A Quick Look At Hops
Written by Cyrus Cords @ Hop Head News
Humulus Lupulus aka Hops
Hops are the bittering and stabilizing agent in beer. Without them, beer would be sweet. Hops lend themselves to the aroma of some beers as well.
Hops grow on bines not vines. The difference is in how they climb their supporting structure. Bines have stiff hairs that help them move skyward, where vines rely on tendrils and suckers to climb up the support structure.
The bines produce clusters of flowers, known as hop cones, which are in my opinion the most important ingredient in beer. Hops are harvested in the fall and can be used right away or they are dried in a drying kiln, also known as an oast house, to be used later.
If you look at the petals of the flowers you will see a sticky yellow substance known as lupulins. This substance gives the beer its bitterness.
A hop’s bitterness is typically measured by International Bitterness Units, also known as IBUs. The higher the IBU, the more the bitterness is perceived.
So, to sum it all up, hops in beer equals a great thing!