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Messages - b-hoppy

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Ingredients / Re: Malt Knowledge
« on: November 24, 2011, 09:55:24 AM »
I'm with dannyjed.  About the only information around back in the mid 80's was Papazian's book.  I just read about the styles and looked at what malts were used in those particular examples and extrapolated beyond that, once I thought I knew what I was doing.  At this point I feel I'm 'almost there' but these maltsters keep on coming up with different malts all the time. 

Just try some different things and remember what the results tasted like and build on that knowledge.  First hand experience isn't something you can buy at the local homebrew shop - so brew, brew and brew some more.  Hoppy Thanksgiving!

Ingredients / Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« on: September 18, 2011, 06:55:35 AM »
When grown from rhizomes, the first year can be quite variable.  I've seen 25 feet of growth with tons of hops and sometimes you have the exact opposite.  As long as the plant without the cones looks to be healthy you should be fine for next year.  Any cones that are forming right now will probably not have enough time to develop fully before the weather turns for the worse.  I kinda doubt if the motion activated light had anything to do with the issue at hand - unless it's a really REALLY bright one that stays on for a long time.  Now it's time for a beer.

Ingredients / Re: Organic Rhizomes
« on: September 13, 2011, 09:43:23 AM »
If you look up the regulations on what it takes to be certified organic you'll be amazed on how simple the process actually is.  In a nutshell, if you've not used any pesticides that are on the 'hit' list for 2 or 3 years, you'll get a certification.  So yes, if you follow the guidelines set up by the local, state and federal folks, you can then claim that you actually are raising 'organic' hops - even if the plant material you started with was not certified organic.  Things may have changed in recent years but that's the way I remember it being explained to me.  Have fun!

Ingredients / Re: Male hop plant
« on: July 19, 2011, 07:02:56 AM »
If it is a male, you could just let it go and see what happens.  I've read some debates on using seeded hops and none have really swayed me one way or another.  I have one male in my garden and it blooms at a point that only later ripening varieties have some seeds.  I think it's kinda cool!  Go for it!

Ingredients / Re: Hops Direct announced this years crop
« on: June 28, 2011, 10:22:07 AM »
After looking at the information here: it looks like it very well could be an old continental variety with the tiny sidearms and low alpha and cohumulone.  The problem with many of these older varieties is that they are generally really poor producers no matter where they're grown. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer from concentrate?
« on: June 28, 2011, 10:07:52 AM »
I used to have the same problem but switched to using two carboys for the ferment.  I know it's a little more cleaning but I never worry about foam overs any more.

Ingredients / Re: Lateral hop shoots
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:22:45 AM »

I must have missed your post.  Thanks a bunch.  One question, why castile?  Will any home made soap work.  Just wondering.

Ingredients / Re: Lateral hop shoots
« on: June 13, 2011, 08:29:33 AM »
I've achieved very good control with a mild dish soap spray.  Just make sure and double check your concentration for whatever you decide to spray.  Happy Growing!

Ingredients / Re: Lateral hop shoots
« on: June 11, 2011, 08:17:16 PM »
You're ahead of the pack by having laterals that long being that it's just a first year plant.  Some varieties tend to produce much longer laterals than others. My Cascades average about 2-3 feet, Chinook 3-4 feet and Redvines can be as long as 5-6 feet.  One thing you may want to check is to see if the growing tip of that plant was broken off.  If that happens before the majority of the vegetative growth has occurred, the energy ends up redirected into the laterals.  I don't think it necessarily means you will get a bigger harvest but just that the laterals will be bigger.  I'd just let them be and see what happens.  Once the laterals become filled with cones the plants look very pretty - especially during a mild breeze. 

Ingredients / Re: Guessing the hop variety
« on: June 11, 2011, 07:27:23 AM »
The 'rub-and-sniff' test is a traditional way to get an idea of the character of any hops.  Also, the tea idea will not only give you an idea of their flavor but also help dial in the amount of bitterness they will add to a brew.  I like to do a side by side (unknown alpha hops vs. a known alpha).  Just use equal amounts of hops and water for both and you should get pretty close as long as both are dried to close to the same moisture content.

Ingredients / Re: Hop life span?
« on: June 09, 2011, 07:13:17 AM »
A rhizome is a rhizome.  It's a reproductive underground shoot that develops during the growing season and if you lop one off and stick it in the ground elsewhere, it will produce a clone of the 'mother' plant.  If the mother plant has contracted any virus/disease problems, the clone will most likely carry those problems to it's new location.

As long as the original plant material has been kept healthy I've heard reports of them being productive for up to 60 years.  I'm sure there are variables that will push this number either way but as long as it's growing in a happy, healthy environment, I don't see why they couldn't be productive for many more years.  Most of mine are around 20 yrs. old with a few that are 25. 

Ingredients / Re: Deformed Hop Plant
« on: May 26, 2011, 09:01:24 PM »
Herbicide damage was my first thought as the chemical can reach non-target plants not only by volatilization but also by drift.  Windy conditions or high pressure at the nozzle can create problems.  Cupping of the leaves is one sign and another would be the stunted growth.  It does not look like downy mildew as the lower leaves are usually the first to show signs of the disease.

I've had some leaf cupping occur during years of intense rainfall but couldn't really pinpoint the excess moisture as the sure cause. 

Now that the damage is done about all you can do is wait.  I have a feeling the little girl will make a come-back as their kind have a strong will to live.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sour mash idea
« on: May 23, 2011, 08:38:52 PM »
All my efforts have been successful without any problems due to oxygen.  Just mash your grain like you would for a regular beer then cool it down to about 100F.  Put some plastic wrap over the surface and let it set.  My oven light keeps the temp inside the oven right at about 100F.  Within two days it's like 'funky' lemonade.

Ingredients / Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« on: May 20, 2011, 09:37:10 AM »
I've used it in an IPA at about 2% ( 11lbs. base malt and 4 oz. honey) and could pick up some additional sweetness.  It can be overpowering (for me) if there aren't any other specialty grains to meld with.  Used .5 lb in conjunction with about 3 other specialty grains in an amber and it just kinda played with the others nicely (again, 12 lb. total grist wt.)

Ingredients / Re: Home grown hops
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:05:36 AM »
A few years back I had a first year plant do that.  I just blew it off as it was a busy summer and a few weeks later when I checked it out it took off again.  I guess maybe it just needed a break for a while.  I also think that a cool spell in the weather may have had something to do with it.  Just keep your fingers crossed and it'll all be cool come next spring.

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