Limestone Creek Brewing Co.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Trellis Cabling? "Check"

So, Bob graciously pointed out to me that Jason, Tom and I have full time jobs and finding time to work with him on many of the agricultural aspects of the hop yard might be a bit unrealistic. Not to mention he has a full time Jack-of-all -Trades, Charlie, who can provide some brawn and brains to make it all come true.

Charlie and Bob providing the muscle for the cabling of the hop yard trellis
The weather had been really warm and dry for about 10 days leading up to the week before Memorial Day and the hops responded by growing like gangbusters! Of course, so did the weeds. It switched to warm and wet the beginning of last week, but we're back to March like (wet, chilly, windy) for our holiday weekend.

Now that the bines are on a more stable, and tall, trellis system they seem to be ready to get to the top. We only lost one of the 60 trellised bines to frost that occurred on May 7th - the rest bounced back nicely thanks to the following days warm up. They also survived some intense thunder storms that rolled through earlier this week - just like many of those in Moore, Oklahoma we're all thinking of, the hop bines seem to be made of pretty tough stuff.

Yes, new rows for more hops! It's gonna be a busy harvest next year...
On the brewing front we submitted our two outstanding creations, an American Pale Ale (APA) and a Kölsch, to the NYS Home Brewers Competition. We brewed a Double IPA way back when that's been fermenting for about 2 1/2 months - it's in the keg as of last week and we just have to try some tonight. I think no more than two will be recommended :-). Jason, Tom and I are getting together to recreate our APA all-grain in a 10 gallon batch tonight.

Now we just keep 'em mulched and watered and watch them climb!
Currently, we have 15 gallons kegged - 10 gallons of the Sonnenwendt (Kölsch), and the 5 gallon Double IPA (name to be determined).  That's an abundance of beer and we need to organize our first official tasting since we're adding another 10 gallons in about 3 weeks.  Any takers?

Happy Spring to all, soldier on soldier boys and girls, and relax....have a home brew!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Climbing Bines

The hops are growing fast this spring - a bunch of warm dry days and cool nights seem to be just what they need.  We have 30 plants (10 Cascade, 10 Fuggle and 10 Newport) that were planted last July and I'm really impressed how mature they look coming out of the ground.

Fuggle variety supported by temporary jute twine trellis.
The Fuggle emerged last, but seems to be growing the quickest, although with the fewest sprouts per hill.  The Cascade and Newport both have an abundance of sprouts, but a little less height in the highest bines.  This weekend I pruned all growth other than the healthiest 2 bines in each hill so they can put all their energy into growing up the trellis.

We've got a couple of cools days and potentially frosty nights - we'll hope for the best!

On the beer brewing front we're submitting our Kolsch and American Pale Ale beers into the NYS Home Brewers Competition this week.  Both bottled really well off the keg and I'd say we have a chance to win in either category.  We'll let you know ASAP!!!