Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Tale Of Three Hops

Those that have followed the blog for a while may remember the hop frames I constructed earlier this year.

This frame on the left is supporting (in the loosest sense of the word, as the supports are beginning to give way) the variety, Bramling Cross.

This is their second year and they appear to have done remarkably well. They are just beginning to turn 'papery' so will need harvesting soon. If it stays dry, I'll try and get them in next week.

The right-hand frame is supporting the variety Target. These haven't done so well - largely because I had to reposition the plants at the start of the season to accommodate the new frame. I guess this has set them back and they've probably spent most of their energy growing the roots, just as they do in year one (these plants are also in their second season, just like the Bramling Cross).

I was worried we may not get harvest from them, but they've come along okay in the last few weeks. Not as early as the Bramling Cross, these will probably come good mid to late September.

The opening shot on this post are also the 'Target' and here's a few more.

The real disappointment this year is the First Gold. A dwarf variety, they are in their third year and scramble up the back fence.

There's probably no harvest to come from them at all. A few cones have formed, but not many and they're small. A closer look shows a few dead/diseased runners, so somethings not gone right.

I'm not too worried, but I'll keep a closer eye on them next year to see if they can do better.

So Bramling Cross is this year's winner. It's a variety I've not used in my own beer before but, judging by my friends brew which I had chance to sample earlier this week, I'm going to look forward to them.

I'll also have to address the problem of the collapsing frames over the winter. A bit of strengthening up will be required as I clearly underestimated the weight involved.


  1. will you have enough to brew with or just dry hop?

  2. There'll definitely be enough Bramling Cross to brew with, although I'll know more once they've been dried.

    I don't have many Target, but they're such a high alpha hop, you don't usually need many anyway. I have a winter ale recipe in which Target is the primary bittering hop - it only requires 70g (dried weight) in a 10 gallon batch.

    Not knowing the acid content of homegrown hops is a bit of a problem, so I'll probably chuck a bit more than that in, but I should still have enough.

    Even if I just get one brew each with them, I'll be happy.