Researcher Presentation: Development of Thiols and Thiol Precursors in Different Hop Varieties During Hop Harvest and their Impact on Beer Flavor

CBC Online 2020
Speakers: Christina Schönberger

Thiols are highly aroma-active compounds derived from hops that can give very intense fruity flavor to predominantly dry-hopped beers. The occurrence of these thiols in hops was only discovered a couple of years ago and the data in this regard is scarce. The analysis of these compounds is very challenging, which also explains why the relevance of these compounds is only slowly becoming clear. In this project, we are looking into the development of these fruity thiols in different hop cultivars during the growing season in different growing locations. Certain varieties have a good amount of these fruity thiols in a free form that exhibit grapefruit, black current, and passion fruit flavors in beers dry-hopped with these varieties. The harvest date might be a possibility to obtain more of these flavors. We are also investigating how much of the precursor structures we find in the different hop cultivars. Several precursors have been identified and those basically carry the fruity thiols in a bound manner. Therefore, in the second part of this research we will look into possibilities to release these thiols from precursor structures with the help of certain active yeasts and/or enzymes in dry-hopping. We will also thoroughly investigate the sensory impact of these thiols in dry-hopped beers.

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