A natural foam enhancer from hops

Hops Session

John Paul Maye, S.S. Steiner, Inc., New York, NY, USA
Co-author(s): Robert Smith, S.S. Steiner, Inc., Yakima, WA, USA; Richard Wilson (deceased); Harald Schwarz, S.S. Steiner, Inc., New York, NY, USA

ABSTRACT: Most consumers view a natural looking foam head as an important part of a good quality beer. For this reason, brewers have been using tetrahydroisoalpha-acids and hexahydroisoalpha-acids to improve the foam and lacing of their beers for many years. Today many brewers seek a more natural foam enhancing hop product. We’ve investigated and found that alpha-acids, from CO2 hop extract, can significantly improve the foam stability of a number of commercial beers at low concentrations. Since alpha-acids are not very bitter, they can be added to any beer to improve foam without affecting bitterness. Aqueous solutions of alpha-acids can be made that are both physically and chemically stable. Alpha-acids treated beers showed improved foam stability over an extended storage period demonstrating the foam enhancing potential of this natural product.

John Paul Maye is the technical director at Hopsteiner. He received his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from Purdue University in 1994, under 2010 Noble Prize winning chemist Ei-ichi Negishi. John started his work as a hop chemist in 1993 and has worked in hops ever since. He is credited with publishing several papers and patents and in 2000 won the ASBC Eric Kneen Memorial Award for his work on developing HPLC standards for isomerized and reduced alpha-acids. He is also a founding member of the International Hop Standards Committee and has been an ASBC member since 1994.