Stopped by our brew friends’ the other day to drop off a gag gift and ended up brewing up a batch on the spur of the moment. Jr was showing April his custom hop dryer which led to checking out the freezer he bought to store said hops. That did it, time to open up some hops and see how they perform. Kind of exciting having battled heat, exhaustion, mosquitos, and hop bats last summer to get them harvested.
It is really cool to be able to enjoy all the fruits of nature through the vinter. This morning we had our own maple syrup on french toast made w/ eggs from my neighbors chickens. Organic? He feeds them love and grain from another neighbors field. They drink water from pure springs, and eat watercress from the same. He pampers them, knows each one personally (over 150 I think). He obsesses over the temperature of the coops. They produce great wholesome eggs. And at a price that makes you feel like a fox in the hen house. Remember the Chicken Ranch? It was supposed to be our coop. Don’t need chickens w/ Bud in the next valley;-)
Also we have chili, salsa, pickles, potatoes, onions, dill, sage, etc from last summers garden. And all the area orchards, vineyards, cheese factories.
Now hops that we harvested are in our beer.
For some reason those are all the pictures of the evenings brewing. Likely for security reasons as the recipe and brewing practices are highly guarded. It is more likely that April got hopped up and clean forgot to take more. She is the Hop Tester tasting them in all stages. Sure we all taste a bit however she takes it to the extreme. Yes, even after being pulled from the boil, an acquired taste to be sure.
Actually we had not planned to brew and having been nearly a year since Jr had it was a bit unorganized. He chose an English Lager. I am not sure how conducive my hop selection was to that end but Brewmaster Jr appeared confident so we proceeded. Already there is a need for bigger equipment. I still don’t have the wort chiller built so cooling was a bit of extra shuffling to get to a snow pile. Also it would be nice to have a dedicated brew area. Hey Jr the pool room is looking good and the pool table would make a nice work counter and I have an LP burner and a 4-stall sink and 8 cases of empty bottles taking up bedroom space…..
I will take better brew notes and more pics next time.
I did manage to get the list of hops that are on hand:
- Chinook – which we chose for the bittering
- Fuggle – which we chose for aroma
- Mount Hood
- US Fuggle
For good descriptions of these and other varieties check out the BeerAdvocate Hop Guide.