Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Update: Hops, Promotion and New Schedule, Vacations

It has been awhile since I last posted, there was a nice vacation to Portland with family which included a couple visits to Full Sail's Pilsner Room which was a short walk from the hotel, dinner at Burnside Brewing, as well as lunch at Bridgeport, and a trip to Cascade Barrel House and Belmont Station.  We also had a church campout where, surprisingly, my pastor who always complains about the amount of hops in Pacific NW beers tried my DIPA with 1# of hops in 5 gallons and enjoyed it.  I also got a nice promotion at work which brought new hours and much more work.  The new hours are nice, they give me much more time with the family in the afternoons, and open up the potential for going home after work and getting in a full brewday which will keep weekends opened.  I can even bottle in the evening and not have to worry about finding time on a Saturday morning.

Speaking of brewing and bottling.  I have a second edition Hefeweisse in the works soon, as well as an English Bitter.  I will be bottling the Lambic I brewed last September from the yeast on Blackberry skins in the next week or so.  Gave it a taste this morning and it is very nice, fruity, clean lactic tartness, no acetic, maybe a little high on the oak, but I like oak character, so I am okay with that, no oxidation, slight funkiness.  

The new hops are coming along quite nicely with much better growth on some of my new first years compared to last years Chinook, which has already surpassed the height of the trellis and I am having to get creative with how to keep it out of the other varietals next to it.  I had quite a bit of Aphid issues this year, and the mild soap spray I used killed them all off, but scorched some of my leaves as well.  I had a buddy who grows lots of hops (I got most of my rhyzomes from his hop yard) come by to take a look at the plants and he recommended fertilizing and longer deeper waterings.  Since giving longer waterings and adding some Miracle Gro the plants are looking much healthier.  I've even got some healthy side arm growth going on my big plants.  All in all it is looking to be a good year of growth; hoping for a decent yield on my Brewer's Gold, AlphAroma, Cascade, Shinsuwase, and maybe even Blisk and Cerara.  Chinook should be good this year.

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