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Gorst Valley Hops: All Midwestern Grown Hops
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Gorst Valley Hops Hops Processing

Expert, patient processing is critical to high quality hops, whole or pellets. Each step requires diligence to ensure only the absolute best quality is produced. It begins with proper drying.

Gorst Valley Hops has designed custom drying schedules for each growerís oast.Drying

An entire season’s harvest can be ruined in only a few hours during drying. Gorst Valley Hops has designed custom drying schedules for each grower’s oast. On farm drying must be micromanaged due to the high degree of weather and site variability. Gorst Valley hops are dried under ambient temperatures; no heat is added to speed up the drying process. Heat and hops are enemies. Heat drives off the aromatic oils and causes pre-mature resin oxidation. Many brewers comment that Gorst Valley hops are very aromatic. We tell them “we don’t rush Mother Nature.”  Once the hops are dried to the appropriate moisture content they travel to the processing center.

Quality Analysis

Quality assurance testing is the centerpiece of the entire processing system. Utilizing the sampling and testing protocols from the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the USDA, Gorst Valley ensures only the best quality flowers are selected for processing. We have very low thresholds for wind and harvest damage, drying imperfections, and other agricultural defects.

Once the hops pass the physical quality exam they are tested for alpha and beta acids as well as oil content. Any lots that fall outside of acceptable ranges are rejected. The accepted lots are shipped to cold storage until all lots of any single variety are received and ready for pelletizing.

The milling stage is comprised of a size reduction step (hammer-milling) and a densification step (pelletizing).Milling

The milling stage is comprised of a size reduction step (hammer-milling) and a densification step (pelletizing). This stage is extremely critical to hop pellet quality as temperature and speed must be adjusted constantly to avoid scorching, oxidation, discoloring, etc. Gorst Valley safeguards against these hazards by milling at low speeds and injecting liquid nitrogen to keep the mill temperatures very low. After the pellets are formed they are allowed to rest under nitrogen until they are firm enough to package.

Cured hop pellets are vacuum packaged in gas-barrier bags to prevent oxidation.Packaging

Cured hop pellets are vacuum packaged in gas-barrier bags to prevent oxidation.  Pellets are precisely weighed into specialty barrier bags before the air in the bag is completely evacuated. The vacuum is stopped and nitrogen is flooded into the bag to displace any remaining ambient air/oxygen. Another vacuum removes the nitrogen to create a dense block of pellets. Heat impulse bars fuse the bag material to create an impermeable seal. The bag is labeled with specific tracking information so any concerns by the brewer can be traced directly back to the fields in which they were grown. The hops are then boxed and placed in cold storage until sold. Typically the entire process takes less than 2 weeks.


 
Newsroom

NEW!

101/201 Workshops in September

Join us on September 20-21 for the revised 101 Intro and 201 Advanced hop production workshops.  We have added significant new content including a comprehensive financial template to aid with your business planning. 


Hops Plants for 2015

2015??? That's right, it's time to start planning now. We have established a biosecure greenhouse facility and are taking deposits for live hops plants for your 2015 planting. Learn more about live hops plants and the ordering process here.


Hops 301: Field Lab Workshop

Registration Closed

Join us on-site at our 20 acre hop yard for this continuation of our popular Hop Production workshop series. Click here for more details about Hops 301.


Press Release: Best Practices Guide

We are happy to announce that the Hop Processing Best Practices Guide is finished and available for download.  Please see our Education page for more information and read the Press Release.


Brewing & Beer Styles

UW is hosting a two-day Brewing & Beer Styles workshop on 1/27 and 1/28, with instructors including our own James Altwies.  For more information please check out their website.



 

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Friends of Gorst Valley Hops
Gorst Valley Hops Client: Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee WI Gorst Valley Hops Client: Grumpy Troll Brew Pub, Mt. Horeb WI Gorst Valley Hops Client: Furthermore Beer, Spring Green WI Gorst Valley Hops Client: Capital Brewery, Middleton WI Gorst Valley Hops Client: Potosi Brewing Company, Potosi WI Gorst Valley Hops Client: Potosi Brewing Company, Potosi WI