Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Update: I Got Some Hops

I was unable to grow any hops this year due to our move into our first house in mid/late May (YAY!).  My crowns were out of the ground in the sun for a couple hours and once I got them in the soil 5 of the 8 didn't grow at all, and the other 3 grew a small amount.  I was able to get hops from Oakshire Brewing's garden last year, but with their expansion and dropping the farmhouse next door they hadn't strung them up or cared for them in the last month.  I got an email from the brewmaster yesterday saying that they had continued to grow and climb the fence and were mine for the taking if I wanted them.  He even went next door to the farmhouse and asked the new tenants if they would mind me coming around and getting the hops on their side.  They were amicable and I was able to cut off all the bines on the Centennial and Chinook plants (left the Fuggles as I am not a big fan of them nor do I make many English beers).  Unfortunately their Cascade didn't make it this year.  

I was able to score 5 oz of Centennial (which is fine since it throws an annoying floral character that I don't care for) and 36 oz of Chinook.  Those are wet weights so I will have less once they are dried.  We had a hop picking party on our front porch once I got the bines home, even my 3 year old got in on it.  We separated the Chinooks into 4 large paper bags and the Centennial is all inside a standard paper grocery bag.  They are in the garage to dry out over the next few days.  Once they are dried I will re-weigh them and package them in vacuum seal bags in 1-2 oz quantities for freezer storage.  I might have a chance to help a local farm-brewery pick their hops this weekend and score some of those as well.  Hoping to get my hands on some Cascades for the future brew year too.

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