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Hop Utilization

Views: 53     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-11-04      Origin: Site

Hop utilization is the percentage of alpha acids that is isomerized and remains in the finished beer. The utilization of the bitter substances rarely exceeds 40% in commercial breweries and is often as low as 25% (31).

Factors Affecting Utilization

Not all of the bitterness potential from the alpha acid in the hop is utilized, which can be attributed to a number of reasons:

  • Form of Hops

The isomerization rate is initially affected by the form of hops. Isomerization is slower and at a much lower rate with whole hops or plugs, slightly faster with standard pellets, and greatest with extracts.

  • Boil Conditions

Boil conditions can affect isomerization in a number of ways. For instance, the longer the boil continues, the more isomerization takes place, though eventually the reaction reverses itself, degrading the iso-alpha acids.

  • Hopping Rate

Isomerization is also affected by hopping rate; as the hopping rate increases, the rate of isomerization decreases. This effect can be partially offset by adding bittering hops in stages.

  • Fermentation Conditions

Fermentation conditions can affect the amount of iso-alpha acids that remain in the beer in a number of ways. Loss of iso-alpha acids also occurs during fermentation as they are adsorbed onto the yeast cell walls.

  • Maturation and Filtration Conditions

After fermentation, maturation and filtration conditions affect the extent to which not only bitterness, but also other hops components survive in the finished beer.


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