==Hops==Hops provide bitterness to balance the sweetness of [[Malt]] when making beer, adds flavoring oils and aromas, and also helps to stabilize and preserve beer. Hops used in brewing comes from the flowers of a plant called ''Humulus Lupulus''. The hop plant is a perrenial spiraling vine that requires most soil. The flowers of the hops, called ''cones'' are dried before use. These flowers are usually green in color with yellow ''lupulin'' glands between the petals that provide many of the oils.
===Types of Hops===
* '''Pellet Hops''' - Perhaps the most widely available to the home brewer, these hops are dried, chopped and compressed into tiny pellets. They store well, and are easy to measure in small quantities. The chopping and compressing can release some of the lupulin glands to burst losing some aromatic oils.
===Bittering Oils===Bittiness in beer is provided by
oils released by the hops. The bittering oils of the hops are isomerized (rearranged) during the boil. Insoluable alpha acids (α-acids) are isomerized by the boil into more soluble and stable alpha acids. These alpha acids provide the majority of the bitterness in finished beer. A second component called beta acid also provides some bitterness. Additional compounds in hops provide both aroma and preservative qualities.
The alpha and beta acids in hops are both vulnerable to oxidation which will decrease their effectiveness. Hops should be refrigerated in your freezer, and sealed in an airtight container (ideally vacuum packed foil container) to prevent oxidation.
* [[Technical|Technical Reference]]
en. wikipedia. org/ wiki/Hops Wikipedia Hops Page]
* [http://www.realbeer.com/hops/FAQ.html Norm Pyle's Hops FAQ]