This is a place for beer, politics and random geeky shit. Despite the name we are actualy not snobbish at all around here.
I wonder what I'll be doing this week?
Nope, I have no idea, it's a total mystery.
Is the hop harvest ongoing as well?
My harvest is done -- we had a warm spell in the spring so they matured earlier than usual. Some varieties are still growing for some folks, but it'll all be done here in the next week, I'd guess. 'Specially with the sunny 90+ degree weather we're having.
So do you typically make a wet hopped beer 'round harvest time? Which varieties do you grow and how do you dry 'em? Sorry for all the questions, I'm a bit obsessed with brewing these days. I'll probably start growing hops next year...
No worry about the questions, I love talking beer.I often do a fresh hop IPA during harvest, but didn't this year. I grow Goldings and Mt. Hood. I bought some rolls of window-screen material and made custom frames for them to hang in my (warm, non-insulated) garage. They hang to dry for a few days and then I weigh and vacuum seal them into FoodSaver bags.I usually end up with two to three pounds of dried hops after all's said and done.
Very nice. I can't wait to start growing them. The climate here in Chicago isn't as ideal as you've got but I'm pretty sure they will grow here. Another brewing (although not hop related) question : Do you purge your primary or secondary fermenters with CO2 to prevent oxidation? For primary I always assumed that active fermentation usually takes off quickly and produces plenty of CO2 to fill the headspace. I usually secondary in a 5gal glass carboy and figure that the headspace is minimal and that there still may be enough CO2 produced to drive out the oxygen. The reason I ask is because I have a buddy who used to be a commercial brewer and he insists that purging your carboys is essential. All the reading I've done seems to point to : hey it won't hurt to purge with CO2 but its not really necessary for reasons I describe above. Maybe my friend is speaking from the perspective of commercial brewers. Either way I can't tell if the quality of my beer has suffered as its been unwaveringly delicious (excluding the first two extract batches). Thanks for the time, cheers!
Nah, I've never purged the fermenters. Commercial folks do lots of weird stuff we amateurs don't have to worry about.
That's what I figured. I had considered buying an argon tank for a minute...Thanks again for the correspondence. This hobby has been more fun than I first imagined it would be, just wish I had started a decade ago.
No problem -- and just to clarify this stuff further:You wouldn't actually want to purge the primary at all. You want oxygen in there when you first pitch your yeast, and should be aerating the hell out of it, getting as much in as possible.In the secondary I could see the idea behind it, but the beer should still be producing enough CO2 to purge any remaining air out of the fermenter before it can do any damage. It's heavier than air so as long as it's bubbling out of the lock, it'll be gone in minutes.I do try to avoid introducing air when I siphon the beer -- don't splash it too much, be sure the flow is gentle into the fermenter, etc. That's about it though.
Thanks! Its funny how there are so many places where the process can go astray. I've taken to preparing a batch record type checklist so as not to forget steps.
so how's the beer? Don't we deserve reports? And samples?
Sure, come on out and get some samples!Reports from the front are somewhat hazy, buried under a drunken pile of stinky hops and sticky malt.
By commenting here you're legally bound to buy me lots of yummy beer.