Saturday, September 25, 2010
Hop harvest 2010
I harvested our hops today!
I spent a couple of hours in the lovely weather today in a mellow groove, listening to episodes of Philosophy Talk (this one and also this one), and also an episode of This American Life (here). So, I guess I spent about three hours harvesting.
Time flies when the smell of humulus lupus is in the air!
My neighbor planted these hops some time ago, and they've begun to grow into our yard. Our neighbor said he'd tear the hops out, but I said I'm happy having them come into our yard. I'm not sure what kind of hops they are, however. If I had to guess, I would think that they were some variant of noble hops (Tettnanger, Hallertau, Saaz, etc.), or Fuggle/Willamette. I would guess this because I would think that hops planted by non-brewers would most likely be classic, non-specialized varieties that had been around for a long while and would be the most readily available to take rhizomes from and/or to buy from nurseries.
I harvested a week or two later than I should have, really . . .
But I was still able to get plenty of perfectly ripe hop flowers.
Unfortunately, I had to make some spiders and bugs homeless -- but, hopvine re-development is all for the good of the country, and I was the virtual Robert Moses in this scenario (which means that even if I was affected by the feelings of the displaced beings, I was not under any social, legal, or moral compunction to admit to it).
Once I had my pile . . .
. . . (You will see in the background the laptop on which I tuned-in the Philosophy Talk and This American Life programs) . . .
. . . I set them to dry in our oast house (which we sometimes euphemistically refer to as our "basement"):
As you will readily observe, I use only the finest and most specialized materials in my work.
In about a week, I will pick all the twigs and stems out of this pile, bag the dry hops, and put them in the freezer for use in a beer within a month or two -- and this reminds me, Seth and I are going to start a brewing routine soon, and we'll be creating our own all-grain system, so stay tuned for the comical farce that will be steep learning curve of the initial stages of this project!