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Wiktionary
hops

n. (plural of hop English) vb. (en-third-person singular of: hop)

WordNet
hops

n. twining perennials having cordate leaves and flowers arranged in conelike spikes; the dried flowers of this plant are used in brewing to add the characteristic bitter taste to beer [syn: hop]

Wikipedia
Hops

Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart bitter, zesty, or citric flavours; though they are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine. The hop plant is a vigorous, climbing, herbaceous perennial, usually trained to grow up strings in a field called a hopfield, hop garden (nomenclature in the South of England), or hop yard (in the West Country and U.S.) when grown commercially. Many different varieties of hops are grown by farmers around the world, with different types being used for particular styles of beer.

The first documented use of hops in beer is from the 9th century, though Hildegard of Bingen, 300 years later, is often cited as the earliest documented source. Before this period, brewers used " gruit", composed of a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers, including dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound (the old German name for horehound, Berghopfen, means "mountain hops"), ground ivy, and heather. Early documents include mention of a hop garden in the will of Charlemagne's father, Pepin III.

Hops are used extensively in brewing for their antibacterial effect that favors the activity of brewer's yeast over less desirable microorganisms and for many purported benefits, including balancing the sweetness of the malt with bitterness, contributing a variety of desirable flavors and aromas. Historically, traditional herb combinations for beers were believed to have been abandoned when beers made with hops were noticed to be less prone to spoilage.

Usage examples of "hops".

Reise brewed for his inn was bound with germander from the woodlands of the borough, not hops imported from Sandrakkan.

I can get a good foreman that knows all about hops just now, and if the deal pays--well, I want to send Sid to a seminary up in San Francisco.

I had a bit of money put by and here was the chance to go into hops with the certainty that hops would quadruple and quintuple in price inside the year.

In their little cottage, in the forest of green hops that surrounded them on every hand, the three led a joyous and secluded life, contented, industrious, happy, asking nothing better.

In the list that was printed below, Dyke saw that the rate for hops between Bonneville or Guadalajara and San Francisco was five cents.

Lots of local hops around the south county instead of town to Lucan, back in empty, town to Swords, back in empty, that kind of shit.

A tallish slender woman, mid-thirties with short blond hair, hops across the road through the traffic and gets in the back.

Her friend, a small plump woman with peroxide blonde hair, totters across the road and hops in, pausing briefly to suck half a cigarette into her lungs before flicking the butt across the bonnet of my car.

Did a few quick hops and then about quarter to eight decided to head in to town and get parked up.

Glamorous woman number two hops in and I head off to Torquay Road in Foxrock to collect number three, the wife of their host for the evening.

I said, as Pat popped the chewing gum in his mouth and hops out of the car, where Mick gives him a friendly slap around the head as they make their way into the pub.

Did a few handy local hops, politely explaining that I lived in Bray and was rarely out around these parts and would thus have to be carefully directed every step of the way.

If you could not grow your own hops, you could buy them from the itinerate hop-traders, or use various other herbs such as bog-myrtle and juniper berries instead.

The wort would be boiled in the kettle with hops and whatever else the brewer wanted to add to spice up the brew.

Different types and amounts of malt, water, hops, spices, yeast, transfers and temperatures all worked together to make a specific type of beer.