There is no better ingredient to top off your malted barley grains and extract than some freshly grown hops from your garden. Different varieties and different levels of bitterness will add spice and a distinct smoky flavor profile to your individual beer recipes, and when brewing with fresh hops instead of pellets, you have total control over the quality of the hops you use to make your beer. Some of the most famous beer recipes in the world, including Budweiser and Heineken, rely on hops to give it that distinct, smooth flavor. Growing hops can be done in your garden by the side of your house or in pots and individual containers. Hops can be ordered from your favorite home brewing supply store, or they can be purchased at the home and garden section of your city’s department store. Hops are originally grown in Asia, South America, and different parts of the world. The soil they are grown in, and the quality of the soil, has an effect on the flavor and outcome of the hop plants. When fully grown and matured, hops can be used to brew superior beer recipes that will rival or exceed that which you find bottled or canned on your grocer’s shelves. Beer has been brewed using hops for centuries, and many time-honored recipes call for different styles and varieties of hops to add a distinct flavor and hint of bitterness to the malty texture of the beer, making it go down easier with a slight spiciness that is pleasurable on the back of the tongue.
As with all plants that you grow at home or in your garden, give your plants’ roots room to grow, and water the hops regularly. To protect them from worms and other pests, you can use a mild chemical spray or pesticide to get rid of any unwanted intruders. Hops are among the most basic of beer ingredients, and easy to add to any recipe. They should, however, be used in moderation to avoid overpowering the flavor of the beer with bitterness, ruining the smooth taste of the beer. When your hops are ready to be harvested, they can be dried out or stored in tupperware containers in your refrigerator until they are ready to be used. If you intend to dry them out to be used later, it is a good idea to store them in mason jars to keep a certain amount of moisture in the hops. Hops can also be frozen and kept for months. Growing your own ingredients for the production of beer is a fun and cost-saving way to make your own beer, and gives you even more control over your recipes and the final product. Beer made from scratch is a thing to be proud of and a thing to be valued. If you don’t have access to a local home brewing supply store, a seed bank, or a bulk grain supply outfit, many of these types of stores can be found online. Home brewing makes an excellent hobby for anyone over the age of twenty-one who enjoys the flavor and fullness of a well-crafted beer. It is perfectly legal to grow your own ingredients from your garden for the production of beer, up to a certain number of pounds. Consult your local laws and regulations to find out more about the legal side of growing hops for the production of beer. Beer made from scratch is one of the most satisfying beverages you will ever enjoy, and the experience of drinking a beer that you made yourself is second to none. The perfect combination of hops, barley, wheat, and other grains makes a beer that can be as dark or as light as you want it to be, as bitter or as sweet as you want it to be, and as dry or wet as you want it to be. Producing your own ingredients lets you decide the final outcome of all your beer recipes.