August 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New drinking anthem

I got an email out of the blue from someone named "Drunker than Satan" with a free mp3. The song is "Drunker than Satan" by none other than Mr. Horatio Lee Jenkins, for those of you that are so inclined, he has a MySpace page.

The video helps illustrate what's going on in the song in case it's not clear enough

I know what you're thinking, 'what the hell does this have to do with anything?'. It doesn't. It was one of the rare unsolicited emails I get to my email address and I decided to listen to the song. Since then, I have been humming and singing it so they must have done something right.

It's funny, but it's actually not a bad song at all. I was a big Bloodhound Gang, Southern Culture on the Skids, Reverend Horton Heat fan so this was right in line with all those classics.

Anyway, I enjoyed and thought you might too. Cheers!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How do I know when my hops are ready?

Well the short answer is like that. But what are we looking at? (click on the picture above for a good look)

First, you will note the yellow lupulin glands are spilling out onto the leaves near the stem. This is the yellow dust you see in the pictures.

Second is papery to the touch. They should be dry and papery, but not brittle.

Third, the cone should be beginning to open up. When touched, your hands should smell like hops (yea, it's awesome to rub a plant and have your hands smell like hops).

The cones will ripen at different times. There will be some that are ready before others. In some cases, homebrewers wait and let them all ripen and sacrifice a few for the ease of getting it all done at once, but I am going to pick these ones that are ready now.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hops are almost ready!

While my brewing has been a little sparse this summer, the hops have been continuing to grow and in only their second year, look to be doing pretty well!

This is the cascade and fuggles vines. The fuggles on the right is not producing anything, but the cascade is looking great!!!

There are quite a few cones on there and they are coming along nicely. There are some hairs on them, but they still seem small compared to some of the hops cones I see in other pictures. I am thinking that next weekend I might pick a few and dry them because some are further along than others.

This is a nice shot of the head to head between the cascade (on the right) and the centennial. I am quite sure the centennial are ready as they are REALLY smelly and look a lot more open than the cascade. The cascade cone pictured on the right is more mature than most of the others on the vine so I am going to give it more time.

As you can see from the pictures above, the centennial hops did not do as well, I only expect to harvest a few ounces at best with this one. Hopefully next year all hops will be putting out a bigger harvest. I am pleased with this year as a whole though.