Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Hops: A Graft Is Not a Hybrid

By William Brand
Monday, October 31st, 2005 at 12:45 pm in Uncategorized.


Hello William Brand:

I just read your article on ‘wet hops’ in the Daily Review. (See article in posting below.) I, too, like a fresh hop taste in my beer and prefer India Pale Ale to most types except a good porter. In fact, my husband home-brews and I grow his hops – right up the side of our house! When I first started growing hops I dried and sealed them in plastic bags, but I thought the hop flavor was too washed out so I started experimenting with preservation methods.

I started vacuum sealing; then freezing them to get the freshest most intense flavor. Now, for the best flavor from my hops, I vacuum seal them fresh and freeze them.

My husband’s beer has consistently won prizes in the top three and ‘best of show’ at the county fairs and (years ago) local competitions since I started growing and preserving his hops!

I also need to point out to you that grafting plants together does not hybridize them. That would only occur if the plants were cross pollinated- their seedlings would be the hybrids. Think of grafting as an ‘organ transplant’ where parts are attached and hybridizing as ‘cross-breeding’.

I am a UC certified Master Gardener and have lots of grafted fruit trees, roses and grape vines and I can assure you that none have taken on the characteristics of any of their grafted parts.

How about an article about nutritional value of “good” beer (it can be high in B vitamins) or the history of beer making an America (women were in charge of brewing for the household)?

PS- I make herbal tea from fresh hops – they contain humulone and lupulone which has sedative properties. Their vines are also easy to weave into decorative baskets.
J. Castro Valley, CA

Hi J. Nutritional value of beer? Good idea; I’ll put it in the hopper er…think about it. I have this great World War II poster on my beer refrigerator. It says “Guinness is good for you.” I know professional brewers who do the same thing with hops: vacuum seal and freeze them.Thanks for correcting my botany, too. It’s a weak area for me.I’ll have to try your husband’s beer some time. wb

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  • April

    I was doing a Google search for nutitional value of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout ( I wanted to know how much damage a glass will do to my diet!), and came acrossed your page. It would be so AWSOME to find a complete listing of popular beers and their Nutrtional Values. I mean, I know I’m not the only diet ‘cheater’, and it helps to know just how much you cheated. Even though I don’t care, it was totally worth the smooth yummy goodness, I’d still like to know what’s in it- value wise. If you know of any place already set up like this, I would LOVE to know!
    April in Winston, NC

  • Bob Skilnik
  • Alain

    Hello, I’m an italian beginner gardener.
    I’m interested in grafting Hops. I want to use hops as scion and fuse it with a stock of another plant. Googling I’ve found that Hops is in the family of Cannabaceae but I’m not interested in that. I would like to find another stock if it is possible.
    Sorry for my english and thank you for you attention.