Late June Hop Garden Update

June 28, 2011 by Jack

It is nearing the end of June and the hop garden is coming along nicely. This is how these second-year hop vines looked as of this evening:

From left to right are Spalt Select, East Kent Golding, Willamette, and Centennial.

For reference, here is what they looked like at the beginning of August last year – five weeks further into the growing season – during their first year:

Quite a difference, yeah? Last year I got 1/4 ounce of dried Spalt Select hops and one (yes one) Willamette cone. So far this year the Spalt Select is going nuts with dozens, if not hundreds, of cones. The next-best performer is the Centennial, with a few dozen very large cones. The Willamette vine has some hops close to the main leads, but no later growth (yet?), and the EKG vine is growing slowly and has produced no flowers (yet?).

Here’s the Spalt Select up close:

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these noble-style hops. I’m thinking either a hoppy Pilsener, or maybe some sort of German rye beer. I kind of want the flavor of my homegrown hops to be showcased, so rye might not be a good idea.

Finally, here are the big Centennial cones up close:

The plan for these hops is obvious: use them for dry-hopping an IPA.

I’ll update again later in the year as it gets closer to harvest.

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