Acid Hydration of Hop Oil: A Preliminary Study
Workman, Heather Lyn
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The essential oil of hops is a major flavor component in beer. It is primarily made up of the terpenes myrcene, p-caryophyllene, and humulene. The goal of this project was to find a set of reaction conditions that would hydrate these terpenes into their corresponding alcohols. Previous research at Kalsec indicated that acid hydration would be an ideal method for achieving this reaction. In an attempt to optimize reaction conditions, we varied the type of alcohol used as the solvent, amount of water added, as well as the amount and type of acid added. Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy was used to analyze the hydrated oils. With GC/MS, we could identify compounds based upon retention time and mass spectra. We found that acid hydration is a method that can be used to form terpene alcohols in hop oil. We can control the amount of reaction, as well as favor certain hydration products. This preliminary work has provided a framework for continued research to be done.