Products
Type 90 Pellets:

As with everything we pursue at Indie Hops, our pellet milling operation is designed to meet the needs of craft brewers. We emphasize quality preservation over volume output.

Moreover, because our focus is on aroma varieties, we can pelletize, pack and cold store our aroma hops at their peak quality shortly after harvest, rather than putting them on the backburner until after the alpha acid varieties can be processed first for the macro brewers. At Indie Hops, aroma hops is all we do.

Throughout our pellet milling process we strive to ensure that the final pellet quality is unchanged from the freshly harvested and dried whole hops we begin with. The only components we remove prior to milling are the seeds. Our aim is to bring you whole cone freshness in a pelletized form.

Hops present a challenge to conventional pellet milling processes, which if not properly designed and maintained can burn or accelerate the degradation of the acids, resins and essential oils in hops. Hops cannot be treated all the same, as each variety or class of varieties will require specific adjustments for optimal results.

"Variety is the very spice of life..."

So wrote William Cowper in 1785. His words have stood the test of time.  At Indie Hops, we believe Cowper's credo is a sound mantra when it comes to the careful handling of aroma hops.

Temperature, temperature, temperature. Once properly dried, all hops are fragile in the presence of heat. Add to this the violent nature of the pellet milling process and you put precious hops at risk.  Our new hops pellet mill design began operating March 16, 2010.  While running nine different varieties from the 2009 harvest, pellet temperatures through the pellet die stayed consistently below 110 degrees- a solid 20 degrees lower than previous industry averages. With quality preservation prioritized over volume output, we have slowed down the entire pelleting process in order to preserve the essential hop oils and acids.

This bears repeating.  At Indie Hops, we are not in a rush.  We have been able to tweak the conventional hop pelleting process to lower the temperature without sacrificing the integrity of the pellet.  Lower temperatures mean higher retention of essential oils, the life blood of aroma hops

We add nothing to the fresh, dried hops during our pellet milling. No chemicals. No preservatives. No glues, juice or sweetners  Fresh aroma cones go in. Fresh aroma pellets come out.

Whole Hops:
Our whole hops arrive throughout the harvest period from nearby farm partners Goschie Farms and Coleman Farms. The hops bales go directly into cold storage. While the bales cool down in preparation for milling into Type-90 pellets, a portion of each variety is packaged and preserved in whole cone form to meet the needs of brewers using whole hops in their brewing processes.

Freshly harvested and dried whole hops represent the peak of quality. By separating the hops from oxygen then cold-storing the packaged product shortly after harvest, we can provide craft brewers with high quality whole hops throughout the coming year.

Varieties: See Aroma Hops Varieties Page

Packaging:
After harvesting and drying, degradation of the desirable oils in hops comes from exposure to oxygen, heat, and light.

Both whole hops and Type 90 pellets are packaged with nitrogen-flush and vacuum sealing technology, using oxygen and light barrier foil material to protect your hops from oxidation and light damage.

From post-harvest receipt through shipment to customers, our hops are stored at 26-29deg. F temperatures for optimal freshness.

Pellet Mill:
Our facilities, centrally located in Willamette Valley hops growing country, open up a new range of possibilities to serve the craft brewing industry.  The core of our facilities is the pellet milling operation. This is the first pellet milling facility for hops in Oregon, and will be 100% dedicated to research, development and production of pellets to serve craft brewers.  The mill came on-line March 16, 2010 for start-up, and quickly moved into small production runs of nine different varieties from the 2009 crop.
 
The most significant result achieved with our new pellet mill is our ability to keep pellet temeratures below 110 degrees fahrenheit while still forming a quality pellet.  This is a full 20 degrees lower than industry averages prior to our mill, which translates to better preservation of hop essential oils and acids.  Our proximity to the nation's premium aroma and dual-purpose hops terroir positions Indie Hops to start with the best quality freshly harvested hops, then change them to pellet form while keeping the natural oils and acids intact.  Click here to learn more about our State-of-the-Art Pellet Mill.

We utilized the experience of The Bratney Companies, a leading engineering and design firm in the agricultural products processing industry, for the overall design of our facility. Bratneys expertise was augmented by decades of pellet milling experience at Bliss Industries, designer and manufacturer of high quality hammer mills, pellet mills and heat exchange pellet coolers.  We completed an exciting round of research and development at the Bliss test facilities in early September 09, where pellet temperatures were kept below 120 deg. F even under adverse conditions at the test site (Oklahoma, in the summer, as they say down South Good Gosh!). Nonetheless, despite the oppressive ambient heat, the pellet quality of the Cascade and Centennial hops used in our pilot experiments was excellent and gave us confidence that we were on the right track.

The best engineering and planning in the world gets you nowhere if you don't have a good team to execute the plan.  BooCo Construction of Portland, Oregon orchestrated the building of our facility as general contractor.  Carothers and Son of Eugene, Oregon did an excellent job of metal fabricating and equipment installation, and Creation Electric of Hubbard, Oregon tied the many motors and valves together expertly with their wiring and controls programming magic.  We're proud of the effort that went into our facility, and the results that are being achieved.

Pellet Field Testing from Pizza Port Carlsbad (5/31/10)

I dropped by Pizza Port in Carlsbad, California this week to conduct a little impromptu field research with award-winning master brewer Jeff Bagby. The mission: compare Indie Hops’ type 90 pellets with that of the competition.

As reported, we’ve designed a state of the art pellet mill that’s sized and scaled to meet the needs of craft brewers. We’ve increased the average particle size of the grist and lowered the temperature at the pellet die in order to minimize damage to the lupulin glans, home of the rich and aromatic hop oils. We designed the mill with the goal of converting the form of the noble flower without excessively oxidizing the oils. > More

Supply Management and Pricing: Click Here for details

 "It's fantastic to support a company passionate about craft beer, and Indie hops has been a breeze to deal with," he said. "I simply call or e-mail Jim, and I have hops within a couple days. Their packaging is solid, vacuumed sealed and fresh." Nick Arzner, Block 15 Brewery

Order Placement:
Our immediate goal is to develop relationships with brewers interested in our direction. We currently have a wide selection of premium hops available in whole cone and T-90 pellet form.

Our expectations are humble. In the beginning we are focused on proving the quality of our products.  We’re confident that brewers who engage us for even a fraction of their hops supply will see immediate and long term benefits.

In the short term, we believe the quality of our hop products will be second to none. And, as we fine tune our process and bring to market new or hard-to-get hops varieties, the future will only get brighter. We want to hear from brewers to learn what varieties they’re finding in short supply, even varieties that disappeared and are missed.

To view our contract option, pricing and future availability of varieties, please click here. For a current Order Form, click here.

To confirm availability and place your order, either call us at 503.452.HOPS(4677), or email jim@indiehops.com.