Many professed brewers are particularly attached to the colour of the
hops, that is, they are partial to those of a fine green colour; these
are certainly to be prefered, if they were ripe when gathered:--to
prove their goodness, rub them between your fingers, if they are in
full condition they will stick to your fingers, will have a good strong
scent, and the seeds will appear full and yellow.
are frequently to be seen on hops; these are, in general,
hops that came to a full ripeness before they were gathered. High winds
and rain frequently happen about the middle or latter end of the hop
season, which will disfigure them in their colour in a few hours, so
that the colour is not at all times to direct you as to their goodness.
In the hop countries most hop-planters keep those hops which are most
disfigured in their quality, separate and apart, when picking, from
those of a brighter colour; those which are of an inferior colour are
kept for their own use, and disposed of to their neighbours, it being
their opinion that they answer the purpose in brewing nearly as well as
those of a brighter colour, provided they are in full condition, that
is, if they are full of seeds; for in the seeds is the virtue and
strength of the hop.
The quantity of hops used in brewing is generally half a pound to a
bushel of malt, and so in proportion to a greater quantity; if mild
ale, for present drinking, a lesser quantity will do; but this must be
left to the discretion of the brewer, or master of a family, as some
are more partial to the taste of the hop than others.
Hops are found to be of such excellent utility in the bittering of
beer, that common brewers and innkeepers are forbidden by law to use
any other bitter ingredient whatever in brewing of beer and ale. I have
taken the liberty to insert this as a caution to the unwary.
As to the quantity of beer each bushel of malt should produce, it must
rest on the option or circumstances of the brewer, or the head of a
family. A bushel of malt will produce ten gallons of good ale; but the
greater the quantity of malt, brewed at one time, the better will be