humulus lupulus

Plant of the week: Humulus Lupulus

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Hops are mainly known as an ingredient of beer. The real hop, humulus lupulus, is a climbing plant that is a real feast for the eyes and grows strongly around walls, facades, fences and parapets.

However undemanding it may seem, it still has it all. The humulus lupulus belongs to the genus hemp and is used for brewing beer, among other things. For the beer production only the fruits of the female hop plants are used. The hops give the beer its usual bitter aroma and attractive foam formation.

If the humulus lupulus is planted in a garden, the owner can enjoy fast and steady growth. It is undemanding and particularly adaptable, which makes it a plant that is easy to care for. It can reach a height of 10 metres, but will usually be between 6 and 8 metres.

Wild and cultural hops

The wild form of hops is found in bushes or on forest edges, especially where the soil is dry. It occurs in groups, but rarely also in larger stands. In Central Europe, the wild form of hops is relatively common.

For industrial cultivation, cultivated hops are mainly used. It is most frequently used for the production of beer. To brew beer one uses exclusively the ears of Humulus Lupulus, which are also called umbels in the brewery. Occasionally it is also used for the production of bitter lemonade or for processing for medical purposes.

The largest cultivation area in Germany for humulus lupulus is in Hallertau(01). With an area of 2,400 km² it is by the way the largest continuous hop growing area in the world. In Hallertau, 86% of German hops are produced and 34% of worldwide production is cultivated.

In our garden

hop, humulus lupulusWe have known for a short time that hops grow in our allotment garden as well. So far I have always thought the growing climbing plant to be wild wine and have trimmed it properly. With the good weather this year, I had no chance and now I have grown plenty of umbels. So over the trellis grown, it looks really good.

It is clear that it is not wild wine. I am very happy about it and wonder what I will do with the hop cones. Since I already press wine, brewing beer is actually out of the question. Do you have any good ideas for use or recipes where you can use hop cones?


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