It’s harvest time for most everything, including the beer makers best friend, hops. Due to a growing demand for the freshest produce available, you might start wondering where the best place is to get your hands on fresh hops. The truth is, they’re really hard to find, unless you buy a seasonal beer labelled “wet hopped”. These days, most every commercial brewer uses pelletised hops, just like the ones we sell in our stores.
Why the pellets? The reasons are mostly practical, and in the interest of safety. Seriously. Freshly picked hops used to be baled and stored in warehouses at temperatures that cause the bales to start on fire. After much property damage and crop losses, producers decided they should forget about baling altogether and therefore started processing their crops into pellet form as soon as possible after harvest.
At The Home Vintner, we have several varieties of vacuum packed hop pellets in stock, from the ever popular Cascade to the aromatic and high alpha acid “Citra”, which, incidentally, even has its own trademark.
If you like hoppy beer, why not try adding some extra hop-oomph to your Barons beer kit? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
• Want more punch in your Pilsner? Go with Czech Saaz.
• You’ll get more of a European flavour from a Redwood Ale or Dutch Lager with the addition of Hallertau.
• Brown Ale loves an extra dose of hops. Try US Fuggle.
• And for you IPA fans, we have our popular add on packs that include extra Cascade hops and French oak chips to put into a Barons Pale Ale.
If you decide to hop up your home brew, remember to use the hops that are in the kit, in addition to your extra choice.