Evaluation of Nonvolatile Chemistry Affecting Sensory Bitterness Intensity of Highly Hopped Beers.

TitleEvaluation of Nonvolatile Chemistry Affecting Sensory Bitterness Intensity of Highly Hopped Beers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHahn, CD, Lafontaine, SR, Pereira, CB, Shellhammer, T
JournalJ Agric Food Chem
Date Published2018 Apr 04
KeywordsAdult, Beer, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Ethanol, Female, Humans, Humulus, Male, Middle Aged, Taste, Young Adult

The range of different nonvolatile constituents extracted from hops in highly hopped beers suggests that isohumulones may not be the sole contributor to beers' bitterness. Among brewers producing hop-forward beer styles, there is concern that the bitterness unit (BU) is no longer an accurate predictor of beer bitterness. This study examined factors within the beer matrix that influence sensory bitterness perception in highly hopped beers. Over 120 commercial beers were evaluated using sensory and instrumental techniques. Chemical analysis consisted of the BU via spectrophotometry, hop acids via high-performance liquid chromatography, total polyphenols via spectrophotometry, and alcohol content plus real extract via an Alcolyzer. Sensory analysis was conducted over two studies, and the beers' overall bitterness intensities were rated using a 0-20 scale. This study identified that the BU measurement predicts sensory bitterness with a nonlinear response, and it proposed an alternative approach to predicting bitterness based on isohumulones, humulinones, and ethanol concentrations. The study also revealed the importance of oxidized hop acids, humulinones, as a significant contributor to beer bitterness intensity.

Alternate JournalJ. Agric. Food Chem.
PubMed ID29526091