We put the hops to bed over winter so the cooler months of the year free up time for awesome planning sessions for the year ahead. We look at what hops to plant this year and what needs doing on the hop farm. And what homebrewing products and mini kegs we can bring you.
This is what we’ll be doing on the farm:
We’re going to get our worm farm back in order this Spring after a slightly grizzly end last year. (Keep reading to find out why…)
Worm farm? We farm worms? Well, yes and no. We do but it’s not what you think.
Erase images of me chasing worms down worm holes straddling a feisty centipede wearing a Stetson (me, not the centipede) with a worm-sized lasso.
And picture a compost bin. Full of worms.
Not quite as Cowboy-esque. But still really cool! Stay with me…
Basically our wriggly friends have a massive party in our food waste and spent coffee grounds. They quickly munch through the lot and turn it into a mega nutritious, microbial rich, organic liquid fertilizer which we dilute with water and feed to our hops.
You can use this amazing superfood in your garden too.
But don’t make the mistake I made and give your worms any remains from your fermentation process. I did that with a load of fermenting apples while making apple wine.
Bye bye, Wormies.
But what a way to go, right?
Still – don’t do it.
Solar Powered Hop Dehydrator
Next on my to-do list is to design and build a mini, solar powered oast house to dry our hops when we harvest them in September.
As you know, unless you’re using making a wet-hopped brew, which we did last year – delicious! – you’ll be using dried hops, which will have been dried to reduce their moisture content to about 10%. This preserves them.
Traditionally this was done in a kiln powered oast house. Well, we shan’t be building one of those mothers. Instead, we’re going to harness the power of the sun which is far more progressive – with far less risk of burning the place down to buggery.
Watch this space…
Hydroponic Hops and Geo Domes
Have I told you about my 4.5 m high geodesic dome, which I built last year? On my own might I had. Such a pain in the arse. Still, it’s done and looks awesome!!
We’ll string up a number of hop plants to the frame and will hook them up to a hydroponic system to increase their chances of providing a great yield = more people can use our hops to make more amazing beer.
We grew a few hops hydroponically indoors last year and the results were incredible, so we’re looking forward to treating more our our hops to this VIP treatment.
Stay up to date on hop and homebrewing news. Make sure you’re on our mailing list!