Homebrew Manufacturing Focus: Hop Packing Process
 
Homebrew Hop Manufacturing

Over the past four years, the volume of hops being packed at SPL has increased by over 500%! We put this down to a few factors including the popularity of our hop inclusive homebrew beer kits, the extensive range of varieties and pack sizes that we offer and the thorough storage and packing procedures we adhere to, that ensure the hops reach the end user in optimum condition.
The manufacturing process begins, often over 12 months before we pack the hops, when contracts are agreed with our hop merchants for the coming year. This involves forecasting our requirements and working closely with our Marketing, Sales and Product Development Teams to agree to what we’ll want to be offering, and in what quantities, in our future products.
We have a network of trusted hop merchants who we’re in regular contact with, not just for placing orders but also when developing new products as our team loves to try the latest new hop varieties and develop beers with new and exciting flavour and aroma profiles. We currently order over 60 different hop varieties that come from territories including New Zealand, Czech Republic, Germany, UK, Australia, South Africa and USA. This gives us access to a huge variety of organoleptic profiles when developing our homebrew beer kits.
The hops are delivered to us in T90 format, vacuum packed and chilled, and remain in this state on site until they’re ready for use. We favour the T90 pellet in comparison to whole hops as they are easier to handle, less costly to store and ship, have improved storage properties, increased hop utilisation, and are easier to separate from wort.
We pack both single variety hops, mostly sold to brewers creating their own recipes and some blends of up to six different hop varieties - these generally go into the kits we produce.
When they arrive at our homebrew manufacturing site, the packing of the hops begins with them being moved from chill and loaded directly into our hopper, this happens within 10 minutes to minimise heat exposure - hops stored at 24°C will degrade almost four times as fast as hops stored in a freezer!
The hopper then utilises a vibratory feeder which carefully moves the hops along a conveyor, through metal detection and into a weighing pan. This accurately measures the hops to the desired weight before dropping them through a chute directly into one of our nine packing machines. Here they are fed into industrial grade foil laminates that are resistant to water, chemicals and provide a 100% light and oxygen barrier. The packs are then nitrogen flushed to remove oxygen
 and sealed, any branding and print information is added and they come off the line straight into dispatch boxes. They then return to chill until they are dispatched to our customers around the globe.
If you have a hop product requirement or a beer recipe you would like us to help develop, please get in touch so we can discuss your requirements.
 
 
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