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The hop plant, also known as Humulus Lupulus, is a climbing plant and cultivated on hop farms in the counties of Kent plus Herefordshire and Worcestershire in the United Kingdom.

During the season, hop shoots start to grow in April and grow up strings supported by support wires to a height of around fifteen feet. Due to rapid growth the hop plants will reach the support wires by the middle of June.

There are male and female plants however it is only the female plant that is used in brewing and can be used whether fertilised or unfertilised. Fertilised plants contain seeds which contain the lupulins (beta acids) and oils which will be richer in flavour and aroma compared to unseeded hops. To ensure plants are fertilised each year, the hop farmers plant their male plants upwind of the female plants.

The hops are ready for picking in September prior to ripening. They are stripped from the bines and taken to the hop farm where the hop flowers are stripped from the leaves and bines. The flowers are then transferred to drying rooms in an oast house for a couple of days to dry out and reduce their moisture content.

Hops are used in beer to impart bitterness and aroma and can be used in 3 ways:

∗ Bittering hops which are added at the start of the boil to give bitterness and are usually high in alpha acids.

∗ Late hops these are added to the boil usually in the last 15 minutes to create a hop aroma and have high beta acids and hop oils to impart this aroma.

∗ Dry hopping. Hops are added during the racking process when the beer is being transferred into casks

Aroma hops are used to provide aroma and it is not recommended to use high alpha acid hops as they will give bitterness which can lead to a harsh taste!
An alternative to dry hopping is to add these hops at the end of the boil and leave them to soak for up to half an hour prior to cooling the wort.

Hop Varieties

Mosaic Galaxy Progress Nelson Sauvin
Ahtanum Mt. Hood Helga Sovereign New Zealand Cascade
Amarillo Mt. Rainier Pride of Ringwood Sussex Pacific Gem
Apollo Newport Summer Target Pacific Jade
Bitter Gold Northern Brewer Super Pride FRANCE Pacifica
Bravo Nugget Sylva Aramis Rakau
Brewer’s Gold Olympic Topaz Strisselpalt Riwaka
Bullion Palisade CZECH REPUBLIC Tardif de Bourgogne Southern Cross
Calypso Perle Premiant GERMANY Sticklebract
Cascade Saaz Saaz Brewer’s Gold Super Alpha
Cashmere San Juan Ruby Red Smaragd Hallertau Blanc Waimea
Centennial Santiam Spalt Hallertauer Herkules Wai-iti
Chelan Satus Spalter Select Hallertau Mittelfrüh Wakatu
Chinook Simcoe Taurus Hallertauer Taurus POLAND
Citra Sonnet Golding Tettnang Hersbrer Bor
Cluster Sorachi Ace ENGLAND Hersbrucker Junga
Columbia Sterling Admiral Hull Melon Lublin
Columbus Summit Boadicea Magnum Marynka
Comet Super Galena Bramling Cross Mandarina Bavaria Sybilla
Crystal Tahoma Brewer’s Gold Merkur SLOVENIA
El Dorado Tettnang Challenger Noble Sladek
Equinox Tillicum East Kent Golding Northern Brewer Styrian Atlas
Eroica Tomahawk First Gold Opal Styrian Aurora
Fuggle TriplePearl Fuggle Perle Styrian Bobek
Galena Ultra Golden Hop Polaris Styrian Celeia
Glacier Vanguard Goldings Saaz Styrian Golding
Golding Warrior Herald JAPAN Styrian Savinjski
Greenburg Willamette Northdown Sorachi Ace
Hallertau Yakima Gold Northern Brewer NEW ZEALAND
Horizon Zeus Phoenix Dr. Rudi  
Liberty AUSTRALIA Pilgrim Green Bullet
Magnum Ella Pilot Kohatu
Millennium Feux-Coeur Francais Pioneer Motueka

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