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Vintage 2009

We've had a great summer in our kitchen garden. Like last year, we planted tomatoes and courgettes. We weren't very successful with the latter last year, I think we could only pick three. This year, though, it was impressive, we've got tired of eating courgettes in any way you can imagine, and we still have several kilos of tomatoes waiting to be picked. We also planted onions, carrots and strawberries. All was great, fantastic yields. We even managed to taste some of the raspberries and currants we had planted in spring.

The hops were not an exception. They grew bigger and leafier, and there were a lot of blossoms. Last weekend was harvest time. I was, I think, two hours picking those blossoms.The quality of last year's harvest wasn't that good, but I wasn't expecting that, actually. The hops had no aroma at all. Harvest 2009, though, not only was a lot more plentiful, but the blossoms are very aromatic, with strong piney notes. I have them in a bowl on the bar and when I'm not cooking their autumnly aroma can be felt all over the kitchen.
If everything goes fine, I'll be brewing this weekend and I'll be using those hops (together with a couple more things growing in the garden). I'm looking forward to it.
The bowl on the right is the same I used last year.
The bowl on the left is, I think, twice as big, and it wasn't enough for this year's harvest

Na Zdraví!

PS: I also planted some saplings I got from Žatec. They didn't grow too much, but if they survive the winter I might have some fresh Saaz hops to use in my beer next year...

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  1. The Hops look great! What other that Zatec what varieties do you have planted? Any beers in mind for them...

  2. These are called simply "Golden".

    The Saaz are poloranní červeňák. The red ones, but I'm not expecting anything from those until at least next year.

    What I'm planning to brew is something with the malts I have left, plus roasted wheat (basically from my backyard), rosemary and peppermint. Something mad to see what comes out of it.

  3. What a fantastic haul. I'm envious. Any tips on growing hops, then? Or did you just leave them to their own devices?

  4. I planted those last year, in early Spring I cut the dry vines 5cm from the base and then pretty much left them to their own devices, watering almost daily. They don't need too much care.

    We'll see how the Saaz fare next year.

  5. Once we've worked out what to do about the foxes which keep tearing up our vegetable patch, we'll definitely have to give this a go.


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