Hops
Hops
Hops
Hops

Hops

hummulus lupulus

Hops is a great herb to use as a sleep aide as it's a sedative.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Beer Flower
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers & Pollen
  • Side Effects: Do not use in pregnancy
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About Hops

Hops (Hummulus lupulus) are best known as a beer ingredient. This climbing plant augments robustly around the walls and fences. This climbing herbaceous perennial can ace up to an impressive length of 2 feet.

The fruits of the female plants are recruited for brewing the beer. It imparts the signature bitter aroma, fizz, and citrus fruity taste.

The plant of hop grows effortlessly, without posing any demand. Gone are the days when hops were nothing more than an anxiolytic. They are now appointed to deal with the management of mental clarity, anxiety, insomnia, menopausal symptoms, indigestion, hyperlipidemia, inflammation of the bladder, and tuberculosis. It is also opted to control the spread of ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

The active compounds of the hop plant were unknown for a significant period. However, after a thorough chemical analysis, researchers were able to come up with three principle ingredients: bitter acids and their derivatives, polyphenols, and essential oil components. The bitter acids and their derivatives consist of a 24% portion of soft resin that contributes to the signature beer taste. The polyphenols and essential oils are potent natural healers as they slow down the development of the prevailing disease.

Growing

This basic beer ingredient is quite undemanding and can grow with great ease. Adding it to your garden arsenal would be a perfect decision as its vines prove to be a delight for both mind and sight.

A moderate climate, spring season, thawed ground, and few hop rhizomes are a perfect recipe for the plantation of hops. Opt for a location that receives an adequate amount of sunlight and has enough space to let the vines climb in the future. House the rhizomes in soil that speaks for well-drainage and acidity.

After burying your rhizomes about 12 inches deep, garnish the area with water appropriately. Excessive water supply rots the rhizomes so keep your hand light.

Hops can also be grown indoors as there is no harm in bringing your great inside. The same procedure has to be followed for the indoors. To provide a well drainage system to your soil, bore some holes in your container to prevent the rotting of rhizomes.

Harvesting

The growth of the hop plant is predominantly branched into two phases: vegetative phase and flowering phase.

After planting rhizomes, the plant acquires the upward direction for its growth and the vines begin to climb higher and higher all the while needing some support. This climbing of vines manifests the sensitivity of hop plants towards photoperiodism.

The onset of summer solstice marks the conversion of the vegetative phase to the flowering phase. The flowering phase is also hailed as the reproductive phase. 

The death of stems signifies the maturation of hops which symbolizes the need to replant them for assurance of better growth.

The real game starts when you have to harvest your dear plant. A little expertise or a look at the guide we have provided would surely assist you.

Whenever you are harvesting hops fruit, the only thing that you need to bear in your mind to harvest an overripe fruit as under-ripe fruit is naturally deprived of the acids that account for the awesome aroma and citrus taste. Mid-August and September are appraised as the best point for harvesting hop fruit. Also, rub the stem ends between your fingers to check for sticky yellow lupulin which also serves as a sign for the harvest.

The pungent smell that lies between onion and grass ring all the bells that shout for harvest.

Harvesting the flowers has another unsung saga. Touch the flowers and look for a dry papery feel. If the test report proves to be positive, then your flowers are ready.

Lastly, the best judge to identify the hour of harvest is your nose.

If you are sniffing a grassy-vegetal scent, then you need to give your vines some time alone.

Harvesting the hops is a tedious job but there’s no accounting for the tastes.

Chop the vines if they seem too high to reach then you can easily handpick the fruits and flowers according to your desire.

The flowers of the hop plant are liable to rot right away after snipping. Quickly subject the flowers to a well-ventilated, dark space for a few days all the while turning their sides intermittently.

Oven dry is another option but the temperature must spike higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for the cones, they also need to be completely dried for their storage in a cool location (refrigerator)

Usage

Here are all the ways to incorporate this legendary botanical into your routine.

  • Tincture - Pack the dried buds in the grain alcohol for at least 6 weeks and let it sit in a dry place to produce hops tincture.
  • Tea - Soak 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried hop flowers in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and consume it (please note this is super bitter).
  • Decoction - Dried flowers, roots and cones can be employed for the creation of decoction.
  • Salve - Hop flowers are infused with olive oil and many other calming herbs to form hops salve.
  • Syrup -Some hops pellets are added into the mixture of sugar and water to form a syrup
  • Infused oil - Dried hop flowers are infused with organic olive oil to produce hops oil.