100.00.  I took advantage of the 15% discount that Hopunion was offering to AHA members.
So not exactly worth it to check out the specs on a pound or two of hops. But this is way more info than you typically get from Hops Direct, freshops, or any of the other small growers or resellers. I wouldn't mind paying an extra buck a pound to get this kind of detail.
Eric B.

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2014, 03:34:09 PM »
So not exactly worth it to check out the specs on a pound or two of hops. But this is way more info than you typically get from Hops Direct, freshops, or any of the other small growers or resellers. I wouldn't mind paying an extra buck a pound to get this kind of detail.

It's way more information than one needs for brewing.  The basic brewing values (alpha, beta, and HSI) are all one needs.  Overall oil content v/w is good to know for making consistent flavor/aroma additions. However, the volatile oil breakdown is only important to large breweries that purchase alphas and oils.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 03:42:58 PM »
So not exactly worth it to check out the specs on a pound or two of hops. But this is way more info than you typically get from Hops Direct, freshops, or any of the other small growers or resellers. I wouldn't mind paying an extra buck a pound to get this kind of detail.

It's way more information than one needs for brewing.  The basic brewing values (alpha, beta, and HSI) are all one needs.  Overall oil content v/w is good to know for making consistent flavor/aroma additions. However, the volatile oil breakdown is only important to large breweries that purchase alphas and oils.
There's still a lot of research to be done on hop oils, but as an IPA brewer I would definitely start tracking things like linalool/geraniol/citronellol if I had the ability to do so. A lot of these hop oils allegedly represent the flavors and aromas I'm trying to cram in my beer. Having this data available would certainly help focus some experimentation.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 09:52:00 PM »
There's still a lot of research to be done on hop oils, but as an IPA brewer I would definitely start tracking things like linalool/geraniol/citronellol if I had the ability to do so. A lot of these hop oils allegedly represent the flavors and aromas I'm trying to cram in my beer. Having this data available would certainly help focus some experimentation.

A breakdown of the essential oils is really only useful if one is blending for a specific oil profile or attempting to identify a cultivar.   The megas blend in order to achieve a consistent oil profile for use in a delicately flavored product. 

The volume of oil per weight of hops is more important in craft brewing because the oil content in the popular late hops can swing by as much as 2.5% v/w.  Linalool for Zeus falls into the range of 0.3% to 0.6% of the total oil.  One hundred grams of Zeus with 4% oils and 0.3% linalool contains 4 x 0.003 = 0.012 milliters of linalool whereas the same amount of hops with 1.5% oils and 0.6% linalool contains 1.5 x 0.006 = 0.009 milliters of linalool.

The thing that I liked about Mark Garetz's hops is that they carried a v/w oil rating, which made consistent late hopping much easier.  His hops were usually a big step up from what was sold in the homebrew trade.


Offline santoch

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 10:36:16 PM »
It would be very interesting to see the results from a sample off the same rhizomes next year, just to compare.  I have always wondered just how much variability there is year to year for hops coming from essentially the same plant year after year.



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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 11:25:45 PM »
These plants were not grown from rhizomes.  They started out as above grown plant cuttings, which is the preferred way to propagate clean plants.

http://healthyplants.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Hop-Prop-Tips-R6.pdf

Offline santoch

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Re: Alpha Analytics
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 01:25:16 AM »
So you are implying that next year's bines will be from cuttings from this year's hops.
Will you dig up the rhizomes and throw them away?  Seems unnecessary to me.
I think it would be a lot easier (and likely more bountiful) to grow new bines from this rhizome next
year instead of starting over from scratch.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 02:37:43 AM by santoch »
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