Isomerised hop extract (IHE) is a concentrated form of hops that is used in the brewing industry to impart bitterness and flavour to beer. Hops are a key ingredient in beer, as they balance the sweetness of the malt and provide a range of flavours and aromas.
IHE is made by extracting the alpha acids from hops and then isomerizing them through a chemical reaction. This process converts the alpha acids into iso-alpha acids, which are more soluble and stable than the original alpha acids. Iso-alpha acids are responsible for the bitterness in beer and also contribute to the flavour and aroma.
IHE has several advantages over using whole hops in the brewing process. It is more concentrated, which means less material is needed to achieve the desired bitterness level. It is also more consistent in terms of bitterness and flavour, as the iso-alpha acids are standardized. This makes it easier for brewers to produce consistent batches of beer.
Another advantage of using IHE is that it can be added at different stages of the brewing process. It can be added during the boil to impart bitterness, or during fermentation to add flavour and aroma. This flexibility allows brewers to experiment with different hop profiles and create unique beers.
In conclusion, isomerised hop extract is a key ingredient in the brewing industry that provides bitterness, flavour, and aroma to beer. It is a concentrated form of hops that is more consistent and flexible than using whole hops. Brewers can choose the form and strength that best suits their brewing process and create unique beers with different hop profiles.