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08/05/05 07:35 AM  
The eagerly awaited hop harvest
This is such a beautiful sight I just had to share it. Two+ years ago we got a cascade clipping from Selins Grove brewpub. They openly offer them to whomever is interested, we got the very last one of the season. Last year was not great, but Annes hop arbor is really looking awesome now. In a couple weeks I plan on making a US type IPA with all fresh cascades...


08/05/05 10:20 AM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
Nice crop Steve...are you going to try "wet-hopping" with 'em?
08/05/05 12:07 PM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
Yes, the whole 9 yards. Their weight should be proportionatly pretty high because they won't be dried so I was going to use 3 oz for bittering, maybe 2 for flavoring, another 3 at knock out then dry hop with another 3 or 4 ounces. If I'm going to experiment with fresh hops I may as well go wild!
08/07/05 05:11 PM  
First all fresh hop brew
Based on everything I've read on judging the readiness of hops for harvest and from our limited experience of last season (which yielded a sandwich bag full of hops!) I've set a brewing date for my "Harvest Ale" of August 21st. The plan is that once I've cranked up the boiler I do my picking of bittering hops. Then pick flavoring hops when the time is right so they go into the beer as immediately as possible after picking. Same with finishing. Then pick the rest a week later for dry hopping.

Funny thing is my understanding is that freshly picked hops are like 80% water, so conventional wisdom for the amounts to add are out the window.My plan is to do 3 ounces for bittering, another 3 for flavoring, 3 finishing and 3 dry hoping. 3/4 lb of hops in a 5 gallon batch!

Has anyone made beer with freshly harvested hops? If so, do you think my approach is sound?

08/31/05 11:25 PM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
Your plan sounds good. Did you brew it? I've heard to use anywhere from 4 - 8x, depending o the amount of dried hops. You may also consider doing the bittering with regular hops and using the fresh wet hops for flavoring, finishing and dry-hopping. I've also heard it's a good idea to pick them a little early and tear the wet hops open to expose the lupulin. You might try using one of those handheld milkshake blenders with the blade on the end to open them up faster.
08/31/05 11:28 PM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
I accidentally hit return during the above post. It should have read "4 - 8x the amount of dried hops, depending on the moisture content of the fresh hops at the time of harvest."

09/01/05 01:41 PM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
<<Did you brew it?>>

Not yet, I have been taking a sample from the vine the last couple of Thursdays. They are getting "papery" as described and the aroma is getting right but they still smell a hair "green". Going to take another look tonight and see if this weekend might be a good target. Good Labor day project!

Jeff "TruthBrew"
09/01/05 03:54 PM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
I've already had to harvest my single Cascade bine last weekend, was starting to get "over-ripe" already. Pics to follow.
Jeff "TruthBrew"
09/01/05 09:36 PM  
Here are my pics
Picks from this year's harvest:


09/02/05 10:34 AM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
<<was starting to get "over-ripe" already>>

How could you tell?

Jeff "TruthBrew"
09/02/05 10:41 AM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
The edges of the cones were opening up and turning brown and I could see lupulin (yellow). Some of them (maybe 15% of overall) were getting very quite brown and dry, so I cut down the bine and harvested the best ones. Also, when you feel the hops, they should be slightly dry and papery, not squishy.
09/07/05 03:03 PM  
Harvest Ale Brewed!!
Went great. The grist was 10 lbs marris otter, 1 lb of light German crystal malt and .5 lb caramunich (I think anything called a "harvest ale" needs to be at least a bit orangey!). Boiled 3.5 z's of fresh picked Cascades for 50 minutes, 3 for 20 minutes, another 3 for 10 then tossed in 7.5 at knock out. Of course its in it eariles stages, but sniffing the airlock has produced some good early returns. I tasted the wort of course, bitterness came through but not overly so.

Looking at what is left on the vine, my intention is to rack it into a keg next weekend. Not all the hops looked ready, many hidden away at the bottom of the vine had not yet turned up, so I let them be for another week. The keg will have a liner in which will be as many hops as I can pick. My best estimate is somewhere around 2 lbs. So there it is, I am soon to produce my first 5 gallons batch made with 3 pounds of hops!!

09/08/05 10:40 AM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
Sounds excellent Steve.

I think next year I'm going to take a stab at growing some hops myself.

Dry hopping w/2# of wet hops - you may want to put a stainless steel scrubby or hose braid on your dip tube. The keg will be packed full, and even though you're using a liner (cloth?), the tube could get blocked.

From experience, the hose braid works well with some 4# of loose whole hops in a keg...

09/08/05 11:16 AM  
Re: The eagerly awaited hop harvest
Actually I have a design for a keg liner in mind. The wife is great at whipping up fabric related projects. The idea is the liner will be shaped kind of like a heavy bag so it fits well inside the keg, more or less conforming to its shape.
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