In questo blog troverete le mie personali esperienze con il mondo della birra, della panificazione, della pasticceria e del formaggio... e molto altro!

lunedì 19 dicembre 2011



monday, december 19th, 2011

I collect my two years of hops production in this report.


Hops are members of the plant family Cannabinaceae, which includes hemp and cannabis. Hops are native to the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere and are grown worldwide between the 30th and 50th latitudes, north or south. They are extremely hardy and long-lived, and under good conditions each vine will produce up to 0.8kg (2 lbs) of hops a year.


The most common method of reproduction of hops is by cutting off and replanting rhizomes. Rhizome is a characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. From shoots the plant reborn with the same type (male or female). Hops can also grow up from seeds, but both male or female plants can grow up. Male plants contain much fewer resins than female plants, so, for homebrewing, the useful plant is the female with her flower or cone. Thus people prefer starting from rhizomes.

I started from four rhizomes of Cascade. I plant them into four pots.

APRIL 2010

Then I planted them into the soil. The main requirements are a well-drained soil, not heavily nitrogenated and with good soil structure.
There are dozens of different methods of hops structures. I chose a vertical net supported by wodden stakes. The Net must be very tall because the plant grow up about 4-5 meters. I built 2.5 meters high and 2 meters long.

Two months later....

One year later...


The plant was blooming in May....



Timing of the hops harvest is critical. The goal is to pick hops when the lupulin is most aromatic and the cones are starting to dry. Too dry, and the cones will yellow and shatter while being processed, and the lupulin will start to develop fascinatingly unattractive ‘skunky’ or oxidized aromas.


Hops must be dried rapidly, over even heat not over 60°C (140°F). Good air flow is essential. Over the drying period the hops go from about 80% moisture to 8% or so, losing weight and increasing friability. The hops should be dry within 12 hours, and should be packaged as soon as they are cool.

I made vacuum packaging.



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