Hop Harvest Confessions

20130920-001212.jpgThus far my crop is this one cone, and maybe half a dozen more. I might have increased my yield if I’d troubled myself to learn something about growing hops. This was my first year, and I just plunked the Cascade (fn. 1) rhizomes into my planters (fn. 2).

By the time my three-year-old realizes there’s something on this thing that he can pick, I’ll be lucky to have a single cone to ceremonially throw into the “estate-hopped” Franciscan Ale (fn. 3).

*******

footnote 1. Well, I bought rhizomes for several different hop varieties. I killed the others either with too much or too little water. Or sun. Or some other vital hop-growing component. I actually bought more rhizomes from the same source to replace the ones I killed. Which also died.

footnote 2. Let me tell you all about how my hops are fertilized with composted spent grain and hops. I’m all green but for my thumbs. That’s untrue. I’m not green at all. I just dumped the spent grain and hops in a hole behind the brewhouse because it seemed like the right thing to do. And because it was closer than the garbage toter. And then when I ran out of serviceable potting soil or potting soil equivalent it seemed it’d be easier to use semi-decomposing brew dross than to dig up some more dirt (or, go up to the hardware store and spend a couple bucks for some more potting soil). So I yielded.

footnote 3. It may have 0.00001% “estate-grown hops” but I’ll shamelessly promote it as the Best Thing Ever. I’ll claim you can really “taste the terroir” which, in this case, would be partially rotted spent grain from the hole behind my brewhouse.

[NOTE: Speaking of great ideas, vote for me for Beer Camp!]

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