Saturday, January 10, 2015

HOPS; Growing, Harvesting and Brewing HOPS makes for a HOPPY summer in Oregon

What a sweet treat to have the privilege of growing our own HOPS at my brothers home in NW Oregon this past summer and then after harvesting, using it for our own home beer brewing.
After arriving May 1st  for another summer of volunteering for a BLM recreation site on Mt. Hood Oregon, we immediately planted the 2 mail order HOPS plants that were waiting for us at my brothers home, 20 miles away. (No, not male order)  The Glacier HOP plant and Mt. Hood HOP plant were both 2 inches tall when we planted them with a south exposure and twine rope to grow up.

                                                      HOPS and snapdragons

We diligently watered, fertilized and babied our HOPS all summer long and watched them steadfastly grow and Grow and GROW.

Needless to say, they really did grow like a weed!  And needless to say, we were Very HOPPY, indeed!

For the love of HOPS, we still have another month of growing at least, with our goal to harvest early September.
Fresh  HOP  season, which starts mid August and lasts until mid September, is the one time annually when plump green HOPS are harvested and dried here in the Pacific Northwest, which boasts two of the country's largest hop-growing regions.

                                                            HOP on!

It's harvest time.

It's time to cut these babies down.  So we do.




                                                       Our finished product.

  We are in HOP heaven with the resinous sweet aroma of freshly harvested HOPS.  We are thrilled with our first crop of homegrown HOPS.  We will use a small amount for brewing a gallon of fresh hopped (also known as wet hopped) beer.  The remainder we will vacuum pack and store in our freezer for our future beer brewing.  Our 2 plants yielded 3 pounds of dried HOPS, which was more than we anticipated.  SWEET!

                                 First we brew a fresh HOPS Black IPA.

                                                       Fresh HOPS  Black IPA

Then we vacuum pack the remaining HOPS to store in our freezer for future use.

After another spectacular summer in NW Oregon, it is time to head south to southern Nevada again for the Winter.   A big THANKS to my favorite brother John, for letting us grow HOPS on his rich, fertile land.  We owe you a couple more pints, Bro.  xo
Our next blog post we will share some of the awesome Portland area Breweries and Alehouses we were fortunate to visit this past summer as well.