Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hop plants

My hop plants are starting to come back after the white fly devastation. They are still not gone, but their population have been reduced in number. Note: An organic herbacide I bought does not do well with hop plants. It seems that the heat of the sun will burn the herbacide and the hop leaf. I have switched to spraying pure water and soapy water to get rid of the white flies.

The chile plants have had the same effect, from the herbacide, but they too are now bouncing back. In fact, some of them are now blooming. Pics to come soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big Brew Day...

This year the big brew day event was being hosted by award winning Alesmith, so I had to participate. Plus they are located down the street from where I live. Alesmith was great and provided us with some beer and food. Thanks guys! We used my friend's set up (he has a fancy pump system) and I decided to make the big mile recipe:

English Dark Mild 10gallon batch
O.G.: 1.037
F.G.: 1.012
IBU: 15
70% efficiency

11 lb (2.5 kg) 2-Row Pale Malt
22 oz (312 g) English Crystal 55° L
12 oz (170 g) Crystal 120° L
6 oz (85 g) British Chocolate Malt
6 oz (85 g) Dark Carastan

0.75 oz (21 g) East Kent Golding, 5.8% Alpha Acid, for 60 minutes

White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast

Force carbonate at approximately 1.75 to 2.0 volumes of CO2
wort cooling
fancy pump system

pump in action
Alesmith, a few months old
(small container in front is their hopback)

Friday, May 01, 2009

1,2,3,4 I declare a war...

...on whiteflies!!!

Hops plants were growing well until recently when they were attacked by whiteflies. Anybody ever had this experience? My chile plants were also attacked so I bought some organocide and so far it seemed to have worked. I hope it stays that way... How do you know if you have any whiteflies? They are super small, white and like to hang out on the back side of the leaf. They suck out all of the juice from the leaf and in the process leave their saliva behind which is toxic to the plant. Eventually, the leaves wither and the plant dies. They can double in population in less than a week and 1 whitefly can reproduce ~9 times. I don't like them.

On the brighter side. Tomorrow I will be participating in big brew day, which will be held at Alesmith Brewing co. (they recently won small brewery of the year at GABF). I will be slitting a 10g batch with a friend. It will be an English Dark Mild and the recipe can be found at We had to change it a bit due to a lack of ingredients being available (chose dark carastan for brown malt). Also, we will split the 10g batch and ferment one with WLP-001 & one with WLP-002.