Saturday, May 12, 2012

Buffalo Theory Brewing Hop Farm

     Last year I decided to start growing hops, but based on everything I have read hops usually do not produce very much the first year.  In my case this was correct.  I planted my four rhizomes in pots because I was not ready to decide where they would be permanently located.  This year I finally planted them against the north wall of my back yard.  This way the plants would have southern exposure to the sun.
     When deciding the order of my plants I thought about alphabetical, how much I liked the hop, grouped by aroma,  but in the end I decided to sort by low to high alpha acid.   The Rhizomes I chose and order they are planted in is as follows 1:
Hop Trellis
  1. Fuggles 3.5% - 6% AA  - Mild, soft, grassy, floral aroma
  2. Cascade 4.5% - 8% AA  - Strong spicy , floral, citrus (i.e grapefruit) aroma
  3. Willamette 4% - 7% AA  -  Mild, spicy, grassy, floral aroma.
  4. Centennial 9% - 11% AA - Floral, Citrus Aroma, Often referred to as "Super Cascade" because of its similarity; a clean bittering hop
  5. Nugget - 12% - 14% AA - Heavy spicy herbal aroma, Strong bittering hop
I originally had a bad source of information for Willamette so I thought it had a higher alpha acid.  Therefore it is out of order with respect to Cascade. It doesn't really matter that much since they are so close anyway.
    I added an irrigation system so that the plants could be watered all at the same time.  This was simply a drip hose system I had purchased the previous year from lowes.  I cut the tips on the drip hoses so taht they would pour more water since the default setting was 1 gallon / hour.

Hops in a row
Plant Base
Irrigation System
1. Hop Data Taken from John J. Palmer, How to Brew, everything you need to know to brew beer right the first time, 2006

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