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.

Here are some photos of the build out and rhizome planting:

I had to dig up quite a few boulder and roof shingles (!) in the process.
The Centennial and Cascade plants from last year are much more vigorous this year!

Under construction.

Getting ready to finish the planter.

Rhizomes ready for transplant.

Planting other things in-between hops. In this case, leeks.

Some signage and anti-rabbit screening for the new transplants.

1 comment:

  1. Looks really nice! I bougth those Neo hops, and hoping forward to taste them next year xD Cheers!!!