I love this time of year...time to harvest the resiny, piney cones that make my beer taste so good. A close friend introduced me to homebrewing about 4 years ago now and I am so grateful for that. While I don't get to do it as often as I wish, there really is nothing like cracking a yummy homebrew at the end of a long day, or presenting one to a visitor and seeing their expression when your beer actually tastes great! It's actually not very hard to do if you get the right advice early, which I was lucky to have. Most important: exercise proper cleanliness with your equipment! If you do that your beer will likely never come out "bad." However, you may produce a few that aren't perfect to your palate. In which case, you simply tweak your recipe. Since becoming a brewer of beer I've essentially been forced to hone my taste, since ultimately I'd like to brew the exact perfect beer for my own consumption. Enter hops. IPAs and IIPAs are my favorite thing. I'm a HUGE hop-head and can't seem to get enough hop flavor in my beer. Only during stout-month do I tend to wander and explore. Otherwise, hops is where the heart is. It's also the easiest thing in the yard to grow and you can pick up a rhizome at pretty much any brew store in your area. First year will likely not have a yield, but in year 2 your hops plant will go CRAZY...20 feet at least. There are plenty of videos out there to help you figure out how to take care of, harvest, and cure your hops. Any my wife likes it because it makes the backyard look fantastic. I look forward to posting my brew session and then the first taster several weeks after that!
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