Ramble On

Friday, July 10, 2015

Profiles in Hops @hawksbillhops - Cascade

Here's a look a one of the Cascades, showing plenty
of burrs in development.
This is the final post in this week long series about some of the hop varieties we are growing at Hawksbill Hop Yards.  I posted about the Columbus and Chinook earlier, so today is about the Cascades.  We planted 300 bines, and of all the varieties, it looks like the Cascade will be the champion.

As with the other two varieties, I'm citing the Wikipedia article about hops varieties, which you can find here.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Cascade:
Very successful and well-established American aroma hop developed by Oregon State University's breeding program in 1956 from Fuggle and Serebrianker (a Russion variety), but not released for cultivation until 1972. It has a flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristic. One of the "Three Cs" along with Centennial and Columbus. Substitutes: Centennial and Columbus (but they have a higher Alpha Acid content).
Backlit shot showing a lot of burrs on another Cascade.

The Cascade have been the high-achievers in the yard:  they were the first to reach the cable at the top of the trellis, and the percentage of plants with burrs far exceeds the other varieties.  If I didn't know this already from how well they do in Dan's yard, or Bill's, or Kevin's, then all of the other growers telling me about them at the Winston-Salem conference or other Old Dominion Hops Cooperative functions would have - and the proof is certainly in the pudding, based on my walk last weekend.

To me, it seems like the yield here is better than I expected at the beginning of the year, but we'll take it.  There is a lot of work to be done to get these picked and processed, but fortunately we have a few weeks to go before it's time for that.  

I posted last year about Bill's harvest, here, and then I brewed two batches of a "Harvest Black IPA" with those hops - posts here and here.  If things work out, I may do a homebrew batch or two of harvest ale, using either Chinook or Columbus for bittering and Cascade for aroma.  I'll need to get my ducks in a row for that one - I'm already committed to doing a couple of honey porter brews in the fall, which will hopefully use whatever Fuggles and Goldings we are able to harvest from the first-year bines.  

I won't post a profile piece on those two varieties - they need time to grow, and we're not planning to take them down during the main phase of harvesting.  Although, as I mentioned, I would like to brew with them if there are enough cones for a batch or two.  I'll keep an eye out for that.

In the meantime, our Cascades are busting out.

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