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Fresh Hops In LED-Lit Greenhouses Are Making Beer

It is time for the owners of microbreweries to celebrate because techniques are developed by the researchers at Colorado State for the better production of hop plants. Previously there wasn't a lot of window of time for the brewers for the harvesting hop plant. It is a plant that is used by the brewers to flavor beer. Due to the limited time, they had to use dried flowers instead of fresh ones, which is not as good as fresh ones. 

The researchers at Colorado, including Mr. Bill Bauerle, have developed a technique in which hop plants are grown with LED lights inside a greenhouse. This has enabled the brewers to grow hop plants in optimal conditionIn addition to several benefits of using LED in greenhouses, this also increased the harvest to five times a year. 


When hop plants are grown in a greenhouse, the amount of essential oils and acids that give a bitter flavor to the beer is increased, and this improved the beer taste. 


Hydroponics Technique.                     

The hop plant's growth in a greenhouse uses the hydroponic technique that is essential in the following way. 

Hop plant, when grown in a field, requires a lot of fertilizers for their growth, most importantly potassium and nitrogen, and their ratio vary in different years of growth. All this task requires care; it takes much time and challenging. In the greenhouse, thanks to the hydroponic technique, it saved brewers from this tiresome task. In this technique, a hop plant is provided with a mixture of micronutrients that supplements all the nutrients that the plant takes from the fieldThis mixture of organic growth additives is also provided to the plant—for example, Humic acid, seaweed, etc.


The hop plants produced through this technique are superior to the plants grown in fields.


The density of hop plants 

The hop plants grown by hydroponics technique in a greenhouse are approximately 17,000 plants per acre, contrary to the soil average of 15,000 plants per acre. 

 

Sustainability 

The hop plants' production through this technique is expensive initially. Still, it is sustainable, and the material utilized in this technique is usually recycled. 


Wet hop market

Before the establishment of techniques for the production of hop plant in a greenhouse, the craft breweries produced less beer with wet hop, but the introduction of hydroponics via conservatory has set a pace for not only the growth of hop plants around the year but also for the wet hop market in different areas of the world.

 

Examples

In Washington, a valley named Yakima valley, hop plants are cultivated now with greenhouse. You can find similar cultivation in Czechoslovakia.

 

Craft brewers should focus on this technique if they want to enlarge their small brewing industries and delight the consumers.

  

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