Topic: Hops

Choosing and Using Different Forms of Hops

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Hops have been the herb of choice to preserve and flavor beer for centuries, but only during the last several decades has there been such a wide variety of hop products available to homebrewers. For the purpose of this article, hop “cones” are the whole female flowers of the hop (Humulus lupulus), which can be


Grow Your Own Backyard Hops

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Growing your own hops at home can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. I have been growing hops in my backyard for over a decade and have found it to be a truly fulfilling experience. It has even led me to establish my own commercial hop yard, HopRidge Farms, in Johnsonville, New York. I have


Hop Combinations

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Paradoxically, recipe construction is at once an element of the brewing process that gets far too much attention — and also not enough. It gets too much attention in that too many brewers look at recipes as magic spells that, when properly constituted, will lead them to homebrewing nirvana. They tinker, tweak, and adjust. They


Brewing Hoppy Fruit Beers

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I arrived home to find a re-taped cardboard box with a Florida return address. I used to occasionally trade beer so I could sample breweries that didn’t distribute to the Mid-Atlantic. I ripped off the bubble wrapping paper to reveal an assortment of weird and wonderful beers from Cigar City Brewing Co. (Tampa, Florida). Among


10 Newer Hop Varieties & Recipes

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Check out ten newer hop varieties that are now available to homebrewers. Plus, try brewing four hoppy homebrew recipes with the newer releases. You may have noticed some new hop names on your craft beer labels these days, such as Azacca®, Eureka!, Pekko™, and Wakatu. Like Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If


New Hop Evaluation: Tips from the Pros

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It’s no longer a surprise to read a label of a new commercial beer release and find a hop variety you’ve never heard of before. Hop breeders are coming out with new varieties every year. It’s an exciting time to be a brewer, but it’s also hard to keep track of these breeds. Whether you


Evaluating Hop Oil Content

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There are no “Cascade” or “Saaz” aroma molecules, rather the relative proportions of hop oils drive their aroma contributions. The same four oils constitute 60-90% of the essential oils in every hop variety. Hop oils constitute less than 4% of a hop cone’s weight yet they provide most of the hop aroma, that combination of citrus,


Brewing with Fresh (Wet) Hops: Tips from the Pros

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The window to use fresh hops (that have not been dried) is small, but the reward can be great. Here are some tips to help take advantage of what nature gives us. Brewer: Kevin Smith,  Bale Breaker Brewing Co. in Yakima, WA At Bale Breaker Brewing Co., we brew a 100% wet hop beer called


How Did Hops End Up in Beer?

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Photo courtesy of Walter Konig There are some 350,000 known plant species on earth, but only one of them, Humulus lupulus, the hop plant, has become the universal flavoring agent for beer. Sure, brewers occasionally use other flavorings in their beers, such as coriander, passion fruit, or orange peel. Statistically, however, the perennial, herbaceous, creeping,


Hop Pairing & Substitution

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When the esteemed editorial staff of BYO suggested the topic of pairing hops and hop substitution, I thought it would be an interesting one to write about. Then I sat down to write it and realized it was actually something of a minefield instead. That is because it involves talking about things like flavors and


Hops Down Under

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Hops have been grown in New Zealand and Australia since the early 19th century. Until the late 1950s, Australian beers mainly used English-bred Whitebine Grape, Kent Goldings and Fuggles from Tasmania, and American-bred Golden Clusters from Tasmania, Victoria, and the Nelson area of New Zealand. New varieties of hops have been progressively developed in Australia


Brewing with Fresh Hops

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When it comes to brewing, which came first — fresh hops or dried? It’s a classic chicken or egg conundrum. But we know this: Somewhere in time, in an unknown location, a brewer plucked fresh hops straight off the bines (not vines — there is a difference) and added them to wort to make beer.


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