12 Dec Beer Brewed with Hemp
Hemp seeds are widely used for a number of food products, but a relatively new trend is to use the hemp seeds to brew beer. The first commercially-available hemp-brewed beer actually came from Frederick Brewing Company in 1997, but just recently more breweries are experimenting with the seed. While the variety of hemp beers is somewhat limited, you could likely find one or two different hemp-brewed beers at your local liquor store.
When brewers make the hemp beer, they first crush the seeds with hot water for one to two hours to create a sugary substance known as wort. The wort is then boiled for about an hour to evaporate all the water and increase the substance’s sugar concentration. Hops, which help to add bitterness, flavor and fragrance to the beer, are commonly added during the boiling process. Next, the substance, which is at this point referred to as hopped wort, is added to a fermenter, a large vat, and yeast is added. The yeast initiates the fermentation process, which in turn creates alcohol. Once fermentation is finished, the brewers condition the beer. This entails adding more sugar, which helps react with any remaining yeast and to cause the release of carbon dioxide so that the beer isn’t carbonated. The beer is then bottles and ready for serving. Beer brewed from whole hemp seeds typically features a nutty flavor and it the seeds have been roasted, even a coffee flavor. When hulled hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are used, the nutty flavor is much softer.
Hemp beer is legal in the United States because the beer must test negative for tedrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the mind-altering ingredient found in marijuana. While hemp seeds already have very little to zero traces of THC, brewers must sterilize their seeds before they use them for beer. Therefore, if you do drink hemp beer, you don’t need to worry at all about breaking the law or testing positive for marijuana in a drug test.