Great intro to hops if you are new to beer, the brewing process, or just beer-curious. No need to be shy about it. We are all a little curious.
The most common question I have gotten in my years in the beer business is, “What the hell are hops?”. Therefore, I figured it was only appropriate to address this topic right off the bat. But to understand hops, we must first understand the brewing process.
The art of brewing can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt, and may even have saved all of civilization. Simply put, brewing is the process of boiling and fermenting four basic ingredients: water, a starch source (most commonly barley), yeast, and hops. There are many steps to the brewing process but we’ll keep this simple. The first step is turning your grain into a fermentable product through germination, kilning, milling and mashing. Germination is where the grain is steeped in water to make the grains “sprout”. Once they sprout, they are dried and roasted (kilning) which provides color and…
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