Today in 1997, US Patent WO 1997046116 A1 was issued, an invention of Vinod K. Chaudhary, Laurel E. Maney, Robert J. Mizerak, David P. Newell, Sydney R. Rader, Subba C. Rao, David S. Ryder, Joseph E. Snyder, and Matthew L. Tripp, assigned to Miller Brewing, for their “Roasted Hop Solids and Methods of Using Them.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
A method of roasting hop solids (spent hops) is disclosed. The roasted hop solids are useful for making a light stable, fully kettle hop flavored beverage.
One aspect of the present invention provides a method of roasting hop solids, comprising the steps of feeding the hop solids to a heating means; and exposing the hop solids to a predetermined heating profile in the heating means to produce a roasted hop solids, wherein the predetermined heating profile is chosen so that a fermented hop flavored beverage made using the roasted hop solids has enhanced kettle hop flavor and greater light stability compared to such a beverage if made with an equal amount of unroasted hop solids. The heating means can be any type of dryer capable of drying particulate solids such as flakes, pellets, granules, powders, chips, shreds, leaf, agglomerates, and irregular shapes. For example, a truck dryer or a fluidized bed dry can be used. The predetermined heating profile is preferably further chosen so that substantially all the alpha acids are destroyed. Preferably, the predetermined heating profile is further chosen so that if a fermented hop flavored beverage is made using the roasted hop solids it is light stable. Most preferably, the predetermined heating profile is 98°C for 23-24 hours.
Another aspect of the invention provides a method of making a hop flavored beverage from a fermentable growth media, comprising the steps of adding to the media, prior to bio-conversion, a hop flavoring agent; and bio- converting the media to form the hop flavored beverage, wherein the hop flavoring agent comprises roasted hop solids.
A still further aspect of the invention provides a hop flavored beverage prepared by adding to a fermentable growth media, prior to bio-conversion, a hop flavoring agent comprising roasted hop solids, and then bio- convert the media to form the hop flavored beverage.
Several years ago, I gave a wine writer a hard time for, among other things, referring to the history of hops in northern California’s past, explaining how hops were once “roasted” throughout the region. Moonlight’s Brian Hunt chimed in, and claimed he’d actually “seen ‘roasted hops’ in print before.” So imagine my surprise when Miller Brewing actually patented a process for roasting hop solids, the spent hops after they’ve been used in the brew, and they also claim that “roasting the hop solids further enhances the fruity/estery hop character imparted by the hop solids.” Hmm.