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At the Indie Hop Mill, baled hops are transformed into pellets.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Top left: The Indie Hop pellet mill is a $2 million, two-story assembly of machines that can churn out 6,000- 7,000 lbs of high-quality aroma hop pellets per day. Top right: The process starts when 200-1b bales of whole-cone hops are broken up by the mill's bale breaker and soil, seeds and debris are separated from the hop cones. Above left: Finished hop pellets pour from Indie Hops' pellet die "at a lower temperature than typical processes, leaving more hop acids in each finished pellet." Above, right: In the final step of the process, aroma hop pellets are sealed in air-tight bags with inert gasses that preserve the hops' essential oils. At right: Jim Solberg, CEO of Indie Hops, uses a thermal gun to measure the temperature of hop pellets immediately after they come out of the pellet die. "As process temperatures approach 130 degrees Fahrenheit," he says, "the essential oils of hops begin to oxidize, leading to irregularities in flavor and aroma."

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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 16, 2010
Words:167
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