Wild hops grow a few hundred metres from my home. They like to grow near water, and here the male plant is on one side of a brook and two female plants on the other. The male produces a flower which in turn generates fruit on the female plants.
Hops are best known as an ingredient in beer. They have been used in brewing in Central Europe for over a millennium, eventually introduced to British beer recipes in the fifteenth century, where previously herbal inclusions were used. The hops help with preservation and add a bitter flavour.
Hops can be used ‘wet’ or they can be dried and preserved for future use.
A good history of hops in UK brewing from the British Hop Association.
Wild Hop Soap
- December 5, 2018
- Makes 1kg of soap Servings
- 30 min
- Print this
- 1kg Melt and Pour soap base
- 1 cup of finely chopped dried wild hops (or more to suit)
- Step 1
- Chop the hops by hand until very fine, or either in a small food processor or bladed electric coffee grinder.
- Step 2
- Slowly melt the soap base either in a Bain Marie, or in a microwave, stopping to stir the mix every thirty seconds.
- Step 3
- Add in the chopped hops to suit yourself and stir through.
- Step 4
- Stir and pour into your mould of choice. A roasting tray lined with grease-proof paper would do, but gauge its size so that you get the desired depth.
- Step 5
- Cool at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge for a couple. Remove from the mould and cut up how you like it.