HOMEBREW Digest #5391 Fri 08 August 2008

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  RE:  Hop processing ... ("David Houseman")
  Zymurgy collection (Ed Westemeier)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2008 10:35:52 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Hop processing ... While I'm not an expert in any way about processing hops I can speak from experience, not an academic exercise. I had 6 hills of hops, each different. Lessons learned: (1) don't plant multiple varieties close together, they get intermixed very easily and one has difficulty distinguishing some from others, (2) some hops are very prolific, others didn't fair as well. Could be my climate or soil, (3) Nylon tent stakes make good line terminations and a board with eye hooks for the other end. I used heavy bailing twin to support my hop bines. In late August my hops were ready. I lowered the board supporting the upper end of the lines holding the bines and laid the entire 12'+ out on the lawn. So I had 6 x about 12' of bines. I started at one end and took the hop cones off and placed these in brown grocery bags. It only took me a Sunday afternoon to complete this task. I laid out a couple of the screens used on patio doors onto saw horses. This I did on my patio that's under another room. This allows for good air circulation but out of direct sun light. The hops were spread on the screens and in about a week they were dried. I bagged this into 1 gallon freezer storage bags and froze them. Not knowing the acid content I only used these for flavor and aroma. Another year I simply left these in the grocery bag after drying and set this in my [dry] basement. After a couple years I had good aged hops for lambics. You learn what cheesy really means! By this time I had plenty of my own hops. So the following year I brewed on hop harvest day and immediately used all the hops in making a harvest ale. This was a great experiment. A couple pounds of wet hops in a 6 gallon +/- batch of beer. Just threw all 6 varieties into the kettle. Most for flavor and aroma additions but some for bittering (just guessed). So the bottom line is that I didn't find harvesting and drying the hops to be as labor intensive, but it was interesting. Lessons learned: (1) It was easier to buy hops and I got bored with messing with hops. (2) Hops sent out runners and they were growing up everything...if the dog laid still for too long it would have hops growing up its tail. Eventually I gave up on growing hops and plowed these under. But they did look great so I may start more hops in an alternate location in the yard sometime to enjoy the looks. And once stripped, the dried bines make excellent wreaths for Christmas. David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2008 18:00:15 -0400 From: Ed Westemeier <willowwolf at me.com> Subject: Zymurgy collection For the benefit of anyone who might be interested, there is currently an eBay listing for a set of the last 20+ years of Zymurgy magazine (well, almost all of them). You can go to eBay and search for Zymurgy to find it. This would be a fantastic reference source for someone who wanted to see both the technical and the "artful" side of homebrewing. Return to table of contents
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