October 14, 2008

Fall Hops Update

Category: Hops Growing — Josh @ 6:55 pm

Well the hops growing season seems to have wound down here in Florida. I picked …

4 ounces(wet) from my Chinook plants on 06/27/2008
3/4 ounce(wet) from the Liberty plants on 07/15/2008
4 ounces(wet) from Chinook plants on 08/07/2008
1.5 ounces(wet) from Nugget plants on 08/14/2008
6 ounces (wet) from liberty plants on 08/07/2008
8 ounces(wet) from Chinook plants on 09/03/2008
6 ounces(wet) from Nugget plants on 09/04/2008

The Chinook plants were definately the most productive this year, followed by Nugget, then Liberty.

Total this year yielded 8 ounces of hops once they dried.

The plants were starting to send out new bines in the 1st and 2nd week of August, but the growth was stunted by tropical storm Faye that hit us from 08/18-08/24. We received 20+ inches of rain that week which caused the bines to yellow. By the 1st week in September, the bines had started to die back, and some cones started to brown. I picked all the hops I could at this point. Surprisingly, the Chinook in mid September pushed out a few side arms and I now have some cones to pick. I plan on cutting the bines down in late november, and adding a top dressing of cow manure in December.

June 21, 2008

Big Update

Category: Cyser,Hops Growing,PB Brown Ale — Josh @ 7:52 am

It’s been a while since I updated. the second PBB Ale turned out.. well ok. It tastes a little yeasty and is over carbonated. I will probably not try to harvest and reuse yeast from a previous batch unless there is a world wide yeast shortage. I think I would have gotten a better result if I had just used dried Nottingham yeast. I may try this recipe again after a while, but for now I am planning on making a Porter next.

The Cyser is ready to bottle. I have purchased some Ikea flip top 1k glass bottles and some rubber stoppers for the bottling. I Just need to find the time to do the bottling. The Cyser tastes very nice. It has a slight apple nose, with an even more subtle sulfur note. The sulfur note has faded somewhat over the last couple of months. The flavor is spicy with a slight apple flavor, fading to sweet and warm. The spiciness and warmth have faded over the last couple of months and should continue to mellow. The SG was 0.0992@81F which is lower than the reading I took in march. I have seen no airlock activity in the last month and do not expect the SG to go lower.

I planted some hops back at the end of march. You can see some pictures here on Flickr. I planted 2 Chinook and 2 Nugget rhizomes on 03/28 and 2 Liberty Rhizomes on 04/27. All 6 plants are doing well, and have all started flowering. I don’t know how if I will get any usable hops from the nugget and liberty, because I dosed them all little too heavily with Epsom salts and stunted their growth for about a month(Was trying to fix an unknown nutrient deficiency). At the time this occurred the Chinook already had sizable hop flowers and have since formed into some nice cones. I have been watering the hops by hand every couple of days, giving them about a half gallon per plant. Sometimes I have water twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening on the hotter days(95+F). We have not had very much rainfall over the last 3 month. We have averaged around 2 inches a month since February.