Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Hops - member of the Cannabaceae family

Hops are the flowers, or cones, of a plant called Humulus lupulus. Hops are hardy plants and are grown the world over.

The term "hops" comes from the Anglo-Saxon term "hoppan", which means "to climb." Hops contain many chemicals, including bitter acids, which contribute to its bitter flavor. Hops grow best in moderate climates with rich soil and abundant sunshine. Those ideal regions generally sit at similar latitudes on the world map, both northern and southern.

Hops are commonly produced under irrigation in the United States where summertime precipitation is low. Hop cones are harvested when fully mature, picked either by hand or by machine. Freshly picked hops have a high moisture content and must be dried in kilns.

Hops is used for anxiety, inability to sleep (insomnia) and other sleep disorders, restlessness, tension, excitability, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness, and irritability.

In foods and beverages, the extracts and oil are used as flavor components. Craft brewers are after the lupulin inside hop cones. Those sticky yellow glands contain resin that contributes bitterness to beer, which helps balance the sweetness of malt, and essential oils responsible for aroma and flavor.

Hops are divided into two very general varieties: bittering and aroma. Bittering hops will have higher alpha acids, making them more economical for bittering beer (a small amount goes a long way). Aroma hops will tend to have more essential oils.
Hops - member of the Cannabaceae family

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