News for all you poor Northerners is that the weather down here in the Garden of England is blisteringly hot, dry, and calm. Perfect for finishing off the hops. Getting up before the sun this morning I nipped down to the hop gardens to have the craic and check up on the East Kent Goldings, our main hop. Humphrey had his runes out, predicting cracking weather, and so put off the pickers for a couple of days. You see the aroma of the crop intensifies by the day in September and the trick is to wait as long as possible before picking........but not too long, oh no, after too long it could rain half way through the three week harvest, degrading the crop or at the very least necessitating a heftier drying bill than necessary. And after too long the cones bolt and become as dust in the oast, leaving little for the grower, judge, brewer and drinker to admire*.
But since the sun is booked to shine, and some, tomorrow, I expect the harvest will be further delayed. All the better for the quality of ale in the coming year. I heart September.
*(Did you see that? Deliberate omission of the Oxford comma since, being both brewer and drinker, it wasn't warranted. Of course, I could easily have been talking about other drinkers but since I brew according to my taste I wasn't, I was talking about me, as usual.)