Female flower cones from the Humulus Lupulus plant. Used for their flavor, aroma, and bittering qualities. Hops also contribute a preservative/anti-microbial properties to beer.

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Which malts/hops (and how much) should I keep on hand for maximum flexibility?

Which varieties (and how much) of malts and hops should I keep on hand to be able to brew the greatest variety of beers without having to go to my LHBS? For clarity, this is for brewing five gallon ...
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Which hops to choose for a hop tasting

I am going to have a hop tasting to try and get a handle on the main varieties and variation of hops. I was thinking of this approach except using the suggestion in the comments of Real Ale's Fireman ...