Our Hops Processing
At Hop Head Farms our focus is always to provide the highest quality hops to brewers large and small. Our processing system ensures that we produce a consistent product, whether it is whole dried or pelleted. We have the equipment that is scaled to handle large batches of hops, yet treat them like the delicate flowers that they are. Each step in processing is done with efficiency and an attention to detail..
Step 1: Quality Analysis
Hop Head Farms strives for the highest quality standards. Our quality control begins in the planting phase using disease free and virus indexed stock. Careful monitoring of the crop and adjusting inputs are also essential to give the plants just what they need. The attention to detail follows all the way through to the finished product. We employ methods for hop sampling and testing established by the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the USDA. This guarantees that we meet our quality production standards.
Step 3: Drying/Oasting
After running through the Wolf, the hops are ready for their most crucial phase, the drying process. Freshly picked hops are brought to the oast where they are monitored until reaching the proper moisture content. It is essential to let the hops dry at a low enough temperature to retain essential oils, but a high enough one to expedite the process and prevent spoilage. During the drying process we use periodic testing to assure that the final moisture content is ideal.
Step 4: Pelletizing
As with oasting it is very important to keep the hops at a lower temperature to retain the essential oils, yet maintain the integrity of the pellet. Our pelleting line has been designed to do just that. The freshly dried hop cones are first granulated, and then extruded through a die and cut to length. The hop pellets are then cooled to an ambient temperature. Then they are ready for packaging.
Step 5: Packaging
Our final phase in our hops processing is packaging. We package both our whole hops and our pellets with nitrogen-flush and vacuum sealing technology. By using this process with oxygen and light barrier materials, we are able to protect your hops from both oxidation and light damage.
Each package that leaves our farm has a quality freshness seal and is individually labeled with specified tracking information which allows us to trace it back to the field where it was grown. All packaged hops are kept in cold storage until they are shipped.