Hops -

The hop plant is a climber found wild in America, Europe and Asia. It has been cultivated in Germany since the ninth century and is now also an important crop in the United States, the chief producing sections being New York and the Pacific Coast states. It is famous for the property of its blossoms in preserving beer from bacterial action, while also imparting to it an agreeably bitter taste, and it is medicinally valuable as a sedative and narcotic, whether taken internally or applied externally in the form of pillows, fomentations, etc. The ancients ate the young hop shoots as we do asparagus, and this custom is still prevalent in parts of England and Germany.

The roots of the vine are perennial, the top only dying in the winter. The vines, which twine with the sun, from right to left, are now generally trained on drop-wires or strings or on wire trellis work, the old-style poles being employed in comparatively few sections. The blossoms are harvested in the latter part of August and the beginning of September. They are cured and kiln dried and then baled.

In the choice of hops, care should be taken to select those which are full of lupulin (the essential principle), free from mold, and bright and silky in appearance - that are the most powerfully odorous, and the most free from leaves, stems, scaly fragments and sticks, and which, when rubbed between the hands, impart, in the greatest degree, a yellowish tint and glutinous feeling to the skin. It is best also to select those which are tightly packed, as, unless they are very firmly pressed together and quite solid, they soon spoil in keeping.

Arround Hops in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

Honey Meadhome

The Grocer's Encyclopedia
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