Amanda Benson (1), Victor Algazzali (2), Lindsay Barr (3), Tiffany Pitra (4); (1) Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR, U.S.A.; (2) John I. Haas, U.S.A.; (3) New Belgium Brewing Company, U.S.A.; (4) Hopsteiner, U.S.A.


The most common form of aroma evaluation of raw hops is the hand-rub technique, as described in the ASBC Methods of Analysis (Hops-2). The purpose of the hop tea method is a cool water extract of hops for sensory analysis as an alternative to the traditional hand-rub technique for raw hop evaluation. Whole cone or pellet hops are added to water in a French press and placed on a stir plate for 20 min. The water is then decanted off the hops, and the resulting hop tea is evaluated for aroma. Standardization of the method is being conducted between four different sensory labs. Potential benefits include the fact that the hop tea method minimizes the carry over that you might see with the hand-rub technique, and the teas can also be made ahead and refrigerated for a fixed amount of time before analysis. Validation of the method is being conducted with (more) sensory labs, using triangle tests to determine repeatability and sensitivity. Raw material evaluation is important in brewery quality, and this method is another low-cost technique for raw hop evaluation and assessing potential dry-hop aroma qualities.

Amanda Benson received a B.S. degree in food science, with an emphasis on fermentation science, from Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, in 2000. In 2013 she completed the Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program through the UC Davis Extension Program. In 2000, she began working at Deschutes Brewery in the Brewing Department and in 2003 moved to the Quality Assurance Department. In 2006 she started the sensory program for Deschutes Brewery as part of the Quality Assurance Program. She has been a member of ASBC since 2008 and is a member of the ASBC Sensory Subcommittee.