Our “Brewer’s Spotlight” is a series of conversations with innovative brewers across the country. Recently we had a round table discussion with members of the HAAS Innovations Brewing team, Virgil McDonald, Jeff Barnes, and Alejandro Gonzales, to discuss LUPOMAXTM, the innovative new hop pellet from John I. Haas, Inc.
FIRST OFF, WHAT IS LUPOMAX? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT TO A FELLOW BREWER?
Virgil: LUPOMAX is a concentrated lupulin pellet that provides optimized, consistent, true-to-type hop flavor.
Alejandro: When you look at the HAAS product portfolio, LUPOMAX is a flavor and aroma product, but it’s really a brewing solution that helps ensure consistent flavor and reduces process loss.
WHY LAUNCH IT NOW? WHAT MAKES THIS THE IDEAL TIME FOR LUPOMAX TO COME TO MARKET?
Alejandro: So, LUPOMAX is designed to be a highly consistent product, delivering the same specifications of lupulin and alpha acids from crop to crop and year to year. With the current COVID-19 pandemic preventing folks from traveling for selection, LUPOMAX is actually a perfect ingredient that provides guaranteed consistency, flavor and efficiency when if, for instance, lot selections are difficult.
Jeff: But it actually offers a bigger-picture solution. LUPOMAX’s concentrated lupulin pellets provide consistency and flavor to help brewers achieve the same flavor in their beer, every time. It also helps wort loss—or beer loss, depending on where you use it—which is important when everyone is watching the bottom line.
Virgil: Which is all the time, right?
SO, WHEN DO YOU USE LUPOMAX?
Virgil: LUPOMAX can be used at any stage in the brewing process, but it really shines where flavor intensity and reducing beer loss matter most—like dry hopping. But, you know me, I hesitate telling brewers how they should use their hops. It’s a pellet, so, really, you can use it anywhere you’d use pellets in the process.
Alejandro: That’s right, it’s a really flexible product, just like any normal hop. So far, we’ve brewed single-hop beers. In every trial, we’ve been really impressed with the true-to-type, consistent flavor LUPOMAX provides. We’ve focused particularly on ale-based beers. But we are continually trialing more recipes every day and believe this product will be perfect for all beer styles.
Jeff: I agree—but we definitely see brewers leveraging this product for bold, intense hop flavor, because even if you add more product, you don’t need to worry about more loss.
WHY IS THAT?
Alejandro: Basically, when you have more lupulin concentrated in a pellet, and you optimize for flavor, you pull out a significant portion of the vegetative matter that typically soaks up beer or wort during brewing. So you can get more flavor and less loss using LUPOMAX.
Jeff: So, that’s why Alejandro said it is a flavor and aroma product—it’s also really an efficiency product. And a convenience product.
Alejandro: Well, you’re able to use less pellets, which is easier overall. I think, in the initial calculations we did for our single-hop beers, we used three foils less per batch. So, with LUPOMAX, you’re using 70% of the hop matter we’d normally use to get the same flavor results. Just think if you’re going up on a ladder to dry hop, that’s 30% less you’d need to carry up there. But there’s also less to clean up, and you’re sending less to the sewer afterward.
Virgil: Less to ship, less to store. I think, obviously, that all depends on how you brew with it—but I think the consistency, the convenience, and the flavor, it’s really a fantastic product.
AND WHAT ABOUT PERFORMANCE AND DISPERSIBILITY… THINGS LIKE THAT MATTER TOO, RIGHT?
Jeff: It’s really just like pellets. It’s just a different tool in your toolkit. LUPOMAX is bright and clean, since there’s less vegetation in it, so there’s less waste.
Vigil: I understand what you’re asking but…Look, I like to think of LUPOMAX as the friend you’ve always had. Now, he might just dress nicer and maybe smell a bit better!
SO, WHAT VARIETIES IS LUPOMAX AVAILABLE IN?
Alejandro: Currently, LUPOMAX comes in CitraⓇ, MosaicⓇ, and SABROⓇ. I know we’re looking at the 2020 Harvest and I’m pretty sure more varieties are in the works. But, those are really popular with brewers now, so that’s where we focused for launch.
To learn more about LUPOMAXTM, call your Haas Sales Representative today. Or contact a HAAS Distributor partner to get some LUPOMAXTM and let us know what you think. Cheers!