What Causes Hops to Make Beer Bitter?
Highly volatile oils in the hops are released during the boiling. The oils are an extremely ephemeral hop component that evaporate with the steam or chemically transformed and stripped away during the fermentation process.
The component oils found in hops are what causes the hops to impart a bitter quality to beer. Finding the balance between the taste of bitter hops and sweet yeast is what creates the individuality of each beer.
Some of the essential hop oils:
- b-myrcene (herbal, spicy, thyme-flavored) is an alkaline hydrocarbon found in large quantities in plants such as hops, cannabis, and the leaves from the bay tree. It is used in the production of certain fragrances in conjunction with linalool, geraniol, and citronellal.
- Linalool(minty, citrusy, floral notes) is used as to impart flavor and aroma in beer because it is more soluble.
- Geraniol is associated with the aromas of many popular hop beers sold in the Americas. It is a monopeternoid alcohol found in rose, palm, and citronella oils.
- a-farnesene(lime, fresh green apples, pears) is a set of six similarly related chemical bonded compounds.