The spring is such a pleasant time in the Northern Midwest: things are changing for the better, the days are getting longer, and the hop plants start to break ground, giving home brewers thoughts of fine IPAs to brew in the fall. Thoughts of putting up rope, training bines, and cutting back all but three or so strong bines race through your head.
Last year I started to talk about the planting of my first hop plant: Centennial. Unfortunately things got away from me and I only made modest updates thereafter. This year, starting with this edition, I plan on talking about the hop plant every week, with Saturday or Sunday the target.
Since this is my first go around this year, I have included a picture of the plant from this past Saturday. It has broke ground with a vengeance, starting off strongly while easily surpassing the growth of the plant at this stage last year.
The only thing I have done to the plant at this point is check the root growth. I followed some roots off to the sides that are easily some two feet in length. I have added a second plant, Mt. Hood, close by, so I will be defining the planting areas at the beginning of each month, if not more often, to keep them at bay. I expect the growth of the Mt. Hood to be slow, while the Centennial has double in size since I took the picture.
My early goal with the Centennial is to make an all Centennial IPA so I get a good understanding of the hop profile. Mt. Hood will be used in all my stouts as I brew those a ton. Until this weekend, brew well. Enjoy!
Useless Fact: The lungfish can live out of water in a state of suspended animation for three years.