I am excited to try a new beer recipe I brewed in May, a California Common. All gravity readings, color, bitterness are right on. Currently it is lagering and should be ready by the end of June. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos as I was by myself and that always leads to mistakes. I will update soon with the pics of the finished product.
Today, while weeding out the garden in the hottest part of the day (makes sense), I realized how fast the hops have grown this year. I took a look back at older post of when I planted the first rhizomes. It is amazing once established how much they mature. The first year of actual hop production, I was harvesting in August. I could easily harvest all four hops by the end of June!
Secondly, I have realized timely watering is much more efficient and environmentally friendly once the hops have matured. For example, for the first two years, I set up an irrigation system to water the plants right before sunrise. It worked well and kept the hops moist during some dry summer months.
However, the last two years, the hops come up so early and benefit from the timely spring rains. I haven't set up the irrigation in two years. The only time I water is right about the time in June when the rains become more sporadic. Only when the bines start to form do I water daily. Much like many garden plants, spreading out watering seems to strengthen deep roots. This goes against many experts views that hops need water everyday. I am just observing my view seems to work in my environment.
Here are some comparison pics. Slainte!
Cascade 2012 on left; 2015 on right.
Hallertau 2012 on left; 2015 on right.
Nugget 2015. This is the third year in ground and going crazy. 3/4 inch vines!
Sterling 2015. Although still alive and producing hops, the Sterling was attacked by a green tape worms. Very hard to see and eliminate. Will keep a better eye on next year.