A friend of mine who has a green thumb was kind enough to grow some hops for me. Of course I’m going to have to repay his generosity with some beer. The only issue with home grown and wild hops is that you can only guess what the alpha acid levels are on them.
For these particular hops, it’s their second year, so they should be pretty established. It’s nice to have a friend with a green thumb.
Anyway, the original intent that I had for this brew session was to make a small 3G test batch, an ESB, and use the Goldings that he grew. Then of course, when I tasted the ESB, I would have a good idea if they were low, high, or right on the mark. I figure worse case is that I end up with either a bitter or a mild if the hops are low, maybe an IPA if they are high.
Then I invited another friend over to brew, and he got it in his head that he wanted to make the ESB too, so I went from a 3G batch to a 10G batch. It was an extract batch, so it was pretty quick, and so far as I can tell, it came out really well.
Did I mention that we put some maple syrup in it too? I think I’ll save that story for when I post the recipe though.
Being an early riser, I decided that I would have time to brew up one of my favorites, an Irish Red that I’m calling “Crimson Corps Bulldog Ale”. I’ll go more into detail about that when I post that recipe as well. It also happens to be one of my hop growing friend’s favorites, and you know I have to repay his kindness.
Everything went swimmingly, I hit my marks, no disasters, really, I couldn’t ask for a better brew day. It was nice to have some friends over, and of course enjoy some homebrew.
Of course the lack of disasters in itself is pretty notable. I usually have something go wrong. 🙂