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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: lonetreedavid on February 03, 2010, 05:52:54 AM

Title: Kosher Hops
Post by: lonetreedavid on February 03, 2010, 05:52:54 AM
I am a craft brewer in Israel and it's important that all my ingredients be (certified) kosher - so that my beer would be 'available' to religious Jews.
I am having a real problem sourcing Hops and Irish Moss with a recognized "kosher" certification.
Any leads??
Thanks
DAvid
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: denny on February 03, 2010, 04:29:57 PM
I guess I never realized "kosher" applied to plants.  What does it take for hops to be kosher?
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: lonetreedavid on February 03, 2010, 07:25:44 PM
You're right - and you're wrong.
Plants - in nature - are of course, kosher. However, where kosher supervision would come to importance, is in the issues of preparing, say, processing the flowers, preparing hop pellets and packing.
Any suppliers for me??
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: pinnah on February 03, 2010, 07:28:51 PM
Any suppliers for me??

Try this link:

Puterbaugh Farms (http://www.hopsdirect.com/news/article.src?ID=19)



Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: denny on February 03, 2010, 07:31:29 PM
Thanks for the explanation, lonetreedavid.  For my edification, could you explain what it is in the processing, etc. that makes them either kosher or not?
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: halenrush on February 03, 2010, 07:44:44 PM
I think its a rabbi supervising the processing (harvest, packing, etc) and certifying that it was done in accordance to their religious beliefs.  I may be wrong, but I think its mostly done for meat processing to make sure it hasn't been tainted with any pork products. 

OP: I think pinnah's link is what you are looking for. 
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: mtbrewer on February 03, 2010, 08:20:53 PM
I think its a rabbi supervising the processing (harvest, packing, etc) and certifying that it was done in accordance to their religious beliefs.  I may be wrong, but I think its mostly done for meat processing to make sure it hasn't been tainted with any pork products.  
OP: I think pinnah's link is what you are looking for. 

I believe that when an animal is slaughtered kosher, it has to be killed by bleeding it, under Rabbi supervision. Not really anything to do with pork, although Kosher folk won't eat pork. Sorry to be graphic, but that's how it's done.
   

Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: glitterbug on February 03, 2010, 08:27:26 PM
Kosher info: http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm

Also, Shmaltz Brewing Company makes kosher beer (He'Brew brand). Maybe you can ask them what they use?
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 03, 2010, 08:35:44 PM
You're right - and you're wrong.
Plants - in nature - are of course, kosher. However, where kosher supervision would come to importance, is in the issues of preparing, say, processing the flowers, preparing hop pellets and packing.
Any suppliers for me??
Growing your own in the back yard?
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: dannyj621 on February 04, 2010, 02:58:39 AM
my friends parents were devout jewish and his father was a rabbi and im pretty sure i remember him tell me it all stems from the way something is blessed by him or around during its growth maybe?? could be a good market religion friendly hops
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: glitterbug on February 04, 2010, 08:30:22 PM
my friends parents were devout jewish and his father was a rabbi and im pretty sure i remember him tell me it all stems from the way something is blessed by him or around during its growth maybe?? could be a good market religion friendly hops

Contrary to popular misconception, rabbis or other religious officials do not "bless" food to make it kosher. There are blessings that observant Jews recite over food before eating it, but these blessings have nothing to do with making the food kosher. Food can be kosher without a rabbi or priest ever becoming involved with it: the vegetables from your garden are undoubtedly kosher (as long as they don't have any bugs, which are not kosher!). However, in our modern world of processed foods, it is difficult to know what ingredients are in your food and how they were processed, so it is helpful to have a rabbi examine the food and its processing and assure kosher consumers that the food is kosher. http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: capozzoli on February 04, 2010, 08:52:14 PM
Are we talking Glat Kosher?

Just dont let any gentiles or other non-Jews touch any of the ingredients.

Or Just Ask The a Rabbi. http://www.asktherabbi.org/




Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: beersk on February 04, 2010, 09:17:17 PM
Kosher hops?  Seriously? lol  O.........k.....

I realize I'm not contributing anything to this thread, but IT'S BEER!  
Religious beliefs sure are odd...
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: enso on February 04, 2010, 10:01:18 PM
Kosher hops?  Seriously? lol  O.........k.....

I realize I'm not contributing anything to this thread, but IT'S BEER!  
Religious beliefs sure are odd...

There are many odder things in this world I can think of.   :(

I personally would like to hear what the answer is David.  Never occurred to me before.  Everything in here so far is speculation.  David would you be so kind as to explain what would be required for hops, or any other ingredient, to be certified kosher?

I worked once for a Kosher caterer and I know some of what is involved in the preperation and serving of food in keeping kosher but sadly, I never inquired more than what I needed to do my job.

I think many folks curiosities are peeked.  I know mine is. 
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: lonetreedavid on February 04, 2010, 10:13:10 PM
While not really wanting to get into a whole theological discussion; I'd like to give you a parallel situation. There is a (free) iPhone application called "Is your Beer Vegan?". And from all the beers listed in the program - the answer is apparently a definite NO. So if beer was "just beer" then there would be no question ( maybe with  the exception of cream stout). The point is that Hops are processed into pellets and it is important (to me) to know exactly what happens in that process. In the same way, Irish Moss - like a lot of seaweeds are coated with oil while being dryed.  
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: enso on February 04, 2010, 10:32:19 PM
While not really wanting to get into a whole theological discussion; I'd like to give you a parallel situation. There is a (free) iPhone application called "Is your Beer Vegan?". And from all the beers listed in the program - the answer is apparently a definite NO. So if beer was "just beer" then there would be no question ( maybe with  the exception of cream stout). The point is that Hops are processed into pellets and it is important (to me) to know exactly what happens in that process. In the same way, Irish Moss - like a lot of seaweeds are coated with oil while being dryed.  

I was thinking of the whole vegan beer question as well when I was typing my reply but I did not want to go off topic. 

I personally am not looking for a theological discussion (or debate which I think is what you are suggesting/dreading?) I just really want to learn.  I think it is a completely relevant and important thing to consider.  I for one really want to learn your perspective David.

By the way, shall we assume there are no hop farms in Israel if you are having difficulty sourcing kosher hops?
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: blatz on February 04, 2010, 10:34:44 PM
did you guys click on pinnah's link?  this thread appears to be continuing on as if the question was not answered.

just checking.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: enso on February 05, 2010, 01:11:28 AM
did you guys click on pinnah's link?  this thread appears to be continuing on as if the question was not answered.

just checking.

Yes, I saw that one possible supplier was mentioned.  I was just curious to learn more about the subject myself.  I'm just a curious monkey I guess.   :)
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: beerocd on February 05, 2010, 02:07:31 AM
While not really wanting to get into a whole theological discussion;

I thought that was OK, just no religion. ;)
Six pack sez there's a difference. I'd like to know too, even worse is Halal vs Kosher. It's like brandy vs Cognac.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: capozzoli on February 05, 2010, 02:12:31 AM
^ subtly but, pushing the envelope.^
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: beerocd on February 05, 2010, 02:22:16 AM
^^ Who made you HALL MONITOR ?? ^^
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: capozzoli on February 05, 2010, 02:39:44 AM
I just felt like I had to write something cause of the culinary references in your comment. :)
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: beerocd on February 05, 2010, 02:52:43 AM
I just felt like I had to write something cause of the culinary references in your comment. :)

C'mon that's just a tie back to the "What's for dinner" thread with the brandy vs Cognac. ;) You know... culinary.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: lonetreedavid on February 05, 2010, 11:36:19 AM
Ok, so the issues are a wee bit complicated - and I apologize, in advance, if bringing religion into this forum is not acceptable, I am, in now way trying to influence anybody to my way of thinking - neither Jews or non-Jews - but, rather, trying to solve a real beer issue which is important to me. I also apologize if this answer is a bit long - skip to the next posting if you want.

The issues which "could" arise with hops are basically as follows:-
1. "Mixing of crops in a field" - from the biblical prohibition of using two different types of animals to plough (together) -  also comes the prohibition of planting two different crops in the same field - or close to one another
2. Possible problems caused by Jewish farm workers working in the field on the Sabbath
3. The processing of the hop flowers into pellets; is 'something' mixed-in to make the pellet 'better' e.g. oils etc
4. Is the processing equipment used for other food-stuffs - and not properly cleaned between these different products.
5. Contamination of the hops by bugs, insects etc. The FDA "allow" a certain (very small) % of contamination. Jewish dietary laws try and prevent ALL contamination.
An example of this is Nori seaweed (and the consequences affect Irish Moss also). Naturally grown Nori attracts micro-size seahorses which become dried in with the actual seaweed. And so is not Kosher. Kosher seaweed is grown in ponds without the little seahorses riding around.

All these issues would affect all produce (and not just Hops) but, in addition (and this gets really complicated!) some issues only affect Israel  (and I'm not talking political here)
99% of the Jewish dietary laws affect produce and Jews worldwide - however, there are some issues that affect the dietary laws only in Israel. And these affect grains. All grains are divided into either "new" or "old" - in terms of when they were harvested in respect to the time of Passover. (and it doesn't matter where they were grown)

ALL these issues are fairly easily dealt with - in just takes the farmer (or whoever) to actually go to the trouble and get his products supervised by some sort of Rabbinical authority.

All my beer ingredients are covered - except the hops.

I tried to contact  Puterbaugh Farms - I found them on Google - but they never responded to email or to when I phoned them during office hours (their time).
If somebody would try and contact them on my behalf, I would be really grateful.

In general, the Beer market in Israel is in it's infancy - there are maybe three suppliers of ingredients and equipment - I'm talking 'whole country' and not 'locally' here. There are maybe a dozen microbreweries. And there are absolutely no local beer ingredients grown here - we're even short of water!  So the market is new and that's what makes it very exciting and (maybe) a great business opportunity.

The comparison between Halal (according to Muslim dietary laws) and Kosher (according to Jewish dietary laws) is a bit misleading. We all are doing are own 'thing' - with very little overlap in what is permissible to each religion. By the Koran, alcohol is forbidden - while, in the Torah, alcohol (especially wine) is sanctified and is used to sanctify. I start my Sabbath meal -coming soon - with a large glass of great red wine.

L"Chaim
David










Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: pinnah on February 05, 2010, 12:50:41 PM
David,

Thanks a lot for the information.
I am sure all of us here can appreciate
the idea of being mindful of what ingredients we put into our craft.

Hops Direct (Puterbaugh Farms) are good folks,
but typically take a little time to respond to inquiry.

I recommend persistence, and try the e-mail (http://www.hopsdirect.com/contact/) form.

Best of luck,
and happy brewing.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: lonetreedavid on February 05, 2010, 01:50:11 PM
Thanks for the link - I will keep trying to contact them
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: beerocd on February 05, 2010, 02:51:10 PM
Thanks for taking the time to write that long post. I never knew that stuff, (not that I need to), it is interesting.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 05, 2010, 04:18:10 PM
David,
How about whole flower hops. Would that be O.K.?

If there is a shortage of water someone claimed that for each gallon of beer you use 8 gallons of water (cooling, cleaning....).
Do you think that this is still interesting business proposition?
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: a10t2 on February 05, 2010, 06:14:12 PM
Why would that be prohibited?

I'm not even going to pretend to know the answer, but 10 verses later you have:

Quote
But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

So maybe we should just avoid discussing Deuteronomy altogether.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: enso on February 05, 2010, 06:14:45 PM
Thanks for enlightening us David.  Sounds like you have your work cut out for you on top of all the business aspects (licensing etc.) of a brewery!  Best wishes in your endeavors.  Wish I had a supplier for you.

Have you looked into suppliers from Europe at all?  I would think importing from there would be a bit less dear price wise.

I would recommend starting your own hopyard but a) you mentioned a water shortage so, no go there, and b) you have ebough to worry about just getting things up and going!
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: denny on February 05, 2010, 06:41:18 PM
Why would that be prohibited?

I'm not even going to pretend to know the answer, but 10 verses later you have:

Quote
But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

So maybe we should just avoid discussing Deuteronomy altogether.

Please don't go there....as BB mentioned, this is an interesting and informative thread.  Let's try to stay on topic.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: a10t2 on February 05, 2010, 06:45:13 PM
I'm simply saying, if there are certain aspects of religion that *can* be discussed, I'd appreciate a list being written up, so everyone knows where the line is. If we're trying to find sources of kosher hops, that's clearly beer-related (IMHO), but I'm trying to forestall a discussion of the *origins* of the rules, which is just talking about religion (again, IMHO).
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: beerocd on February 05, 2010, 06:57:44 PM
Denny;
Can we change someone's avatar when they kill a thread? Like the scarlet letter, for adultery. There should be an icon or something someone is forced to "wear" for intentionally killing a thread.

Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: capozzoli on February 05, 2010, 07:09:18 PM
I worked for a Jewish caterer too. They made great food. The Rabbi just came in the kitchens from time to time to inspect everything, ingredients as well as cleanliness, which was very strict there.   He explained that kosher is basically a higher level of purity.

When they did latt kosher events it was kinda strange. Non Jews like myself (if I remember right) were not allowed to work on the food, or even be in the room with it. But talking to the Rabbi, that was not so much because it was glatt but just a stricter form of kosher. Glatt kosher means the animal has to be butchered in a kosher way then its organs are inspected and have to be pure and clean in order to be accepted as glatt. A higher standard purity. I wonder if halal meat is the same thing?

Anyways, I think discussing kosher is outside of religion. Its a way of handling and preparing ingredients for things that you are going to put into your body. Some people are stricter for whatever reason.

I by kosher foods, its usually really good stuff.  
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: denny on February 05, 2010, 07:11:19 PM
If we're gonna get general and not talk about hops, I'll split this thread and move it to the pub.
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: medicineman on February 07, 2010, 08:54:27 AM
1. "Mixing of crops in a field" - from the biblical prohibition of using two different types of animals to plough (together) -  also comes the prohibition of planting two different crops in the same field - or close to one another

Most hops are grown by themselves but some are grown with other crops at the base.

2. Possible problems caused by Jewish farm workers working in the field on the Sabbath

That is possible.

3. The processing of the hop flowers into pellets; is 'something' mixed-in to make the pellet 'better' e.g. oils etc


I don't think anything is mixed in, especially not oils.  The flowers are frozen and processed cold.

4. Is the processing equipment used for other food-stuffs - and not properly cleaned between these different products.

I think only hops are processed by pellet machines.  It seems you should stick to whole flower (or some people say "leaf" but it is the flower they mean).

5. Contamination of the hops by bugs, insects etc. The FDA "allow" a certain (very small) % of contamination. Jewish dietary laws try and prevent ALL contamination.

Mites and aphids are common problems with hops.  Pesticides are used to control this.  Are pesticides contamination?  Some specific varieties of hops are more resistant to bugs.  I don't think the bugs end up in the finished dried hops though, so would that be okay?

An example of this is Nori seaweed (and the consequences affect Irish Moss also). Naturally grown Nori attracts micro-size seahorses which become dried in with the actual seaweed. And so is not Kosher. Kosher seaweed is grown in ponds without the little seahorses riding around.

When hops are dried, they are kilned over a few days to a specific moisture content.  I don't think anything is added.

Good luck and I think if you are serious and have money the farms will be willing to help you and could produce Kosher hops.

some links:

http://www.yakimachief.com/ (http://www.yakimachief.com/)

http://www.freshops.com/ (http://www.freshops.com/)

http://www.shmaltz.com/HEBREW/index.html (http://www.shmaltz.com/HEBREW/index.html)


Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: lonetreedavid on February 07, 2010, 07:33:27 PM
So thanks for all the help and advice.
The big news of today is that we got a kosher certification for hops from a German farm. I think they have a fairly decent range of hops - so, at least, we can move ahead.
I'd still like to find hops from an American source - (come on Puterburgh Farm) and I'll keep trying  any, and all, leads that you guys pass on to me.
Anybody want to see what a Kosher certificate looks like??
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 08, 2010, 02:03:59 AM
Let it see.
Is it in English?
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: lonetreedavid on February 08, 2010, 05:31:47 AM
How do I send a picture to the forum??
Title: Re: Kosher Hops
Post by: a10t2 on February 08, 2010, 05:39:54 AM
How do I send a picture to the forum??

Check this out: How do I include an image in my post? (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=20.0)