Hops Plant: How To Plant Hops And Hops Plant History
The history of hops goes back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used it for medicine and to make perfume.
In Europe, the Romans were the first ones to cultivate hop plants. They used them as a source of alcohol and medicinal herbs. The Dutch East India Company was one of the biggest exporters of hops from Holland during the seventeenth century. The English East India Company also exported hops. During the eighteenth century, the American colonists planted hops in their colonies. The British government banned its export to prevent drunkenness among soldiers stationed there.
In 1836, John Chapman, a brewer from London’s East End began exporting hops to America. By 1840, he had become the largest supplier of hops in Britain and was able to supply all of England with fresh hops until Prohibition came into effect in 1920.
Today, the United States is the world’s leading producer of hops.
Hop Plants For Sale
There are many varieties of hops available today. Most varieties grow well in most climates and have similar taste characteristics.
However, some varieties tend to produce stronger flavors than others. Some varieties such as Galena (a type of Cascade) or Chinook (a type of Nugget) are considered “herbal” due to their inability to produce a good balance of flavor, aroma, and bitterness.
Most varieties fall into one of two categories: “bittering” or “aroma.” Bittering hops are used in large quantities to produce the bitterness in beer, usually early in the brewing process.
These hops tend to have higher levels of alpha acids (usually 8%-12%). Aroma hops are used later in the brewing process and usually are lower in alpha acid content (usually 4.5%-8.5%). They produce the flavor and aroma of the beer. Certain aroma hops can produce favorable bittering qualities as well, when used in the later stages of brewing.
When purchasing your hop plants for sale, you should be aware that there are two basic types: rhizomes and roots. Rhizomes have short rootstock and tend to grow longer vines.
These are also called “tubers.” This type of hop is more desirable for brewing. The other type is rootstock. These have longer rootstocks which produce shorter vines. Most commercial production is done with rootstock due to its ease of growth and cultivation.
When purchasing your hop plants, you can get them in two forms: plugs or seeds. Plug plants are either immature rhizomes or roots that have been planted in growing medium until they develop shoots.
These are relatively inexpensive (usually $2-$3 per plug). Seed plants, on the other hand, are more expensive (usually $4-$9 per seedling).
Hops don’t transplant well, so when you receive your plants they will probably be dormant. Check to make sure there are no insect infestations.
Then, place the plugs or seeds into your pots and cover them with potting soil. Keep them in a sunny location and keep them watered.
In two weeks, the plants should have sprouted shoots. When this happens, harden off the plants (this means you slowly introduce them to outdoor conditions) and plant them in the ground.
Space the plants apart so there is room to grow between them. The plants will mature in three to four months. They can live for up to ten years.
Care and maintenance of your hops is relatively easy. Your hops will probably grow naturally without you interference.
They need at least eight hours of sunlight a day and should be watered regularly. Pruning the ends of the vines back to promote growth works well if you want to train your hops up a trellis.
Harvesting your hops at the right time is very important. Hops are ready when they are dry and dark brown in color.
Cut the vines and hang them up to dry. Once they are dry, you can remove the flowers from the vines and store them away for later use.
You can grow hops up trellises, over fences, or let them grow wildly. It’s up to you!
Hops are easy to grow and once you have a nice healthy patch growing you’ll find that they’re very easy to maintain. Once you get a taste of home brewed beer with hops grown by you, you’ll never go back to store bought beer again!
The Hop Page – Everything you ever wanted to know about hops!
Grow Your Own Hops – A how-to guide (you are here! 🙂
Finding the Right Spot – Everything you need to know about finding the right place for your hops
Harvesting Your Hops – Get ready to brew!
From Field to Pint – How to brew your first batch of beer.
Beer Recipe – A basic recipe to get you started.
All material is copyrighted unless noted otherwise.
Use of material on this site by anyone, from individuals to sites, are restricted under the fair use act. If you feel this site is violating the fair use act, please let us know.
Sources & references used in this article:
Hops—their botany, history, production and utilization by JR Edwardson – Economic botany, 1952 – Springer
Hops by RA Neve – 2012 – books.google.com
The relationships of hop cultivars and wild variants of Humulus lupulus by E Small – Canadian Journal of Botany, 1980 – NRC Research Press
Agronomic performance and beer quality assessment of twenty hop cultivars grown in Central Italy by F Rossini, P Loreti, ME Provenzano… – Italian Journal of …, 2016 – researchgate.net
Tinged with gold: hop culture in the United States by MA Tomlan – 2013 – books.google.com