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Hops are the flowers of the hop plant which is used in beer to achieve bittering, flavor and aroma. Leaf hops are the whole dried cone flowers of the female hop plant. Pellet hops are produced by grinding up the hop cones and pressing them into pellets. Alpha acids, probably the most important chemical compound within hops, are responsible for the bitter taste of beer. The stage of the brewing process at which the hops are added is responsible for the characteristic they will contribute to the beer.