Ramble On

Monday, July 11, 2011

Drying the Hops

Neighbor Dan sent a note last week that he was going to be harvesting some hops this weekend, and that he also would beging drying them so he could store them for use in future batches Beaver Run Brewery Flat Tale Ale.  He invited me up to take a look at this process.

I posted a couple of photos of the Hopyard last week, showing how there were flowers on the Cascade and Centennial vines.  He hasn't seen any production from the Williamettes, which he is tyring to figure out.  His hypothesis is that they are shaded by a neighboring black walnut tree, or that the soil around that tree is contaminated in a way that affects the hops, which may be happening from the fruit that falls off of that tree every year.

I have two photos of the hop drying process - first, a plastic tray of Cascade drying in the dehumidifier.  Dan had about  trays of these going, and he was alternating them from top to bottom every 15 minutes or so during the process.  The second photo shows the output of the Centinnials that he was able to collect on Saturday, they had already been dried by the time I came to visit.

I've been putting together some background research for myself about hops production, but Dan filled me in on an item I was curious about - his estimates of how much "wet hops" it takes to get the amount of "dry hops" you need for a batch.  On Saturday, he was estimating the weight ratio as about 8 to 1...I'll be looking into this further soon.

So, after the science and consulting aspects of the visit were through, he invited me for a sample...he'd found two bottles of a batch he made last fall hiding away in one of the storage cabinets downstairs.  It was tasty.

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