The first hops are in the ground

August 21, 2017

The first hops are in the ground


Ok, it’s time to get serious. Let’s buy our first piece of legitimate brewery tech.

The pilot brewery. The problem with regular home brew setups is their susceptible to margins of error. If temperature drops slightly without you noticing, then there is a chance the flavour of your brew will change, and if you can’t replicate the world’s greatest beer ever brewed, then go and brew something that tastes completely different, and call it “Tribute”. The first hops are in!

I recently bought 20 rhizomes off a bloke named Aaron, user name AJ80 on the Aussie Home Brewer Forum.

10x Mt Hood, described as “They’re a wonderful hop to brew with, delicate, but just lovely. Not as punchy as cascade, Chinook, etc.”

And 10x Wild Canterbury Goldings “The Canterbury goldings are also quite intriguing – an earthy, yet lemony vibe.”

The plan is to plant a few different varieties so we can experiment with flavours. I’m really keen to brew the hops fresh off the bine in what’s known as a “wet hopped” beer. Which doesn’t sound particularly delicious… “fresh hopped” better?

Aaron’s tips for planting:

“I loosened the soil to about 50cm deep and about 50cm wide and then worked through about 10kg of composted manure. Bury the rhizome in a furrow about 5-10cm deep and cover over. Give the whole thing a decent covering of straw mulch and you’re pretty much set.

They arrived in an express post satchel, I then kept them in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Then chucked them in the ground with the bulbs pointing up.

I’m lucky because the property already had beds and an irrigation system in place.

Saves a whole lotta digging!



Shinny stainless steel with mechanical valves and a control panel. That’s what I need!

If nothing more, we’ll at least look like we know what we’re doing.

On a recent trip to the hop farms in VIC (I’ll tell you about that in another post) our new mate from Yellingbo Brewery introduced us to the all American Brew-Tek 50L Nanobrewery option.

A 3 tier brewing structure worthy of the museum of contemporary art. This gas powered bad boy does the trick for $3kUSD, plus shipping. 50L fermenters are about $1k each so all up we’re looking at circa $5k USD.

Not bad I guess…

However. I don’t have gas on the property, and I don’t like the idea of having to rely on LPG gas bottles.

What about China?

We love China don’t we. How the hell do they make stuff so damn cheap? Child labour? I bloody hope not… anyway.

I’m in the process of getting quotes from a few suppliers through Alibaba and will update y’all as soon as I have more.