Hi fellow hop growers!
Here is some info on the expected Summer growth of your hops, and details on the harvest date and brewing!
1. The hops will grow upwards until mid Summer.
2. They will then start to grow side shoots. It is on these side shoots that the cones start to grow, so don’t prune the side shoots of your plant!
3. From mid July the plant will start to flower. Initially, the flowers will be less than 1cm with spiky looking bits. Once they mature, they will become hop cones. 2 cm max size.
4. How do you tell when they are ready to harvest? You can tell if the cone flowers are ripe by 3 things; smell, touch, appearance.
- Smell – as the hop ripens its essential oils will develop, in particular lupulin. If you break a hop cone in half you will get a lovely floral smell.
- Touch – the ripe cone will be slightly dry to the touch. Not brown, just slightly dry.
- Appearance – if you break one hop cone in half you will see a lovely luminous yellow colour.
5. It is important that we all harvest the cones on the same day as they need to be brewed within 24 hours. This is to make sure we have a fresh green hop beer!
HOP HARVESTING DAY IS SUNDAY 31/8
6. Please pick your cones and drop off at The Bull,13 North Hill, Highgate, London N6 4AB anytime between 5pm-7pm. If you cannot get your cones there, please email email@example.com and we will come and collect.
7. There will be a tour of the brewery at 6:30pm that day (SUNDAY 31/8).
8. The brewing process is as follows:
- Monday 1/9 will be brewing day
- Fermentation will take place 5/9
- The beer will be chilling 6&7/9 to stop yeast activity
- The casks of beer will be put back into warm conditions on 8/9 to warm the beer back up to get the yeast to gradually re-start to ferment. This secondary fermentation is what is unique to your cask ale.
- 11/9 the beer will be put in the cellar for several days
9. Kentish town Keg/Belsize beer/Primrose pint will be on the bar on THURSDAY 18/9. You are all invited to our launch party. Come and sample your tipple that evening between 7pm-9:30pm. You will be offered a free (or 2) pint and of course given your growing certificate!
Thanks so much for getting involved and we look forwards to toasting our local ale.