Innovative processing technology behind Cryo Hops receives a U.S. patent
In March, Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) was awarded a U.S. patent for the technology used to create its Cryo Hops® products. What are Cryo Hops? Perhaps you’ve heard the term mentioned by brewers or fellow beer geeks. Perhaps you’ve read beer descriptions that use the term. “Brewed using Mosaic Cryo,” for instance.
In 2017, YCH announced the development of the proprietary technology used to make Cryo Hops® brand pellets. It is now patented technology. The product is used in the same way hops are used. They are just a concentrated, or denser, version of the hops. The product is provided to the brewer in pellet form, just like most other hops. YCH offers several different varieties in this form: Mosaic Cryo, Simcoe Cryo, Citra Cryo, Idaho7 Cryo, and many others.
Cryo Hops is a product resulting from the use of a cryogenic hop-processing technology that separates whole cones (hop flowers) into two components—concentrated lupulin and bract. The concentrated lupulin is then used to create the product that goes into the beer.
When looking at a hop flower (hop cone), the bract is basically the structural part of the hop flower–the little leaves that make up the structure. It is the less yummy part of the cone-shaped flower. Lupulin is the resinous goodness that coats and permeates the flower. It is the yellowish, waxy-powder substance that contains the aroma and the flavor.
In broad terms, entire hop flowers are dried and processed, then condensed into small pellets that look like rabbit food. That’s normal hop processing and there is nothing wrong with that tried-and-true technology. In producing the product, hops are processed using YCH’s now-patented technology. The resulting lupulin-rich compound is then transformed into pellet form.
Cryo Hops is designed to provide intense hop flavor and aroma in today’s hop-forward, super-hopped beers. It allows brewers to introduce large quantities of alpha acids and oils to their beers without introducing the less-desirable flavors imparted by the vegetative matter. The recently issued U.S. Patent identifies the process as exclusive to YCH.
“It has been incredible to watch Cryo Hops brand products gain popularity in the craft beer community over the past five years,” said Karl Vanevenhoven, Chief Operations Officer at YCH. “We’re excited to continue evolving our advanced products. We’ve just barely scratched the surface on hop innovation.”
Next time a beer description mentions Cryo Hops, or “Citra Cryo,” you’ll know what they’re talking about.
Here’s a video from YCH with more info about Cryo Hops. It’s especially valuable for brewers interested in using Cryo Hops.