It is the 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 was the very little window of time for the brewers for 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 flower instead of fresh one which is not as good as the fresh one.
The researchers at Colorado including Mr. Bill Bauerle has a developed a technique in which hop plants are grown with the help of LED lights inside a greenhouse , this has enabled the brewers to grow hop plants in the optimal condition not only this it has enhanced the harvest to five potentials per year.
Benefit of growing hop plant using LED in a greenhouse
1. 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 in it and resultantly a unique quality of the beer is produced out of it.
Hydroponics a beneficial technique
The growth of hop plant in a greenhouse uses the hydroponic technique which is essential in the following way.
Hop plant when grown in a field they require 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 difficult too. In greenhouse thanks to 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 which plant takes from the field , not only this a mixture of growth additives that are organic in nature are also provided to the plant. For example Humic acid, and seaweed etc.
The hop plants produced through this technique are superior to the plants grown in fields.
Density of hop plants
The hop plants grown by hydroponics technique in a green house is approximately 17000 plants per acre contrary to the soil which is average 15000 plants per acre.
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 green house 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.
In Washington a valley named Yakima valley hop plants are cultivated now with the help of green house and also in Czechoslovakia.
Craft brewers should focus on this technique if they want to enlarge their small brewing industries and please the consumers too.