Thursday, April 11, 2013

Plains hardy hops

The hardiness of the cascade hops is really suited for the plains.
last nights snow didn't really stick from the warmth of the ground but that plus tonight's cold will challenge these newly emerged green glories.
(we will cover for the night, then a warming trend)

especially once established the hops will have to be managed pretty aggressively.
each spring i always offer up rhizomes to friends and friends friends.

alpha acid % = 4-7 
when growing your own hops the greatest challenge is knowing exactly what the AA% is.
in general my first picking of the hops or slightly early picking of hops will yield a lower percent.
outside of this we allow a little variance in the final product to keep the recipe interesting.
if truly concerned, say if i am making a batch for a special occasion i will buy some commercial whole hops make a tea and compare it to a homegrown hops tea. the taste comparison will let me know if i am  on the high or low end of the percent scale.
this knowledge will only let me fuss over the minor and maybe tweak a few minutes in the kettle here and there.

"citrus and floral" are its traits and it is true. 
we accept this as our house hops. 
first and foremost we like the profile, and second a brewer needs to have a "as geographically associated as possible" beer.
there are often complaints for how homebrewers get tired of the cascade profile from over use and that can happen. we have always been proactive in that we vary our styles quite a bit.
cascade is predominant in our pales and house ipas,  then we branch out for british pales. on top of that we throw in just about every other style of beer too to keep our palate diversified.

a final note:
the cascade is great because it works fine as a bittering, flavor and aroma hops although in this house we use more ounces in the last 5-15 minutes (aroma & flavor).

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