Virginia Tech Hops Analysis

Standard Hops Analysis

The Hops Analysis Form can be filled out on your computer before printing!


Virginia Cooperative Extension - Hops!


Understanding your results.


The Virginia Tech Enology Analytical Services Laboratory was established in 2006 to serve the needs of the growing Virginia Wine Industry. At the request of Hops Growers and Virginia Commonwealth Extension, hops analysis was added to our standard analytical services.


Requesting Analysis - Short Version

1 - Obtain a representative sample of your product

2 - Place in a zip-top bag

3 - Place that bag and your sample form into a second zip-top bag

4 - Send to the lab for next-day delivery, before 1pm (No need to call or e-mail, just send your sample!)

5 - Samples are processed by the lab and results are reported via email


Reporting times:

Moisture - Same day samples are received

Acids - Same day or following day by noon

Total Essential oils - 1-to 3 days

Essential Oils Profile - 1 to 4 days


Pre-Harvest Sampling

Hops components (Acids / Oils) develop rapidly as harvest time approaches.  Hop yard sampling should be done no earlier than 5 days pre-harvest for the results to be reflective of harvest-time profiles. The further away from harvest date, the more significant the difference will be in chemical profiles.  To obtain samples representative of the entire field, hops cones should be obtained from two feet below the trellis wire, following a zig-zag pattern down the rows of the field, avoiding end rows. Cones should be picked solely based on your field sampling plan, try not to pick the "best-looking" / "worst-looking" / "most average looking" cones. Just "Grab and Go!" Hops samples should only be taken when the cones are free from moisture from the environment or irrigation.


Harvest Sampling

Once removed from the bine, the change in hops chemical profiles are related more to changes in moisture content and degradation than any contiued maturity. Harvest samples should be sent in the to-be-sold state, no pre-treatment is necessary. Sampling should be done after thorough mixing of the entire batch/lot that will be proceessed or sold together.



Currently we can only receive funds by check, made out to "Treasurer of Virginia Tech." Please include a Deposit Approval Form. These funds are used to support our research into the acid, flavor, and aroma compounds of hops grown in Virginia.



Samples do not have to be dried or treated in any way for analysis. Send the samples in the same state you would like to have them sold. The samples should be double-bagged in zip-top bags with the Sample Label in between the two bags and may be hand delivered to the lab, but must be received by 1pm. Otherwise, samples should be shipped for morning delivery by UPS, FedEx, or other carrier firm. Do not send through the mail (USPS). Samples received after 1pm may not be able to be analyzed that day. Because we are part of Virginia Tech, we cannot receive samples when the university is closed, which includes weekends and university holidays.


Shipping Address:

Ken Hurley

VT Hops Lab - Food Science & Technology

360 Duck Pond Dr.

Blacksburg, VA 24061


In general, we have found that samples shipped from anywhere in Virginia via UPS Ground arrive at the lab the next day, typically by 10:30 am. FedEx ground typically takes 1 - 4 days.  Please confer with the shipping company directly to be sure of shipping speed.



Results will be posted on a secure website, maintained by Virginia Tech, no later than the day after samples are received. Only the lab personnel and the individual client will have access to results and identifying information. The results from all analysis will be used for research purposes, but no client identifying information will be disclosed or shared.



© 2018 E. Kenneth Hurley - VT Enology Analytical Services Laboratory