Linalool in Hops

Stefan Hanke, University Weihenstephan, Germany

Adding hops at late stages of boiling is a common way to create a pleasant hoppy flavor in the final beer. Several hundred aroma compounds are found in hops, but only a few are found in the final beer. The noticeable hoppy flavor is the result of the complex interaction of different aroma compounds. Among the huge variety of aroma compounds, it was found that linalool provides a good indication of hoppy flavor. In general the hop dosage in the brewery is determined according to the alpha-acid content, which of course can lead to totally different contents of hop aroma substances in the finished beer. Using linalool as the basic parameter for hop dosage, beer with a constant hop aroma can be produced. Linalool gives a good correlation between perceived flowery-fruity hop aroma and linalool concentration. Otherwise, linalool concentration in late-hopped beers is above the threshold concentration and, therefore, has a direct impact on beer flavor. A concentration of 20 ppb linalool is necessary to impart a hoppy flavor. This article gives a short review of linalool in brewing and its effect on hop aroma.

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