Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the Garden 2013 - Hops, hops, hops!

Last year, I took an attempt at starting my own hop farm that was fairly successful - two first year plants yielded about a pound of dried hops - and have decided to step it up in 2013.

The first thing I had to do was make more room - much more room - for this year's crop. I extended the planter I built last year to wrap around the rest of the house before stopping at the A/C condenser. There's enough room for me to plant four more rhizomes. The lucky winners this year are:
  • Centennial
  • Chinook
  • Willamette
  • Neo1 (new hop variety from New Mexico)
I already have one Centennial, but it's one of my go-to hops for pale ales and IPAs (plus, you can't legally buy Simcoe or Citra rhizomes, patents and such). Chinook has a nice piney-ness for aroma additions and is a great all-around bittering hop, while Willamette works equally well in American and English/Belgian styles. I don't know a whole lot about Neo1 other than the fact that it's a new breed from New Mexico that is described as "lemon-y) and has a fairly high alpha acid content.

I plan on harvesting a few pounds this year, so I'll hopefully be able to do a wet hopped IPA and have plenty left over for drying.