OUR DRYING PROCESS
Most large-scale hop producers use heat to dry their hops. This method reduces the drying time and requires a smaller amount of space. However, drying with heat removes oils, aromas, and flavor from delicate hops. In addition, it results in uneven drying, with the bottom of the hop bed being far too dry, and the top retaining too much moisture. Heat drying can also cause the formation of an undesirable onion/garlic aroma and an elevated HSI.
We are willing to slow things down to ensure the highest quality product. JGL has developed low temperature drying technology that uses high velocity air and dehumidification instead of hot air.
Our driers force high velocity air through the hops in a reverse pattern, which gradually takes the hops from 80% to 20% moisture content. Once the hops reach 20%, we switch on large dehumidifiers to slowly draw the hops down to 8-10% moisture, at which point they can be safely stored. This requires more airflow and time (up to five times longer) than hot air drying.
Research shows that drying is the most critical process on a hop farm. Drying hops under 40⁰C retains more aroma, keeps moisture levels uniform throughout the batch, and results in a lower HSI.
JGL Shepherd Farms uses innovative soil moisture sensors that allow us to closely monitor how much water each hops varietal uses. From a growing perspective, we can maximize the yield potential, and ultimately the quality for each variety (healthy plants make healthy cones). For example, Chinook uses way more water then Centennial, and with these probes, we are able to tailor the water usage for each. We prevent over-watering and wasting water, and maximize the yield for each variety.
WHAT BREWERS SAY
"Access to high-quality fresh ingredients, like JGL's hops, so close to home means we can be more creative and experimental with our recipes."
— Mark, President of Rebellion Brewing