Sunday, March 25, 2012

Magnum, Cascade, and Nugget

We had a little window of sunshine this afternoon and managed to get the hop rhizomes in the ground before the rain returned. The soil looked good when we turned it yesterday, and with the addition of a little compost, peat moss, and sand, the young plants should have a healthy start. All we need now is some good growing weather! I organized them left-to-right (looking south) in an easy-to-remember M-C-N scheme. If M.C. O'Connor can't keep that straight, even after many homebrews, he should quit now. I wrapped the name tags that the rhizomes came with on the redwood trellis frame that I built years ago for peas, beans, and the like, but I expect they'll suffer the ravages of time. M-C-N is my fail-safe. The material that came with the hops from Freshops says not to expect much in the first year as the plants are mostly developing roots. The varieties I chose were recommended by Freshops as the best for beginners due to their hardiness and resistance to major hop diseases. They list Magnum hops as dual-purpose, Cascade as aroma, and Nugget as alpha (bittering). Freshops is in Philomath, Oregon, in the heart of the Willamette Valley. It's just west of Corvallis, home to Oregon State University. I'm a Cal man, but OSU has two things going for it: an orange-and-black color scheme and a Brewing Science major!

a.d. X Kal. Apr.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ready for the festival!

I tapped the St. Patrick's Day Stout today. It was smooth, dry, creamy, and delicious. The batch is ready for the exclusive invitation-only Lá Fhéile Pádraig that FSB attends here in the State of Jefferson. I would tell you the particulars of this particular festival, but then I'd have to kill you. Nonetheless, I'll think of you, kind readers, when I'm slaking my thirst with my stout.

Today is also the start of a new adventure here at FSB--I'm going to plant hops! I placed an order with Freshops for three rhizomes: Cascade, Nugget, and Magnum. They should be here in a week or so and they will be in the ground right around the Vernal Equinox!

Wish me luck.

Beware the Ides, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

a.d. VI Id. Mar.