The Science of Harvest Timing

The Science of Harvest Timing

Hoptechnic™ is the laboratory subsidiary of Virgil Gamache Farms, Inc. Despite having evolved into a fully functional hop testing laboratory, Hoptechnic™ serves as the quality control testing location for Amarillo® brand hops. In order to improve the quality of Amarillo® hops and reduce the amount of year to year variation, the Hoptechnic™ harvest timing technique was developed. Built through extensive aroma and chemical analysis of Amarillo® across numerous crop years, the Hoptechnic™ harvest timing technique emerged.

Harvest timing begins with samples collected from each monitored field to develop an initial set of maturity baselines. From there, production fields are sampled on a frequent basis and tested with the laboratory GC-FID/SCD system.

By analyzing relative levels of organic aroma compounds in the hops in conjunction with traditional aroma analysis by a trained sensory panel, the ideal harvest window for a production field can be identified and communicated to the farm.