TNS Hop Oils: Fragrant and Flavorful Solutions for More Efficient Brewing
BSG is proud to introduce Totally Natural Solutions’ range of hop oils, a line of 100% natural hop extracts formulated to deliver high-quality flavors and aromas in place of (or alongside) hop cones and pellets.
By now, pro brewers are likely familiar with the advantages hop oil extracts offer. Typically topping the list are gains in quality, consistency, margins, and ease of use. They’re also highly concentrated, highly soluble, and require very short contact time to deliver big impact.
As if that wasn’t enough, TNS hop oils are produced naturally without the use of chemical solvents or additives. If you’re curious about bringing TNS hop oils into your brewery, the first step is identifying the beer style and character you’re targeting. Then, choose the appropriate products for a tasty science experiment.
BSG offers the following HopInspiration® products:
- HopBurst®: Available in varietal-specific and style-specific products, these intense hop oils are designed to replace or complement dry-hopping additions for reduced beer losses and greater consistency and ease of use.
- HopShot®: Coming in profiles suited for Lagers, IPAs, and NEIPA beer styles, HopShot® provides late hop character with improved stability.
- HopSensation®: Formulated to provide the balance and depth offered by late and complex multi-hop additions, HopSensation® comes ready to roll in West Coast IPAs, double-dry hopped IPAs, and dry-hopped lagers.
- HopPlus®: Natural fruit and botanical flavors are blended with complementary hop oils for the consistent, year-round production of exciting brews like Tropical NEIPAs, Radlers, fruited sours, and more. No need for messy fruits and no fermentable sugars. Want to develop a single wort stream into several different beers? HopPlus® lets you do that too!
- HopZero®: Liquid hop oils tuned for refining and punching up low and no-alcohol base beers for a better drinking experience. Core products include formulations for adjusting Body, Clarity, Fruity, and Dry attributes.
Dosage Rate Guidelines
Because TNS hop oils are highly concentrated, a very good rule of thumb is to start small – you can always add more hop oil if the sensory profile isn’t where you want it to be at first, but you can’t take it out once it’s been added.
TNS recommends the following for dosage rates:
- 10-20 mL/hectoliter for lighter beer styles; this is equivalent to:
- 12-24 mL/bbl
- 12–24 g/bbl
- 0.4-0.8 g/gallon
- 30-40 mL/hectoliter for IPAs, hop-forward styles, and more flavorful beers; this is equivalent to:
- 35-47 mL/bbl
- 35–47 g/bbl
- 1.1-1.5 g/gallon
Every brewery is different and so are the beers they produce, so the optimal dosage rate depends on your desired hop profile as well as your setup, process, flavor intensity of the other ingredients, ABV%, and other factors. For that reason, it’s important to perform small-scale trials for evaluation and calibrating dosage before scaling up to production volumes.
Determining Your Dosage Rate – Ballpark
An easy way to ballpark whether your beer needs a dose in the low, middle, or high end of that range just requires a sample jar of TNS hop oil, a dropper or pipette, and a few glasses of the beer to be dosed. Add 1-3 drops of oil to a few pint glasses of bright beer: one drop in one of the glasses, two drops in another, three in a third. Label the glasses by number of drops, stir to mix, and let them settle for approximately 5 minutes before evaluating.
Pro tip: this is also a good way to compare and contrast different types of TNS oils (or different combinations of TNS hop oils!) and how they show in your brands.
Determining Your Dosage Rate – Dialing In
Once you have an idea of whether your beer needs a low, medium, or high dose, it’s time to dial in the precise rate – the best way to do this is using a micropipette with a range of 5–100 microliters, available from scientific supply companies or online.
A micropipette will let you accurately measure a precise dose at a small scale, allowing you and your team to perform a sensory panel on dosed samples of bright beer and select the optimal level for your desired profile.
An easy rule of thumb is that 1 microliter of TNS hop oil in 100 mL of bright beer is equivalent to 1 mL of oil in 1 hectoliter of beer; for example, to sample the recommended dosage range for an IPA in a benchtop trial, use between 30 and 40 microliters (measured and added with a micropipette) in 100 mL of bright beer.
In the Brewhouse
The good news is that at this point the hardest work is done! A production-scale dose of TNS hop oils is lighter, more compact, more shelf-stable, and much easier to clean than the equivalent charge of pellets or cones.
TNS hop oils are designed to be added on the cold side, post fermentation (although HopBurst oils can be added during active fermentation to effect biotransformation). Once you’ve measured out the desired dose – either by weight in grams, or volume in mL – it can be added inline between the FV and maturation tank, directly into the maturation tank, or inline between filtration and the bright tank.
After mixing, allow the dosed beer to settle for two to three hours and sample to evaluate.
- A Top 50 US Craft Brewer partnered with TNS to reproduce one of their core beers, a Pilsner at 5.4% ABV with 42BU. After dosing several iterations at pilot scale, the brewer’s winning formulation reduced hop bill costs by 10%, beer losses by 18%, and time in the maturation vessel by five days. Beer stability improved in the package, and $150,000 in savings were realized.
- Next up was an IPA clocking in at 6.5% ABV and 70BU. TNS engaged with the brewer to create a “citrus bomb” using five hop varieties in a single hop extract. A winning formulation was achieved at pilot scale, resulting in savings on cold storage and hop inventory. Beer losses came down 27%, maturation time shrunk by 12 days, and the brewery reduced costs by a projected $285,000.
TNS hop oils offer significant savings in freight, storage, labor, and waste. For all the aromatics of a high hop load and none of the headaches around hop creep, inconsistency, or astringency, contact BSG today.
We’ve been testing Totally Natural Solutions hop aroma products for many years now and have done some small-scale retail releases with these awesome materials. Of the hop aroma and flavor extracts we’ve used TNS tastes the most natural and in some cases has been indistinguishable from beers produced with hop pellets.
Steve Gonzalez, Senior Manager of Brewing and Innovation, Stone Brewing
(Photo credit: Beer Connoisseur)