Suregork Loves Beer

Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

CO2 Hop Extract


I recently bought some bulk CO2 hop extract, as I was interested in trying it out. Many craft brewers (e.g. Russian River, The Alchemist, and Lagunitas) use hop extract for bittering additions in their heavily hopped beers, such as Imperial IPAs, to minimize the amount of hop material in the boil. This has two benefits, as when large amounts of hops are boiled for long times, there is a risk of extracting vegetative flavours, and less hop material also means less wort loss to trub and an easier transfer to the fermenting vessel. I haven’t seen CO2 hop extract available for sale anywhere in Europe, so I ordered a 100 g can from the USA for 21$ or about 15€. Shipping was 17$ or 12.5€, but I added in 500 g of 2012 harvest pellet hops as well. Not too bad, but not super cheap either. The 100 g can should last for about 20 batches though (5 g of the 61% AA hop extract yields about 50 IBU in a 19L batch of medium strength wort). I bought some cheap syringes, syringe caps, and needles from a German eBay shop, so I could split the extract into more manageable doses. I was surprised to notice that the can contained probably closer to 150 g of extract (since the density should be quite close to 1 g/ml), since I even ran out of syringes having filled nine 5 ml syringes and eight 10 ml syringes. They should store at least 5 years if kept air-tight in the refrigerator, so these will last some time. I will mostly be using them for IPAs and IIPAs. As soon as we get the new ‘brewery’ running I will probably brew up a batch up IIPA for the summer, as I also have an incoming order of 2012 harvest Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Columbus, Mosaic and Simcoe coming in. Should be a hoppy homebrew year!


  1. Kristoffer,

    I am curious of your opinion on the hop extract & how well it worked. Especially what amount of bittering contribution that can be anticipated from a gram of the extract. Not sure where, but I saw a reference that .024 oz of extract per ml of extract. This would seem to agree with you experience as a 100 g would provide 143 ml.

    If you have done a brew I would be interested in seeing the recipe & your review of the result



  2. Hi Ray,
    Thanks for your comment! I have used the hop extract for a couple of IPAs and it has worked quite well. The batches have been quite heavy on late hopping, so I don’t know the exact flavor contribution of the extract itself. It does provide a lot of bitterness though (slightly resiny maybe). As you write, the 100g can was closer to 150ml, so 0.024 oz per ml is probably a good estimate for the density. For recipe design, I’ve imagined the hop extract as a hop with 50% AA (it says 61.1% AA on the can, but I’ve assumed ~80% utilization). I use Beersmith, so I’ve added in a new hop variety called ‘Extract’ with an AA% of 50. For 20 litre (~5 gallon) batches of IPA/IIPA I’ve added around 10-15 ml of the extract in the beginning of the boil, which should have added around 40-70 calculated IBUs. The extract is definitely worth trying, since it is quite cheap and should be readily available (especially if you’re in the US)!


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