In the beginning there was a cone…

Hops belong to the Cannabinaceae family…the plant is already likable! What is even more likable about hops is that the male plants are essentially not needed (except for breeding purposes, whenever they are called upon…) and therefore the males don’t need to search for anything in the hop field! (It is a bit different in England, but we’ll get to that later…)
The hop cone, or the fruit of the female hop plant, can be seen as the crown of creation. This isn’t only meant optically and aesthetically but also according to its substance! This is because everything inside of the cone makes us happy (at least we think so). There is up to 20% alpha acids, 10% beta acids, 3% hop oil and 5% polyphenols. The rest of the cone is made up of lipids, proteins, cellulose, monosaccharides, pectins, minerals and … water.
Hops need a lot of light, up to 18 hours per day, and a moderate climate (warm and wet). The vegetation period is from April to September, except when the plants are growing down under in the Southern Hemisphere, and then they grow from October to March. They wind themselves clockwise around wires or cords to dizzying heights. They do this in both the Northern as well as the Southern Hemisphere…after all they use the same clock down there as we do…
Taste and aroma in beer are influenced by the bitter acids (mainly the alpha acids) and the HOP OILS, but also the polyphenols. The taste and aroma impact in beer depends mainly on the following factors:
  • Which hop varieties do I use?
  • In what form are the hops, i.e. whole cone, pellets, extracts?
  • When and how much (exactly) do I dose into the hot-side to the wort or on the cold-side to the beer, and how are the hops dosed?
  • What does my boil look like, my whirlpool rest, my filtration…
  • How does the yeast feel, that I add so many hops before or after the fermentation, and how is the yeast in general?
  • How well do I have oxygen under control during the beer brewing process?
  • What is the rest of my beer made of (which types of malt, which beer style)?
  • How well is my beer protected from temperature and light in bottles and/or kegs?
  • And, of course, how well do I taste hop substances in beer?


Post picture from Malting and Brewing Science 2nd Edition

2 Responses to “In the beginning there was a cone…”

  1. Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!

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