“Hops,” according to Wikipedia, are the flowers of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus. But what do you care? They help make beer!
This is here for any hobbyist who wants to talk about the art and craft of home-brew. Ironically, when board gamers usually talk about “home-brew,” we talk about our own house rules about an RPG or something. We’re not actually talking about fermenting a physical volume of liquid one can eventually consume in real life. But, here, we can!
Being that we all are, more or less, huge nerds, fermentation has kind of a strong appeal to many of us. There’s a lot of science there, and much like board gaming, the process of turning something from a weird slush into a fine consumable result, takes skills. Skills of strategy, tactics, and luck (and occasionally bluffing. Don’t ask me how you bluff yeast, BUT SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO!)
Also, having a carboy of a living mixture of liquid is sort of like having an amazing pet that sometimes misbehaves, but can’t get lost because it’s in a huge glass bottle in your closet. Or maybe it’s more like a secret aquarium? I don’t know, people, you’d have to try it for those analogies to even make a little sense.
This doesn’t need to be just about beer, I know a few people here make their own wine, as well, and I’ve made my own mead before (it suuuuuked!) as well as many, many beers.
Just keep the topic to the fermentation of beverages (or possibly pickles or sauerkraut, that’s also a cool process! Probably, though, stick to beer or wine. Or cider. Or even distillation! That’s some fun science! Just keep it legal for your region.)