Monday, August 4, 2008

Two steps closer to beer

Our hops have taken two steps closer to becoming beer.

We picked them on Sunday, and friend of the blog/South Jersey homebrewer Julian Mason has set them out to dry in a screen frame he made.

Julian (who took the pics here) will brew with ours, plus some Cascades and other varieties he and his co-worker Gerry Mann have been growing since May (we planted ours at the end of March, hence our picking them now). That's a beer to looking forward to.

Our Centennials have a nice piney aroma to 'em and should go well with the Cascades. Makes you think of SlyFox's Phoenix Pale Ale (a Pennsylvania beer that's won permanent shelf space in our main fridge; yeah, this is a Jersey beer blog, but there's room for some outside influence).

For the record, we picked just under a half pound, basically off two first-year plants. We may get another 4 ounces of the remaining two plants we have in the ground that lagged behind. They've got cones beginning to mature on 'em, and one is still throwing burs that will bud up into cones soon.

That may seem like a small yield, but these, as we noted, are first-year plants, which expend a lot of their energy getting their roots established, as well as flowering. Plus, it takes a lot of hop cones to make a pound.

Still, they were hardy this season. Will be next year, too.


Tom E said...

Nice. I plan on growing some Centennials next summer. Just too difficult to get a hold of them this year.

Jeff Linkous said...

Thanks. Actually we're really looking forward to next growing season and adding some other varieties.

Ray said...

Jeff ... caught a view of your initial harvest -- very nice. I've picked quite a few of the cascades, time to pick more of them plus many of the nugget. This year seems to be different, they've matured at very different times.