Asia Brewers Network

Improving Your Process with Cryo Hops®


Cryo Hops® have revolutionized modern hop additions. They offer increased yield potential for the brewer and greater efficiency across the entire supply chain. With an expanded array of aromas and flavors, Cryo™ not only enhances the brewing process but also the brewery’s bottom line. Have you experienced the Cryo difference?

Cryo pellets are made of concentrated lupulin from whole-leaf hops. Resins and aromatic oils are preserved using a proprietary and patented cryogenic separation process in a nitrogen-rich environment. The delicate lupulin is gently removed from the bract, or leaf matter, with a single screen passing through a mechanical sieve.

The concentrated lupulin is then pressed through our liquid nitrogen-cooled pelleting die for a user-friendly pellet shape. They are immediately sealed into their oxygen-impermeable pouches, packaged, and shipped. What happens to them next is up to you.

When asked if anything has changed about our Cryo process since its inception, Yakima Chief Hops Director of Research and Development Patrick Jensen says, “Cryo hasn’t changed; the world has.”

Successful brewers achieve more with less, and the results can be inspiring. Using Cryo Hops pellets in place of traditional T-90s offers the brewer higher oil concentrations in a smaller footprint, reducing shipping volumes and cooler storage.

The benefit of less hop matter can translate to more finished beer – fewer pellets mean less trub soaking up wort in your kettle, whirlpool, or precious beer in your fermenters. This reduction in absorption allows you to increase revenue by producing more beer each year or producing the same amount in fewer batches. For every barrel of beer gained, the brewer uses water, malt, utilities, and labor more efficiently.

In 2019, Wander Brewing, located in Bellingham, Washington, updated its year-round West Coast IPA, Shoe Toss, by incorporating Cryo Hops into the recipe. “After transitioning Shoe Toss to a blend of T-90s and Cryo pellets, we were able to shrink the total amount of hops per batch by 25% while also seeing an increase in total per-batch yield of about 6%,” says Lou Waldmeir, Head Brewer.

He noted that the recipe change did not impact customers’ perception of the old-school West Coast IPA, a critical consideration when updating a flagship brand. “We tried a few different variations of the beer with different blends of Cryo and T-90s before settling on a blend. The YCH survivable hop oil chart was helpful in trying to predict this. We ended up really liking how Cascade’s flavor and aroma expressed itself in the more concentrated form.”

Yakima Chief Hops Cryo CalculatorCRYO CALCULATOR

Input the volumes and hop additions typical of your brewhouse into our handy Cryo Calculator to help determine just how much you stand to gain.

We suggest starting at 40-50% of the standard T-90 weight when integrating Cryo Hops into your recipes. The exact percentage can vary, but this is a great starting point. Cryo Hops beers showcase pronounced zest with reduced grassy and vegetative characteristics. Some brewers prefer to keep the hop bill a mix of Cryo and T-90 to represent a whole mix of hop flavors, accentuating the resinous and juicy attributes that shine through with Cryo.

“A brewer is an artist, and Yakima Chief Hops provides a broad palette of flavors,” says Tessa Schilaty, Sensory and Brewing Research Manager at Yakima Chief Hops. “We offer some hop varieties in both T-90 and Cryo versions, providing a more diverse range of shades or hues to work with. It’s an expanded color spectrum for the creation of beer”. The brewer becomes empowered to craft a finished product with captivating sensory attributes by exploring these differing flavors and aromas throughout the brewing process.

Yakima Chief Citra & Simcoe sensory charts

Sensory assessment of 2022 Simcoe® Cryo and Citra® Cryo samples show increased perception of Berry, Stone Fruit, and Tropical characteristics, along with reductions in Woody and Herbal notes compared to their T-90 counterparts. The concentrated aromas and cleaner profiles of Cryo Hops can allow for greater manipulation of flavors. Sensory characteristics are determined by calculating the percentage of assessors who reported the presence of each aroma on a Check-All-That-Apply (CATA) ballot.

Cryo pellets can be used anywhere in the process you would use traditional pellets or whole-leaf hops. Matt Cole, Master Brewer and Co-Founder of Fat Head’s Brewing in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, says “We use Cryo late in the process, and temperature is a big part of it. We lower the temp in the whirlpool, and we tend to dry hop a little warmer” adding that “We’re a little old school with our dry hopping. Cryo is a softer pellet, and it disperses better.”

Fat Head’s Brewery was one of Cryo Hops’ earliest adopters. “It’s made an impactful impression in our beer. Reduced plant matter increases drinkability, and our beers finish brighter. They finish cleaner and crisper,” says Cole.

Fat Heads layers multiple hop formats during various brewing processes to maximize sensory potential. “We use CO2 extract, we use T-90, we use Cryo, and we’re using whole flower as well. Some of our beers are dry hopping at five pounds per barrel and our yields can be very poor. Anywhere we can pick up a few barrels, we’re all for it.”

Research indicates that Cryo pellets are effective at mitigating the effects of Hop Creep, the occurrence of refermentation after a hop addition. Hop Creep can be a pest to brewers, distorting the targets for alcohol, diacetyl, and CO2 in the final product. “It is very real, and it’s been one of our largest struggles,” laments Will Kmetz, Fat Head’s Innovation Brewer, “Cryo has less of that vegetative matter, where most of those enzymes reside, so the beers that are heavier in Cryo do tend to show less Hop Creep.”

Trials comparing whole hop, bract only, and lupulin factions of hop matter have confirmed that the lion’s share of diastatic enzymes responsible for Hop Creep resides in the bract. The process of creating Cryo Hops divides the hop into two parts, the concentrated lupulin to be pressed into Cryo pellets, and the bract, which is repurposed downstream.

For more comprehensive information on how Cryo Hops® effectively counters Hop Creep, a summary of the study and additional references can be found here.

When Yakima Chief Hops launched Cryo Hops in 2017, it was considered the biggest discovery in advanced hop processing that the industry had seen in decades. Cryo Hops are not merely glorified T-45 pellets.

Receiving a U.S. Patent means that our process is a significant and measurable improvement from any other hop production process and is exclusive to Yakima Chief Hops. From R&D Director Patrick Jensen, “All of our products are made to be the highest quality, and our innovative products are made to improve the sustainability of the hop supply chain.”

• Cryo Hops commonly hold higher concentrations of oils and alpha acids than any other concentrated lupulin pellets, meaning greater efficiency in the brewing process.
• Cryo pellets are gently milled and only take one trip through a mechanical sieve to separate the delicate lupulin from the bract.
• Our Cryo pellets undergo the coldest pelleting process in comparison to any other pellet on the market.
• We have the lowest O2 levels throughout the entire process.
• Cryo pellets require minimal handling compared to other lupulin-rich processing methods.
• Prior crop year Cryo Pellets are guaranteed fresh and punchy for three years from the packaging date (potentially longer).
• Research shows that the use of Cryo Hops can mitigate the effects of Hop Creep.

With an industry landscape characterized by rising expenses and heightened consumer consciousness, integrating Cryo Hops could be a game-changing tool for your brewery. Experience the transformative impact of Cryo for yourself!

Article by:

Yakima Chief Hops

Yakima Chief Hops

Yakima Chief Hops is a 100% grower-owned global supplier of premium quality hops and uncompromising service. We’re passionate about providing brewers with the tools and information to do something special. We are hop masters, beer geeks, farmers and families who share a culture of pride, partnership and innovation centered on sustainably produced hop products and brewing solutions from the Pacific Northwest.

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