Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Video interview with Chris Colby

As I mentioned in the first post, I became inspired to actually try growing hops by an article written by Chris Colby, editor of Brew Your Own magazine. Last week, James Spencer from Basic Brewing travelled out to the home of Chris Colby in Bastrop, TX to do a video interview about his article. It was interesting to see that Chris also has a crop of barley growing next to his house which he hopes to harvest and malt with hopes of being able to brew a beer from all home-grown ingredients. I think we have the room, but I doubt I'll be able to plant a crop of barley in the backyard. The video interview is available here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Preparing and Planting

Following the advice of the Brew Your Own article, I purchased two 20" pots along with enough dirt to fill them and two 2"x2"x8" posts for the trellis.

two 20" pots: $34.74
two 64qt soil bags: $25.96
two 2x2x8 pots: $4.98

I decided to attach the posts to the side of the pots for added stability. That required adding the filler piece between the posts and the pot so that the posts would remain verticaly straight. Screws were used to attach the posts to the sides of the pot. A eye-bolt was screwed in to the top of both posts as a guide for the hop twine.

After everything was attached, I ran the hop twine through the eye-bolts and moved the pots to a location on the South side of the house before filling them with dirt. Two holes were drilled just under the rim on each pot which were used to tie off two strands of hop twine which the hops will hopefully grow up.

The hop rhizomes were then planted a couple of inches below the surface.

Nugget in the left pot.

Cascade on the right.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rhizomes Arrived

The Cascade and Nugget hop rhizomes arrived from Fresh Hops along with a bundle of hop twine.

Cascade rhizome: $4.50
Nugget rhizome: $4.50
Hop Twine: $6.00

Friday, March 20, 2009

Growing hops, in pots, in Houston

After doing much research and with encouragement from the last issue of Brew Your Own magazine, I've decided to try growing some hops in pots. I had thought it might be too hot and humid in Houston, but I've found several people that have successfully grown hops in various regions of Southern Texas, so I figured I'd give it a go. The soil around here is not very good and I'm not sure what area of the yard is suitable, so the pots will allow me to provide good soil to grow in and the ability to move them around to adjust the amount of sun and shade. It gets pretty scorching down here in the summer, so I have a feeling they'll need sun in the morning, but protected from it in the afternoon.

Since this is my first attempt and I have no idea whether it will actually work, I'm starting with just two hop plants. I decided on Cascade and Nugget and ordered a hop rhizome of each from Fresh Hops. Cascade is one of the most commonly used hop in craft brewing. Its typically used for aroma, but can be used for bittering as well. Nugget is a strong bittering hop, but has a descent aroma profile.

This blog will be dedicated to the experiences with growing hops, in pots, in Houston.