Hops!

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3+ months later a hop update. Here’s my original post back on May 5 when they were just in pots awaiting growth and then transplant.

Hop arbor

This is the one thing around this homestead that I don’t have my hands in, this is my husband’s baby all the way. I’m just there for support when the final product is made.

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To create this space for the arbor, minor landscaping was required (and much more is needed to amend the landscape). There were several large low growing evergreens on this slope that had to be removed and because it’s a lot of mulch on top of gravel the soil had to be conditioned as well. Concrete was mixed and poured to anchor the 4×4 posts. The crossbeams are 2×4’s. All pressure treated lumber.

Cascade hops

Of the 4 hop plants only one, the Cascade, has yielded hop flowers. My husband believes that there was transplant shock involved. They should be fine next year.

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The plan now is to harvest the hop flowers and “wet hop” the homebrew. Here’s a great article that I found online regarding wet hopping.

But for a few months in the fall, brewers stop worrying about more hops and focus instead on fresh hops. When first plucked from its stalk, a hop flower is green and about 60 percent water by weight. For brewing purposes, hops are usually dried and refrigerated, or made into pellets that resemble rabbit food.

Wet-hop beers use flowers that have been picked just hours before, so they still possess the volatile flavors that are lost during processing. Brewers compare beer made with these moist hops to a meal cooked with just-picked herbs — entirely unlike one made with dried oregano and parsley from the back of the pantry.

A fresh-hop beer can often, in fact, be less bitter than a corresponding version with dried hops, and instead is powered by floral, citrus tastes. The retained oils line the inside of the mouth and have a tinge of greenish, vegetal flavors. (Many brewers recommend drinking their wet hops with a glass of water.)

Hop Bokeh

I’m looking forward to doing my part in supporting this endeavor.

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8 thoughts on “Hops!

  1. Ha!! My next door neighbor and his pal love to brew their own beer. He is growing hops for the first time this year in his little garden out back. It is trailing around the pool ledge. I will try and get a shot to show you!

  2. No way! My husband is an avid homebrewer and beer connoisseur. 🙂 I’ll have to show him these photos. He has been wanting to grown our own hops for years!

    • Perhaps we’ll have enough next year to share! My husband follows a hop message board not unlike the Nashville Mama board. lol! If you end up in Maine next year you/he will love the craft beer. It’s a virtual craft beer Mecca! All of our vacation dining was scheduled around good beer.

  3. I hope your hubby really plans to use up those hops! Be careful, the plants can become invasive over the years. I remember dealing with them when I worked the gardens at Old Sturbridge Village and they really have to be convinced to stay to their own area – plus smelling the hops can make you sleepy and sap your energy! In the “old days” hops pillows were used as a sleep aid!

    • A sleep aid? I’ve never heard of that! Hmmmmm… I love hoppy beers, the hoppier the better. I wonder if drinking them has the same effect? I do remember when growing them in Maine that they had to be pruned continuously.

  4. Pingback: Fuggles | Rebecca the Housewrecka

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