Just a short post, my mid-season hop growing update. Let me introduce the gang- from left to right we have Taurus (a super alpha hallertauer variety), Hallertau, Northern Brewer, Tettnang, and Fuggles. The Fuggles bine is in its third year now, It is now supposed to be at its maximum in terms of yield. Last year it produced plenty of hops, so this year I’m hoping for even more. The others are all two-year olds, and they gave me a small yield last year, but have all come on spectacularly this year, particularly the Hallertauer, I’m expecting a good harvest from it. I’m not sure what to use my Hallertauer for, I don’t make that many European style beers, and Hallertauer is a big favourite of the lager family. Perhaps I will use them in a lager if it gets really cold again this winter, but as it stands I don’t have a dedicated fermentation fridge so I can’t really lager.
This year I got good results from using last year’s Fuggles as a massive late hop addition in a Saison, I used my Norther Brewer as the aroma and flavour hops in my steam beer , and I used the Taurus as a bittering hop in my Kölsch, though I think I overestimated how bitter it was as it turned out too sweet. That’s the problem with using homegrown hops as anything other than flavour and aroma, you don’t know how high the alpha acid content is, and alpha acid (AA%) is what determines the bittering potential.
Unfortunately the Tettnang is going through a rough period at the moment, I think it may be under attack from little
greenfly. I’ve noticed a lot of them about at the moment, the warm still weather can’t be helping. I have been spraying the underside of the leaves with soapy water which helps apparently, it dehydrates the little bastards and they die. Just the other day a ladybird landed on my shirt as I was walking home from the shop, and I carried him carefully to the Tettnang plant and deposited him on a leaf. Hopefully he’ll set up shop there because ladybirds can eat up to 5000 aphids in their lifetime apparently. More of that sort of thing!