Hip to the Hop
Last week, my friend Charles told me about a sweet opportunity: picking hops at someone's house in exchange for beer! This feller, Rick, has had these Cascade hops growing on his property for > 8 years, and there are A LOT of them! They now grow to ~20' tall, and he barely has to water them at all over the course of the growing season. Oh Washington, another reason why I love thee.
Picking two bucket-fulls of hops is quite the sensory experience: your hands become sticky with lupulin and all the other good hop compounds, and your sense of smell is overwhelmed by the citrusy fragrant cannabis relative. How much do two bucket-fulls of wet hops end up weighing? About 1.75 pounds. So my freezer is now full with freshly vacuum-sealed local Cascade hops waiting for the next brew! Stay tuned for when they hit the wort, probably a nicely dry-hopped IPA.
My girlfriend and I traveled down to NorCal, my home where my heart will always reside, over Christmas break last year. During this trip, thanks to the North Coast Brewing company, Karlie quickly fell head over heels (metaphorically speaking...) for barleywine. Shortly after our return to Seattle, I took my first stab at making a barleywine. Here's the recipe:
22 # British Maris Otter
1.5 # Carapils
1 # Crystal 80L
0.25 # German Carafa
1 oz. Nugget (60')
1 oz. Centennial (40')
1 oz. Centennial (20')
1 oz. Amarillo (< 5') Wyeast Scottish Ale (1728) To the left is a photo of the first mash runnings (left) and 2nd runnings. It has been aging for nearly 8 months in my basement, so hopefully it will turn out well! I will update this post when the beer is ready, maybe by December!