Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fresh Hops

The harvest of our hop crop took place last weekend and bountiful it was.

Now you may ask dear reader, why we would grow hops? The answer is simple, we love beer and they look so pretty!

Hops come from a rhizome that is planted near a trellis or wall which will support it's weight. Harvest takes place in late August or early September when the pretty cones start to have a parchment type look and just begin to open. When you squeeze the cones, a lovely beer fragrance is emitted.

There has been a world wide shortage of hops in the recent past and prices have reflected this with some going for $15- $24 per pound. One reason is basic supply and demand to deliberately raise the price of the crop. With the need for more bio fuels, some farmers are now planting corn rather than hops.

Jim Koch founder of Boston Beer, which is the maker of Sam Adams beer, offered his stockpile to the smaller breweries. There were so many that clamored for his hops that he had to institute a lottery system. They were gone in a New York minute.

We used to brew our own beer but no longer, due to the time factor. The soap business keeps me really busy.

We now have around 5 pounds of fresh frozen hops available for purchase. If you are interested, you can email me through my website, www.pattispotions.com.

So how do you use fresh hops when you are used to the dry pellets? It's really simple. Replace the dry hop pellets with the fresh at at 3:1 ration by weight. You can use these fresh hops for your whole recipe, which gives a unique dry beer flavor, much like you would find in a light beer.

I prefer to use the fresh hops as my last hop step in the beer making process. Yum!!

1 comment:

Bill Velek said...

Hi, Patti. I came across your blog and thought you and any visitors might like some additional detailed info about growing hops and brewing beer. Last year I grew hops for the first time, and because I couldn't find a really good comprehensive source of info, I created a Yahoo group called "Grow-Hops", and we now have 2,361 members -- most of whom do grow their own hops. We have a FREE rhizome distribution and a lot of other unique resources; we just had a member offer to use a "UV/Vis spectrometer" to enable him to determine percentages of alpha and beta acids, and he is only going to charge $15.00 per test -- a real bargain if your harvest is big enough and you want to know the percentages. If anyone is interested, please visit http://www.tinyurl.com/29zr8r

Cheers.

Bill Velek