Archive for Second Year Hops
2011 Upper Mississippi Mash-Out 2nd Place US IPA!
Award winning hops from the 2010 growing season! Ok, my friend Brad Nordine is the brew meister here that took 2nd place in the 10th annual Upper Mississippi Mash-Out (UMMO), category 14 – US IPA! The competition was this past weekend (January 28th and 29th, 2011). This competition is the 2nd largest in the nation! My Magnum hops were used for bittering and he used his Chinook hops for aroma (yes, they are also a bittering hop). See, you can make award winning beers and ales from homegrown hops! I had one of his award winning US IPAs and it was awesome!
Brad has been brewing for several years now and getting better and better each year. He has got quite a setup for his all grain beer and ale making. He has tackled many different styles successfully and is a true connoisseur. When he recommends something, I go buy it. I happily offer my services as a taste tester for any of his creations. If you are in the Minnesota twin cities area, you have seen him at beer events. He is the one that turned me onto Surly when they were an unknown upstart – now Surly Brewing has a hard time keeping up with demand – congrats on 5 years Omar, Todd and staff!
There is not much to write about this time of year (maybe I should be in Australia or New Zealand writing about hops?), so when Brad told me he took second place and my hops were involved, I figured I would put this together. Check out the Upper Mississippi Mash-Out website and consider attending (maybe even entering) next year. You can see Brad’s entry here:
Brad deserves all the credit here but he doesn’t have a website or blog for me to plug. His wife Julie does some amazing custom glass work so checkout her site (Valentine’s day is around the corner). She also makes custom glass handled beer openers!
Julie Nordine – Credit River Art Glass – Tell her Tony sent you.
The moral of the story here is – you can make amazing beers and ales using homegrown hops. If you are not growing hops, why not? If you have the space and the climate – just do it.
Hop harvest 2010 – mostly second year hops, with the addition of a first year Fuggle container hop plant (from rhizome). We harvested Sunday September 5th (Labor Day weekend). The above picture is half a grocery bag full of Cascade hop cones. We did not weigh them wet (freshly picked) but I will update the post with the dry weight. A friend of mine is drying them and going to use them in his home brews. I donated them to him as he has far surpassed my brewing abilities.
Above are, left to right: second year Nugget, Magnum and Cascade hops. I have not harvested the Nugget hops yet, they were not quite ready. People keep asking when to harvest so here is the general rule: when they feel papery and squeeze easily and bounce back – they are ready. If they feel moist and do not squeeze easily, they are not ready. You will often see some brown edges on the hops when they are ready to pick also. You may find that not all of the hops seem ready even on the same bine. Up to you if you leave them for later or pick them all. I have my bines on pulleys so I hoist them back up and have a second, smaller harvest a week or 2 later.
Above are the three hop cone varieties we picked in a side by side picture. The Magnum is noticeably lighter in color. They are hard to distinguish apart as most of the cones are fairly round. The Cascade pictured above is one of the longer cones, but all 3 varieties are mostly round with some longer than others. When they are in the bags, they are tough to tell apart. Each of the 3 hop varieties has it’s own aroma. Similar, but distinct per variety. The Fuggle and Cascade hops are aroma varieties and the Magnum is a bittering hop.
Here is a pic of a conjoined hop cone. I have only seen 2 of these in a couple of years growing hops.
I will add the Nugget harvest pictures and hopefully all the dried hop weights when I finish harvesting. First year hops are amazing to watch grow, but second year hops are over the top. If you are not growing hops, you should be. Whether for brewing beers and ales, privacy, covering arbors, fences or pergolas, calming teas or sleep pillows – there are many uses for hops (and excuses for growing them).
Until the next update, grow hops – cheers!