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For any advice on homebrewing just email us at alesmithinghomebrew@gmail.com

Tips for growing hops

Hops grow very fast when they get going, but that doesn't mean there aren't some important points to keep in mind. Hops may look like vines but actually they are bines. What's the difference? A bine do not attach themselves to a surface but instead follow the sun and wrap around an object clockwise. This means they need trellis, poll or even tree to climb up. They can also grow very large and at times rapidly, unless it is a dwarf/hedgerow hop like prima donna, so make sure you have a structure which will take it. You don't need to plant hops too deeply, just deep enough so the crown is beneath the surface and then a small mound of dirt on top. This is best done in spring or summer, you wan

How hops effect your beer

Most homebrewers are aware of the general difference between hops, but what do these really mean and how can you apply that knowledge for choosing the right hops for an ale. The three most important factors to how a hop will affect your beer is the alpha acids, beta acids and essential oils. Alpha acids are the main cause of bittering in hops both soft and harsh. An alpha acid called Humulone adds a soft bitterness while Cohumulone adds the harsh bitterness. There are other alpha acids that have an effect but it is a mix of these two that are seen to be the biggest components and are the focus on what alpha acids controlled in a hop. Beta acids also add bitterness but to a lesser extent. Bot

Brewing in Spring/Summer

With the changing of seasons some parts of brewing get easier while others get harder. Brewing used to be a very seasonal affair, this was mostly due to ingredient availability but there are still some things to consider. The most obvious is the issue of storage. In winter you may need to keep your fermentation bucket in an airing cupboard or similar warm area. This is not so much a problem as we move into summer, even though we still will get some chilly days the general temperature is high enough that you can store it anywhere. The reverse is true for bottles though, in the summer it is much more important to find a cool area to cellar your ale. You want an area around 10°C so that the y

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The Glen, Stone House Lane, Bulkeley, Malpas, Cheshire, United Kingdom

SY14 8BQ

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