Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Yay! Green Hop Day!

These little devils are very nearly just right.

Remember what fun we had with Green Hop Day 2010? Well, this year it's double trouble: 2500 litres of GHA brewed here, on GHD1, followed, 24 hours later (GHD2), by 5000 litres of GHA brewed with my friend Big M at his rather flash place in the Dutch countryside.

Once Humphrey the Hop Grower has decided the exact day he's beginning the harvest (anytime between tomorrow & Monday next), and the exact order (some varieties must be caught at the right moment, others are more forgiving) then we'll know the date of GHD1. My guess is Tuesday the 6th, one week from now.

For those of you snoozing during last year's lecture allow me to recap: hops are normally dried to preserve them. They are harvested in early September and grow in the Kent countryside, some of the finest barely 7 miles from here. So, each year we tank it over to the picking shed at dawn and rob Humphrey the Hop Grower of 50 kg of fresh, bright green un-dried hops. Then tank it back to the brewhouse and chuck the lot into the copper: the place smells divine, I have a weep and we all drink beer. Ten days later we're sat in any decent East Kent pub pulling on foaming pints of what is probably the freshest beer in the world. Just because we can.

Only this year, after my annual weep, I'll tank it right back to the picking shed, stuff the back of the pick-up with 100 kgs of bright green, fresh wet hops, and head for the Chunnel. Quick kip through the Manche and up the road to Rotterdam and beyond. Another quick kip at chez Olivier & we're up early to brew twice. That's probably another two weeps too. Then a restorative glass of ale, a kip, and the drive home.

More on that later.


Mark said...

De Molen? Never heard of it ..... :P

Is it really only 10 days from brew day to drinking in the pub? That sounds too 'fresh' even for you!


Gadds Beers Hop said...

My first week in a brewery was in 1993. I casked 20 bbrls of best into kilderkins, finished work, and was drinking the same beer that very night in a pub across town. It was good too, well, for the standards of the day.

But you're right, we do have to be mindful that, in our haste, we don't stray from the old E-M-P glycolytic pathway.

Mark said...

I think you needed to say "here comes the science bit ... " before that comment! :P

Guessing it's ok for those of us with a weaker grasp on brewing science to assume that's the same thing as secondary fermentation in the cask.