Some Interesting Facts About Beer Hops

Beer HopsHops are one of the main ingredients used in making beer and they have been cultivated by farmers since times immemorial. These days hops are grown in many countries like Germany, Kent (in UK), USA, Belgium, and Russia. But Germany is still the leading supplier of hops, and captures about 25% of the market. Some interesting facts about beer hops are given below:

  • The alpha acid content of hops determines its bitterness, while the aromatic oils present in hops give it the characteristic aroma. Usually bitter hops have high alphacid content. Dry hopping removes the bitterness and imparts an awesome fresh hop aroma. In this method, hops should be added in the stage of secondary fermentation.
  • The hop has female and male plants. The female plant is used in brewing and these flowers produce a special type of oil which is used to flavor beer.
  • Growing hops for your home brewery is a wonderful and fun filled way of saving few bucks. It is a nice idea to cultivate your own hops since these plants are easy to grow. Temperate climate is best for them and they are dried after being harvested.
  • Beer hops do not require much space to grow. The stalks of the plant wind around any support (like a trellis or a fence). This is quite different than vines that make use of tendrils to climb. This is why hop plants are called bines.

Some brewers prefer to use whole hops as they feel that it delivers the best aroma and taste. Whole hops are also known as leaf hops or raw hops and many people believe that processing of hops changes the chemical attributes of the product. Fresh hops are used immediately after harvesting, so they have a lot of extra weight, owing to the high water content. In a stark comparison, dry hops weigh far less.

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