There is no beer without hops
About 99% of harvested hops is used for brewing beer. The oils, resins and bitter substances, the so called alpha acids, bring the characteristic bitterness into the beer, support the foam formation and guarantee the shelf life of the beverage.
Lupulin, the yellow pulver within the cones, is responsible for the typical smell and taste of beer. As the Lupulin is highly concentrated, only a small amount of hops is necessary to give the beer its special flavour. For the production of one hectolitre lager beer, a brewer needs 100 to 150 gram hops. However, the requirement of hops depends significantly on the type of beer. The fine-bitter Pils needs more than twice as much hops as the fruit-aromatic wheat beer.
By the way, it does not matter if the brewer uses the hop cone as an raw, dried, ground or pressed-into-pellets product, or even as a hops extract: it is always a pure natural product.
Hops as a medicinal product
Even if the major part of hops is used for the brewing industry, it plays also an important role as a medicinal product.
The International Herb Association in Jacksonville, USA, chose hops (Humulus ssp.) to the “Herb of the Year” in 2018. Already in 2007, hops was named “Medicinal Plant of the Year” by the study group “development history of the drug herbalism” at the University of Würzburg. Two years later, the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry awarded hops with the attribute “outstanding cultural plant of Bavaria” and justified this with the special cultural significance for Bavaria and the history of hop cultivation that is almost 1200 years old. By acknowledging the hops plant, the association therefore does not only show interest in the use of hops as a spice in the production of beer. Also the antibacterial effect of the ingredients of hops and its positive effects on skin and hair are described. It shows a relaxing effect for the mind and muscles.
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