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.
|Ahtanum||Mt. Hood||Helga||Sovereign||New Zealand Cascade|
|Amarillo||Mt. Rainier||Pride of Ringwood||Sussex||Pacific Gem|
|Bitter Gold||Northern Brewer||Super Pride||FRANCE||Pacifica|
|Bullion||Palisade||CZECH REPUBLIC||Tardif de Bourgogne||Southern Cross|
|Cascade||Saaz||Saaz||Brewer’s Gold||Super Alpha|
|Cashmere||San Juan Ruby Red||Smaragd||Hallertau Blanc||Waimea|
|Chelan||Satus||Spalter Select||Hallertau Mittelfrüh||Wakatu|
|Comet||Super Galena||Bramling Cross||Mandarina Bavaria||Sybilla|
|Equinox||Tillicum||East Kent Golding||Northern Brewer||Styrian Atlas|
|Eroica||Tomahawk||First Gold||Opal||Styrian Aurora|
|Galena||Ultra||Golden Hop||Polaris||Styrian Celeia|
|Hallertau||Yakima Gold||Northern Brewer||NEW ZEALAND|