Journal of the Institute of Brewing vol:108 issue:1 pages:86-93
Hop-derived sesquiterpenoid-type oxidation products have been associated with a spicy or herbal hoppy beer character. However, the flavour threshold values of hitherto identified oxygenated sesquiterpenes are generally much higher than their estimated levels in beer. By applying two-step supercritical fluid extraction of hop pellets using carbon dioxide. followed by chromatographic purification of the enriched sesquiterpenoid fraction, highly specific varietal hop oil essences containing all main oxygenated sesquiterpenes were obtained. Post-fermentation addition (at ppb levels) of these purified sesquiterpenoid essences from various European aroma hops led to distinctive spicy or herbal flavour notes, reminiscent of typical 'noble' hop aroma. It is concluded that a spicy hop flavour impression in beer depends significantly on minor constituents of the natural sesquiterpenoid hop oil fraction.