HOPS. The produce of the hop-plant (see Hor). The fruit is a little nut, not larger than a grain of mustard-seed, and between its outer shell and the kernel there is a small quantity of a peculiar granular substance called lupuline, which also exists as a sort of efflorescence on the surface of time scales themselves; much of the value of the hop depends upon the abundance of this substance. The lopuline is not a mere powder, but each grain is a little organized cellular body, of an oval or round form, and, when seen under time microscope, having a reticulated surface. These lupnlinic grains have been analyzed by many chemists. The following is the result of the investigations of Payen, Chevallier, and Pelleteau: Volatile oil (oil of hops) 2.00 Lulu!line (the bitter principle) 10.30 Resin 50 to 55.00 Lignin - 32.00 Fatty, astrinment, and gummy matters; osmazome, malic and car bonic acid's, several salts (=late of lime, acetate of ammonia, Traces. chloride of potassium, sulphate of potash), etc - 99.30 The first year the bines, or stalks, are weak, and have to he provided with poles. When the bines the down in autumn, they are cut off, and the sticks removed or stacked, and during the winter the ground is forked over and in:Inured. The plants are in per fection the third year, when each requires a pole about 18 or 20 ft. in height, to which the young blues are tied as they grow, with rushes or bast. They, however, soon begin to twine around the poles, and then require no more tying. In the English hop grounds, the picking begins about the middle of September. This is done by women and children chiefly, some 111C11 being necessary to lower the poles and bring the hops within reach. As the hops are picked, they are taken to the oast, or hop-kiln, in which they are dried, usually on horizontal screens of hair-cloth, through Which the heat of the kiln passes. This operation requires to be performed with great care, as the essential oil is very liable to be volatilized, especially as the hops are frequently kept from year to year. When fully dried, they are carried to the packing-house, and are there pressed into the bags or pockets, and sewed up ready for sale.
The best varieties of the hop are the hill Golding, the East Kent Golding, golden hops, Jones's hops, grape-hops. and Farnham white bine.
- The Geldings are the best and richest, and are used for the finest ales. The Joneses are most valued for their habit of short growth, which enables the grower to use shorter poles. The Colegates are very hardy, and can be grown on a poorer soil than
the others, The grape-hops are also very hardy, and will do on an indifferent soil; they are also very prolific.
We also receive them of excellent quality from, Canada and the United States. Until the year 1852 hops paid an excise duty, and formed an important part in time revenue, although a very variable crop, owing to the serious check it is liable to from insects, fungi, diseases, and the weather. In 1870 the land under hops in England amounted to 09,999 acres, of which nearly 45,000 were in Kent, and most of the remainder in SI1Ssex, Hereford, and Hampshire. Time annual exportation of hops is about 40,000 cwt., chiefly to the United States and Australia.
In a carefully conducted experiment, Dr. Ives obtained 14 ounces of from 0 pounds of hops; and as he was sure that he bad not removed it all from the scales and nuts, a fair conclusion was drawn that the lupuline constitutes a sixth of the whole weight of the best bops. Both the bitter taste and time preservative diameter of hops are supposed to depend entirely upon this material, whether in the form of fully devel oped lupuline grains, or diffused in an undeveloped state in the structure of the scales. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance not only to encourage the development of the lupuline by good cultivation, but it is equally desirable to make the best use of it when produced. in furtherance of this, many of the principal English brewers now use an ingenious machine made by 31r. Handyside of Derby, which first shakes off and sifts out the Inpnliim gTins, and then separates the, tuns or seeds from the scales. The reason for this separation is this: Experience has shown that much of the aromatic principle of the In patine is dissipated at a boiling heat; therefore only the scales are so treated. ‘i hilst the free hip:dine is mashed with lukewarm wort. and the nuts, after crushed, are treated in the same and all are added together when cold. By this means the aroma is fully developed, and a smaller quantity of hops is found to answer fully.
There is a narcotic principle in hops as well as the bitter and tonic, all of which have led to their employment in medicine. Such use is, however, very limited. For the full details of their employment iy the process of brewing, see BEER,