Наш друг, соратник и настоящий beer ambassador Вольфганг Линделл (@barleywolf
) воспользовался уникальной возможностью посетить немецкий регион Халлертау в самый интересный период — сбор урожая хмеля, именно тех сортов, что лежат в основе 9/10 всех классических немецких пилснеров, а также множества светлых лагеров самых разных стран. С любезного разрешения Вольфа блог AFBrew
репостит этот интересный любому hop-head’у материал. Оригинал можно найти тут
I had a chance to visit the Hallertau, Germany’s largest hop producing region, during harvest season 2012 with some of my colleagues. The typical harvest season starts around end of August, beginning with Aroma varieties and goes well into September with high alpha varieties being the last ones harvested. Germany accounts for about 30% of world hop production. The Hallertau is by far the largest German hop growing region, more can be read about it here (in German, but nice pictures as well): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallertau
Anyway, I managed to take some pictures as well on my old fashioned cellphone (Motorola):
Here the moment we realized we were in hop country…
We arrived in the evening, and had dinner at the Schlossbrauerei Au — highly recommendable:
Next day we visited a hop farm. We saw more of the tractors bringing hops directly from the field. Once picked, hops have to be dried right away. It’s a very labor intensive harvest. Typically the workers get up at 0600, work until 2000 bringing in the hops from the field, then continue until midnight in the kiln (drying the hops). Then sleep, and next day it begins all over again at 0600. Intense work, this goes on for the duration of the harvest — about 3 weeks.
The hop bines are cut in the field (top and bottom), transported to the farm and processed. First they are hoisted, bine by bine (yes bine, not vine:-)):
The bines are basically munched. The goal is to separate the cones. Look at these beautiful cones (not yet separated):
Once separated, the cones must immediately be dried in a kiln to bring the water content down to around 10%. Here a picture from inside the kiln:
Then the dry hops!
By the way, the aroma in the air all around is simply intoxicating! Beautiful hop perfume! Also, for the record, the hops pictured here are all Hallertauer Herkules. Now time for a music break to capture the mood…
Now a close up of another variety:
For the finale, my favorite picture, a landscape shot of the fields around the farm we were at. You can see the tractor back out there getting more bines 😉