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Messages - b-hoppy

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Ingredients / Re: Dry hops Prior to Finished Fermentation
« on: April 15, 2014, 10:25:14 AM »
After seeing the Brynildson article, I began dumping an ounce into the primary right as it's nearing (or has hit) it's ending gravity.  Usually stays in for 5-6 days and then it's kegged.  Wonderful results in the last 4-5 batches!  Hop On~

Hop Growing / Re: Recommended Hop growing medium
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:27:23 PM »
Jeff, when I first started growing them back in the late 80's/early 90's I was living in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and they grew like weeds!  Most growing instructions for hops suggest that they like "deep, well drained soils".  What that statement is getting at is beyond most folks comprehension in that the soil you see when you start digging your planting hole will continue down at least a few feet.  These regions have usually been created by some sort of glacial activity and many times are associated with areas of grape production (they also like deep well drained soils)

A few years later I moved back to Ohio and the hops came with me.  They still grew like weeds but not like they did in the 'real' soil.  We're lucky to have 8 inches of heavy-textured soil above really heavy clay here in NE Ohio.  I generally try to dig as big a hole as I can, maybe 3 feet into the clay, and then backfill with blend of the native soil and amend that with as much organic matter as I can.  During rainy years you can encounter the 'teacup effect' where the water follows the path of least resistance and fills your original hole creating a soggy condition for your roots, but it's the best I can come up with.  The additional digging/excavating will allow some monster roots to make their way deeper into the soil which in turn lessens the amount of additional water you have to supply. 

Some additional points that were touched on are also correct.  When you provide a good soil environment you can encourage mycorrhizae to inhabit your roots which will keep the microbes happy and in return, they'll help to keep the roots happy.  Lively, happy soil makes all parties involved happy!

One other point that some folks overlook, and can sometimes get them in the jackpot, is that you should have at least a 4 foot periphery around each crown so you can keep the rhizomes in check.  Usually, at the beginning of your third growing season, you're gonna want to start pruning the crown.  Basically you're just digging about an 8-10 inch deep trench/moat all the way around each crown.  By doing this, you'll find any rhizomes that are creeping away from the crown as they'll grow outward from the center like the spokes on a bicycle wheel.  I've seen situations where they've been grown right up next to a stone wall, railroad tie wall and many other types of fixed obstructions, and that's not good because once a rhizome finds a nook or cranny . . . it's off to the races.  This also happens when growers try to contain them with a 4x4 or some other type of border as when they hit the obstruction they end up growing along it due to not having to grow through soil.

Once the trench is dug and rhizomes cut, it's a really good idea to backfill with some nice compost and then throw the soil you excavated back on top.  Doing this on a yearly basis makes digging the rhizomes easier and easier each season. 

Sorry for the blather but it's worked for me for many years.  Hoppy Trails~

Ingredients / Re: Hop Flavor Database
« on: March 15, 2014, 08:28:11 AM »
My bad.  By the time I had a chance to scroll through the whole thing I forgot that they didn't list the individual varieties.  I'm sure that if you started searching the references you'd begin to find some stats on the varieties.  I can't remember hearing anywhere that being hop lovers would be an easy thing, ha!

I did find this though:
Only a handful of varieties but probably more of what you're looking for.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Flavor Database
« on: March 14, 2014, 10:02:18 PM »

 What I'm interested in is some of the oils that seem to be popping up in the hop literature in recent years like 4MMP, geraniol, linalool, citronellol, etc.

All that stuff that you're looking for and more are listed in the original link.  The way that page is set up you'd need a 72 inch monitor to see it all without scrolling, ha!  I saw that a while back but it blew my mind trying to remember what the headings were so I went back to shoveling snow. 

Hop Growing / Re: 2014 Planting?
« on: February 27, 2014, 11:01:10 PM »
Think about it this way.  Someone who digs and sells rhizomes usually gets out and digs before the soils get warm enough to initiate growth so the buds are nice and compact and haven't started to elongate.  Once they're cleaned and graded, they immediately put them in the fridge to help keep them in a dormant state until they're sold and shipped.  I'm very familiar with Freshops and know that Dave usually stops shipments sometime in June.  He's been digging rhizomes for a few weeks now, so you know they'll store for at least a few months in the fridge which will give you plenty of time not to worry and drink plenty of beer!

Ingredients / Re: corn or rice
« on: February 02, 2014, 08:13:20 AM »
You have to cook the unmalted grains to gelatinize the starch prior to adding it to your mash.

edit: oops!  All good~

Ingredients / Re: malting
« on: January 24, 2014, 11:38:02 AM »
Tonight I've got "good chit":

Nice job!  Whatever variety of barley that is, the husk is almost transparent.  This makes it very easy to monitor the process and know when to begin kilning.  Like was said, cooler temps will buy you some time by slowing the germination process if you're not yet ready to dry them down.  If you observe a few random kernels on a daily basis for the next few days,  you'll know then the majority are at about 3/4 the way to the tip.  That's generally the time suggested to begin halting the process.  Remember your temps!

Hop Growing / Re: Anyone seen hops like these?
« on: December 23, 2013, 08:08:16 AM »

I'm sure if you contacted these folks: ,  they'd take a few cuttings off your hands and be able to let you know what you have as that's what they're looking for.  Merry Christmas!

Hop Growing / Re: Anyone seen hops like these?
« on: December 13, 2013, 11:21:20 PM »

Get in touch with Greatlakeshops & send some pics and descriptions.  I know they're growing some of the neomexicanus and should be able to help narrow it down for you.  The dude that bred the Multihead, Neo 1 and Amalia told me that they produce really, really scrawny rhizomes so that's another possible identifier.  Without spending a bunch of $$ to have an oil profile or DNA done . . . it's up to you.  I pretty much had to give up on that kinda stuff, other priorities.  Hopefully Zeus or CTZ candy next?  Good luck!

Ingredients / Re: malting
« on: November 27, 2013, 11:29:18 AM »
My impression has always been that making malt is easy, but making good malt is hard.  I'll be looking forward to your results!

Very true, as you're just encouraging a seed to do what it naturally does (germinate), but from that point on is the real test.

I did about 15 pounds of feed barley back in the early 90's and ended up turning it into a munich/vienna malt as I couldn't get my final kiln temps below about 220F.  It did make a decent beer but what I remember most was that I'd never do it again because of all the work, haha!  (especially the fact that you could buy a bag of malt for less than $20 back then)

I'm sure you'll have good luck with your project!

Hop Growing / Re: Requests to Hops Growers
« on: November 21, 2013, 03:11:44 PM »

Multihead is a variety grown in New Mexico. I just bought some on
I talked to some guys a couple of years ago who were doing some research into wild hops found in NM, but they were very tight with info.  I saw somewhere that El Dorado is a hop developed from wild hops in NM but I don't know if that's true or not, and I've never heard of Multihead.

I actually spoke with Todd a few months ago and he did say that he began with wild NM hops that they found at high elevation (8000 feet) and kept the ones that did well at 6000, also mentioned that there are a good proportion of citrus compounds to be found in the varieties that came out of their breeding efforts.  He also mentioned that he worked out a deal with a grower up in Yakima to take over his project.  Here's a little background: and where to buy cuttings:

Never used any of them myself but would like to in the future.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Report
« on: October 29, 2013, 09:31:01 PM »
I don't think there's any reason to start hoarding unless you use lots of European hops.  Like  hopfenundmalz said, the German crop was the worst in 50 years (so I've seen).  Most of the reports from the US have been pretty good in that the folks with contracts will pretty much be taken care of.  What remains will most likely be a little more expensive than the last couple of years.  Again, he mentioned that 'global' production was down so I'd figure that some will be a little hard to find.  Hops Away!

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 25, 2013, 06:48:07 AM »
No plans on those any time soon, but I recently have been playing with some of the high alpha and super alpha girls like Super Galena, Nugget, Zeus, Bravo and Apollo.  It's really amazing what flavor/aroma compounds are hidden behind all that bitterness. 

Been sending samples out with all of my customers orders and looking for feedback, unfortunately folks seem to be reluctant to get back to me for some reason.  The few that have are leaning toward Zeus which is fine with me.  Stay tuned and have a Hoppy Halloween!

ps: Simcoe, Galaxy = nothing to write home about. 

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 24, 2013, 10:33:32 AM »
Don't forget the hop candy Denny!  Folks actually DO use it for priming . . . and other stuff.

Hop Growing / Re: Obtaining Hop Rhizomes?
« on: September 28, 2013, 11:55:42 AM »
FWIW, I'm pretty sure Freshops doesn't dig the rhizomes.  AFAIK, Dave doesn't grow any hops at all.  But he's near the major hop growers and gets everything very fresh.

Believe it or not, "they do" and "he does".  I don't know were he gets all the energy to keep up with all that he's got going, but I want to find that place!  Might have something to do with his ginseng porter though?

Thanks for the correction, Bob!  Obviously, I didn't realize that!  Dave does seem to have superhuman energy...but that still won't get me to drink that porter!  ;)

Hahaha, I know what you mean.  The Bourbon BBL Porter is quite a different story though.

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