HVG Germany: Hopfen

When manufacturing hop pellets, hop cones are ground and then gently pressed so as not to alter the original quality of the natural product. In cone form, the hop has a density which varies between 130 kg/m3 and 150 kg/m3 in the packaging supplied by the grower. The greater density of pellets, which is in the range of 500 kg/m3, reduces the transport volume and enables long storage stability through quality-preservation packing in a protective atmosphere.  

Only when hops are in their powdered form is it possible to combine different smaller hop parts into a uniform, homogeneous batch. This powder contains all hop components – polyphenols, resins and oils – in their natural ratio and quality. The pellets known commercially as type 90 pellets obtain their name from the ratio of approx. 90 kg of pellets obtained from 100 kg of hops.

The lupulin-enriched hop pellets, also known as type 45 pellets, are obtained through mechanical enrichment of the lupulin gland when the hop is frozen (-35°C). This is the procedure in which part of the leaf stalk and cone stem contained in the powder is removed by sieving.

Link to product specifications.(PDF): HVG – Lupulin Enriched Pellets, HVG – Pellets

Comparison between normal and enriched pellets (values in % relative to raw hops)

Normal (type 90) Enriched (type 45)
Weight 90 - 95 % bis 45%
Volume 20 - 50 % 10 - 25 %

Bitter and aromatic substances

100% bis 200%
Polyphenol dosage 100% bis 50%
Solid matter dosage 100% bis 50%

In the brewery, hop pellets are used mainly for dosage in the brewhouse, either in the brew kettle or in the whirlpool, or also for dry-hopping in the storage cellar.

In order to preserve their quality, hop pellets should be kept cool at temperatures below 5°C during transport and storage.

PDF: „Unerwartete Warmphasen von Hopfenpellets – halb so schlimm?“, What happens to hop pellets during unexpected warm phases?