Drying hops.

Hop cone in the Hallertau, Germany, hop yard

Hop cone in a commercial  hop yard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zeus hops drying outside on a window screen. Today’s temperatures are in the high 80’s to low 90’s.

I received a call yesterday from a friend. “Would you like to pick some hops today?” You cannot say no to free hops. Though the task took about 3-4 hours from beginning to end–drive over, pick hops, drink a beer, drink another beer (must stay hydrated after all) pack hops into car, drive back, separate hops flower from hopbine, and spread out on screen to dry–it was fun and odorific. It was also completely uneconomical.

While drinking homebrew, we picked individual hops and crushed them between fingers and thumbs to smell the resins and oils. We talked about what we would make with these hops.

I wound up with Zeus, Nugget, and Cascade hops (no telling how much until the hops dry–but less than a pound no doubt). If you figure how much your time is worth (economists call this an opportunity cost) it makes more sense, form an economic point of view, to buy the hops and pay the shipping charges. That said, it was so worth it and I would do it again in a New York heartbeat.

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