Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hops Harvest Begins!




Picking began the other day with the most ripe of my four hop varieties, the Hallertau. They were actually just a bit beyond optimum ripeness but should be just fine as they are not brown or crispy, yet. The harvest should yield a few ounces of this fine German hop for my next wohlschmeckend (Tasty) brew. The picture on the right is a full screen-door-sized screen which I suspended from the ceiling to dry the hops on. Looks loaded, don't it? I went into the garage yesterday and the smell is intoxicating!

The next variety that will be picked will be the U.S. Goldings, though there will be precious little of that. These just are not thriving. Maybe I'll get an ounce but I doubt it. The next variety after that will be the Cascade. That variety will make up for the lack of Goldings. I should get several ounces of Cascade hops. The final pickings will be the high Alpha acid hop, Nugget. Again, there should be plenty of these to go around! Fortunately, these varieties all mature at different times, so there is time to pick and dry one variety before the arduous picking begins again.

All told, this will be my best hop harvest ever. That's great because as many of you know, the hop shortage has made my farming hobby a near necessity!

Cheers!

10 comments:

camojack said...

Well, you'd better get, ummm...hopping!

Beerme said...

Oh, yeah! With the garden (green beans can be picked-a peck, at least-every other day!), the hops harvest, my job, my teaching job and my wife(who just had heel spur surgery and will be off her feet for six weeks), I will be hopping!

Brian said...

buddy..thats awesome! I just planted my own hops this year and have been growing them in a pot outside our Chicago city window...and I was proud to have approx 20 nice Cascade blossoms coming out...

Really nice pics, looking forward to hearing about your brews which come from this!

Cheers!
Brian

Beerme said...

Yeah, if I ever brew again...I'll be sure to post about it! It seems a looong time between brews!

Velky Al said...

I am planning to give my dad some hop plants for his garden in France, take him back to when he was a kid in London and their annual holiday was hop picking in Kent. Step after that is to persuade him to take up the home brew again....

Beerme said...

Velky Al,

I have been a gardener (of sorts) for near thirty years and I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that-except for certain varieties-hops are one of the easiest crops to grow I've ever come across.

Let me know how the French hops grow and if your Dad takes up the homebrew hobby as well!

Hawkeye® said...

Congrats on your green thumb. I can't seem to grow a danged thing around here... too much shade and clay, and too many deer, rabbits, birds, squirrels, etc.

God Bless you (and your brew),
(:D) Best regards...

Beerme said...

Mr. Eye,

Thanks for the kudos but nature will run it's course. All I do is plant and pick!

Today, I picked a peck of green beans, again and froze four one gallon freezer bags of cut green beans. Whew!

Next week, I'm picking the Cascade hops and I hope the Nuggets will wait for me to dry the Cascade before they come in.

Cheers!

MICHmash said...

Nice Harvest! I just saw your comment on my website (heritagehops.com). Thanks for adding a link on your blog. - Chris

Beerme said...

Thanks, Chris!
I couldn't miss a fellow Michigander's hop business, during my quest to reveal all that is important to beer drinkers and brewers!

Best of luck!