The history of hops is a fascinating one, and has played an important role in human culture for centuries. The oldest recorded use of hops in brewing is from 822 AD when Abbot Adalhard of Corbie in France wrote that his monks added hops to their ales.
The cultivation of hops was introduced from Flanders to England at the end of the 15th century, and by the end of the 18th century it had spread widely along the Eastern seaboard of Europe and in North America.
Origin and History
The hop (Humulus lupulus) is a dioecious perennial native to the Northern Hemisphere. It is a tall, bushy plant that grows from April to July in moderately temperate climates.
The history of the hops has been a long one. It has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, and it is also a popular ingredient in beer.
The first evidence of cultivated hop cultivation appears in Bavaria, where there are records of the cultivation of Hops from the 9th century onwards. It is not clear when or why they began to be cultivated, but it is likely that they were a staple in the Hallstatt culture and that they became popular with Germanic peoples who were settling in these areas from the north during this period.
Characteristics and Flavor Profile
Bred by the Hull Hop Research Institute in 1993, Tradition is a fine aroma variety that originated from Hallertauer Mittelfruher, Gold and Saaz. This hop is resistant to fungus and disease, making it ideal for German style beers like Pilsners and Hefeweizens.
This hop delivers crisp floral and herbal aromas to a beer’s finish, with hints of orange. Its alpha acid content varies from 5% to 7%, and it can impart a pleasing balance of bitterness and flavor in beers.
Hops are essential to creating a balanced and unique flavor profile in beer. Different varieties provide different levels of bitterness, aroma, and flavor, so brewers can experiment to find the perfect combination for their recipes.
During the brewing process, hops are added to the boiling wort. They are a concentrated source of alpha acids that help balance the sweetness imparted by the malt, and are an excellent source of essential oils.
Depending on the flavor build of a beer, hops can be used as bittering or aroma additions. Bittering hops are often higher in alpha acid content than aroma varieties.
Adding aromatic hops to the late boil and fermentation phases helps to preserve their volatile essential oils and other compounds that lend a characteristic “hoppiness” to the finished beer. Those essential oils include citrus, pine, resin and mango among others.
Whether you are a seasoned home brewer or a newcomer to the craft, hops are an essential ingredient for any beer enthusiast. Not only do they add a variety of flavors to the final product, but they can also make or break your beer’s overall flavor profile.
To get the most out of your hops selection, you’ll want to try different varieties on a regular basis. These experiments will help you hone your hops knowledge and improve your brewing game.
Availability and Cultivation
Hallertauer Tradition was bred in 1993 at the Hull Hop Research Institute to mimic the aroma profile of beloved but difficult-to-grow Hallertauer Mittelfruh, combining fine flavor with improved yield and disease resistance. This heirloom variety is an excellent choice for traditional German styles, including pale and dark Munich-style lagers, Oktoberfest, Bock and Weissbier. It adds classic phenolic aromas and crisp floral and herbal notes to beers.
Typically available in pellet form, German Tradition hops have a high alpha acid content, producing a clean, floral flavor in beers like Pilsners and Hefeweizens. They tend to retain their alpha acids in storage after six months at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes them ideal for use in a dry-hopping process to enhance flavors and aromas. They also offer a crisp bite of bitterness from their unique lineage.