|The Hops Story
|There are basically two types of hops: Bitter (or Alpha) Hops and
Aroma Hops. Bitter hops have a high alpha acid percentage. When
added to the brewing kettle at the beginning of the boil, these
insoluble alpha acids are stabilized without changing their
characteristics and become more soluble iso-alpha acids. This
imparts the bitterness to beer, a bitterness that lends a crisp palate
and even balance to the sweetness of the malts. The delicate
aromas dissipate with the steam. That is where Aroma Hops step up.
Aroma hops have lower concentrations of alpha acids and a higher
level of beta acids in an oil profile that imparts favorable aroma to the
beer. It is used as a finishing or conditioning agent, one that is
added to the kettle 0-15 minutes before cooling. This protects the
fragile aromatics in the hops, maximizing the qualities.
Dry hopping, which uses leaf hops, may be used as a secondary
finisher, one in which hops are added to the fermenter in a second
process, adding magical aromatics of a unique style and character.
The largest hop producers in the world are the United States,
England, Germany, New Zealand and the Czech Republic. The
United States breeds high quality hops - disease resistant, with
higher alpha acid yields. Yakima, Washington is the largest hop
producer in the U.S., with Oregon holding a strong second. Oregon
State University has gained significant notoriety among brewers for
their High Alpha Acid Breeding Program.
|Beer, in moderation raises high-density
lipoprotein or HDL, known as good
cholesterol, says Dr. R. Curtis Ellison,
chief of preventive medicine and
epidemiology at the Boston University
School of Medicine. It also appears to
have a favorable effect on the lining of
blood vessels, making them less likely
to form a clot or for a clot to rupture and
plug an artery, and may help protect
against Type 2 diabetes.
Men who reported drinking 120 to 365
days a year had a 20% lower
cardiovascular death rate than those
who drank one to 36 days a year.
Adults over age 65 who drank one to six
alcoholic beverages over the course of
the week turned out to have a lower risk
of dementia than non-drinkers or heavier
drinkers, according to a 2003 study
published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association. Likewise, a 2006
report that appeared in an American
Heart Association journal showed that a
drink or two a day might be linked to
better cognitive function in women.