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American Beer TV: Beer 101 - Part 4 - Hops

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Published on Sep 3, 2010

http://www.americanbeertv.net - Beer 101 - Hops are herbs which give beer the bitterness and a flavor that is truly unique to beer. In early times many different herbs where used to bitter beer until the past couple hundred year's hops have now become the brewer's choice for balancing the sweetness of their beer.

Hops grow on huge vines where the flowers are harvested for the brewing process. Hops contain a resin like chemical called Lupilin which is extremely bitter. Not all hops are the same, they all have different levels of Lupilin and this is gagged by a percentage scale called Alpha Acid. The higher the Alpha Acid percentage in a hop the more capable it is to make the beer bitter.

Now this is where the brewer's knowledge and experience come into play. The hops resin is activated by heat so the longer the hops are cooked in the boiling process of the beer the more bitter the beer will become. If the hops are added near the end or after the boil has finished then the hops will lend an aromatic quality to the beer. It is up to the brewer to determine the amount of hops and the time spent in the boil for the appropriate style of the beer.

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