Limestone Creek Brewing Co.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Let it Grow, Let it Grow....

There's a lot of growth out there! A long winter is finally over in Central New York; the bines are climbing, the weeds a' growin', and the beer a flowin'.

Bob and Joyce have put a lot of work into preparing the hop yard this spring.  From new planting, hanging new trellis' and dropping the growing ropes from the top wires, they've really spruced up the place!

There are now over 250 hills planted, many of those reaching full maturity this year. We have 6 rows planted with any where from 25-50 hills per row. This being our test site, we're experimenting with single hills directly under the top rope and two hills on each side of the top rope which will allow for 4 bines every 3-4 feet. The dual hill approach allows for more production, but may be effected greater by any diseases present.

So far, the weather has cooperated in our Manlius test yard location. Although it's been pretty dry, we've gotten away without having to do too much irrigation. A little more than an inch of rain a week has been falling. Most importantly is the weed suppression Bob and Joyce have done. In the picture to the right you can see how they've kept the weeds/grasses down - this helps reduce moisture and nutrient loss.

The beer recipe brewing continues utilizing mostly the Newport and Cascade hops we harvested last year. We didn't pelletize any of them, so we're dealing with some of the difficulties using whole leaf hops. Mostly it's just a little messier and we need to increase the amount of hops used per recipe. We've come close to perfecting our IPA recipe - we just keep making silly mistakes during the mash process that leads to inconsistent efficiency and off flavors. As we've said before - practice makes perfect (and more beer to enjoy, too boot!)

We'll be posting more often and with more brewing pictures. Thanks for stopping by!