Before the purchase (actual delivery) of hops from the farmer, each individual lot must be duly sampled.

The way of sampling:

  1.  The sampling must be done manually - the sidelong seam of each bale is partly unrriped.
  2. One sample from each original farmer's bale is taken out, always alternately from the top, middle and bottom of the bale.
  3. Then, all samples representing one farmer's lot are carefully mixed by hands in order to get one average sample actually representing the whole lot. Then, 3 (three) same - equal samples are drawn from this average sample :
    • 1 st sample is for laboratory tests (the results are later used for purchasing procedure moisture, alpha-acid contents, contents of leaves, stems as well as foreign admixtures),
    • 2nd sample is for our own internal needs (possible claims, doubts about the results of chemical analyses etc.),
    • 3rd sample is used for concrete negotiation with the supplier (purchasing procedure).

In addition, each farmer has to present the list of chemicals which were used for protection of hops during the whole growing period.
Each year immediately after harvest the special committee combined from the hop experts (representatives of Chmelarstvi Zatec, The Hop Institute in Žatec, hop traders and farmers) qualifies so called "type samples" (representative samples) - these samples represent the different quality of respective crop (usually 3 samples for 3 different quality grades) and all farmers' lots can be later compared with these samples - during purchasing
procedure between farmers and traders.

In order to meet the requirements of our customers as much as possible, our company is accepting above "official type samples" as informative samples only. We prepare our own "type samples", which are later used during purchasing procedure between us and our suppliers.

The purchasing procedure

This procedure follows after sampling of respective lot - when the results of laboratory tests are known, the supplier must be always present at this procedure and we evaluate:

  • moisture
  • alpha-acid contents
  • contents of leaves, stems and foreign admixtures
  • appearance of cones (colour of cones, growth - shape of cones, fineness of spindle, damage of cones by pests and diseases, wind-damages)
  • the aroma of cones
  • colour of lupulin
  • "over-growth" of cones
  • contents of seeds.

 According to the quality, we divide the hops into 3 (three) different quality grades:

  • I. quality grade (internally called "export quality") only best quality hops exactly corresponding to all hard quality standards (described below).

  •  II. quality grade (internally called "standard quality") hops with small, partial, non-essential defects (compared with quality standards).

  • III. guality grade (internally called "other hops")
    hops with essential defects - it is always stipulated in our contracts with each supplier, that our
    company is not obliged to buy these hops.

Quality standards
(fixed part of contract between our company and each supplier)

  1. I. quality grade

    • moisture max. 12,0 % (if more, hops are rejected)
    • ripe hops with cones of good growth, with right fine hop aroma and fine spindle
    • colour of lupulin - bright-yellow, shiny
    • wind-damages max. 1 5 %
    • "over-growth" of cones max. 15 %
    • damages by pests and diseases max. 15 % (except "black colour" after . Aphids and rests of Aphids - the hops must be free of Aphids) no seeds
    • contents of leaves and stems max. 3,0 %
      • if 3,1 % - 4,0 % - weight deduction 1,0 %
      • if 4,1 % - 5,0 % - weight deduction 3,0 %
      • if more than 5,0 % - hops are rejected
  2. II. quality grade

  • moisture max 12,0 % (if more, hops are rejected)
  • ripe hops, the appearance of cones good but not perfectly balanced, right fine hop aroma, not so fine spindle
  • colour of lupulin - yellow
  • wind-damages max. 25 %
  • "over-growth" of cones max. 30 %
  • damages by pests and diseases max. 25 %
  • contents of leaves and stems max. 3,0 %
    • if 3, I % - 4,0 % - weight deduction 1,0 %
    • if 4, I % - 5,0 % - weight deduction 3,0 %
    • if more than 5,0 % - hops are rejected
  • seeds - max. 5 % (max. 5 seeds among 100 cones)

The System of Checking of Processing

The primary and basic checking of quality of processing is done by processing factory Chmelarství, druzstvo Zatec. This processing factory bears the main part of responsibility for the quality of processing. Our internal checking system is the second one in a row and its main purposes are:

  • verification of whole processing process,
  • checking of quality of final product incl. packing
  • checking of loading into containers (or trucks, waggons etc.), event. checking of storage.
  1.  The checking of raw hops at the beginning of processing
    administrative control :

  • we check, if the lots selected by our customer are actually processed, if the homogenization of hops is done well in accordance with our packing order
  •  visual control - esp. quality (appearance) of hops is checked
  • laboratory control - moisture and alpha acid contents

    (3 x within processing of one lot)
  1. The checking of processing it self

the control of separator of admixtures from raw hops the control of appearance of hop pellets immediately after pelletization (colour, consistence, temperature) the control of packing (way of packing, packing material, operation of equipment filling the inert gass into alu-bags, strenght of welding seams, marking of cartons, loading of cartons on pallet) laboratory control (moisture of hops after drying just before pelletization, moisture of finished pellets, alpha acid contents and the level of residual oxygen inside of alu-bag)

(3x within processing of one lot)

  1. The checking of storage before shipment

(1 x within 2 weeks)

  1. The checking of loading

Visual control of loading - we control if respective container is suitable (clean, dry, free of any odour etc.) for transportation of hops , if the hops (pallets), ordered for shipment are actually loaded, we check the way of use of fork-lifts, the way of loading and fixation of pallets etc.

( 1 x at the time of loading)

The System of Checking Residues

Yearly The State Phytosanitary Administration together with Hop Institute in Zatec issue The List of Chemicals (in form of a brochure) which are allowed to be used for protection of hops in Czech Republic. Also the exact and detailed instructions how and when each chemical can be used, what is the prescribed concentration etc. are duly mentioned in this brochure. All farmers have this brochure at their disposal.
If there are special requests of some customers concerning usage of some chemicals, these requests are negotiated and stipulated separately in our contracts with the farmers - we instruct each farmer exactly, which chemicals can beactually used. The actual usage of chemicals is randomly checked during the whole growing period. Immediatelywhen the chemical protection is finished, each supplier is obliged to fill in The List of Chemicals, which he actually used during the whole growing period. This List must be handed over to us at the time of sampling (before purchasing procedure).

The way of checking

  1. only the chemicals especially required by our customers are checked
  • One mixed sample, prepared from individual farmers' lots, representing 10 to 20 tons of rawhops, is checked as per the request of resp. customer.
  • If the result is O.K., the procedure is finished. If the result is not O.K., the procedure continues as follows:
    • All individual samples representing individual farmers' lots (from which the above mixed sample was prepared) are checked separately in order to find out, which sample (farmer~ lot) does not correspond with the requests of our customer. Then, such sample is excluded from the further procedure.
    • All excluded samples (farmers' lots) can be used for other customers (having different requirements as
      regards chemical residues) or fully rejected.