the hop plant – inside & out
The stem of the hop where it connects
to the bine. Most of a hop’s tannins
are located here.
Tannins are biomolecules that bind proteins
& other organic compounds
known as polyphenol. It’s more
widely known as an element in wine.
The hop leaves that make up
the outer structure in
an iconic cascading fashion.
Different varieties of hops have different styles of leaves. Wild hops tend to splay open more (like in the photo), and domestic hops tend to have the leaves stay tighter to the body.
The inner structure of a hop-
It supports the shape of the
flower. Lupalin, while mainly
in the glands, is also found
within the hop cone, adding
to the aroma & bittering values
Layers of inner leaves, filling the inside of the
hop cone. The layering also creates cavities
in which the lupulin glands are located.
These glands contain majority
of the resins & essential oils and
are located within the bract. The
glands have a powdery, yellow
look much like pollen.
Breaking a hop in half and rubbing the glands together activates the lupulin and allows you to smell the nuanced aromas from the hop.
Low and behold! Hops don’t grow on vines, but rather the vine’s lesser known cousin, the bine. While similar in many ways, there are key differences that make them stand apart.
Vines (pictured left) rely on tendrils to grab onto its surrounding environment to crawl and twine across & around the surface(s) as it grows. This allows it to climb up flat surfaces.
Bines (pictured right) do not climb or latch onto flat surfaces. They specifically wrap around a support structure in a clockwise fashion, holding on with tiny hairs the twining stem is covered in.
A Young Hop Bine Being Trained Around Supporting Rope
Majority of bine leaves have 3 rounded sections that each come to a point. Some leaves can have 5+ pointed sections.
Both the bine and its leaves are not used alongside hops for brewing purposes. They are separated during harvest so the hops can be processed and packaged.
Hops grow in clusters off various branches stemming from the bine. Typically, the more dense the hops, the better nourished and watered the plant was during growth.
Bines that didn’t receive as many nutrients and hydration tend to be thinner and produce less hops. Bines grow fast, reaching 5-6 metres in a matter of weeks, so it is imperative to water them consistently.
Once the hops are formed, the bine’s energy goes towards producing the terpenes and its need for water greatly decreases.
Harvested Hop Bines Going Through a Processor to Separate the Hops
Hops Once They Are Separated From the Bine