Re: 100% homegrown

Fri May 25, 2012 5:59 am

drummstikk wrote:My girlfriend is Asian???

Ah...yep, I see it now.

Never really clicked until you posted that highly illuminating and on-topic photo.


As a half Asian who grew up on a farm, I notice these things! Glad the harvest went well, I'd been worried before that you were gonna get run off the field by the corn folks, good that you were able to get the full harvest in, even if a bit rushed.
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Re: 100% homegrown

Sat May 26, 2012 8:28 pm

drummstikk, you did not mention fertilizing and hops are heavy feeders. I think I'm going to start applying Miracle Grow every week now. I have heard that commercial growers plumb fertilizer delivery into their irrigation systems as a constant supply of nutrients at some level. Nice job on the barley project too.
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Re: 100% homegrown

Mon May 28, 2012 9:04 pm

scotchpine wrote:drummstikk, you did not mention fertilizing and hops are heavy feeders. I think I'm going to start applying Miracle Grow every week now. I have heard that commercial growers plumb fertilizer delivery into their irrigation systems as a constant supply of nutrients at some level. Nice job on the barley project too.


Yes! I just recently learned they fertilize with every irrigation, too. So for the past 2 weeks, I've been giving them 2.5 g of 15-5-15 once a week. I thought the compost in the soil might be enough, but it kinda sounds like you can't overfertilize them at this time of year! Glad to hear you're doing the same. How much do you use per plant?
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Re: 100% homegrown

Tue May 29, 2012 2:57 am

I must say, well done on all of this. Looking forward hearing what comes of it brewing wise. This thread has been one that I'm excited to see a new post in, and if there is, it's the first one I click on. Thanks for putting up with my sometimes less than helpful comments too! :jnj (Though I did have some useful ones, I'd like to think...)
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Re: 100% homegrown

Tue May 29, 2012 9:56 am

drummstikk wrote:
scotchpine wrote:drummstikk, you did not mention fertilizing and hops are heavy feeders. I think I'm going to start applying Miracle Grow every week now. I have heard that commercial growers plumb fertilizer delivery into their irrigation systems as a constant supply of nutrients at some level. Nice job on the barley project too.


Yes! I just recently learned they fertilize with every irrigation, too. So for the past 2 weeks, I've been giving them 2.5 g of 15-5-15 once a week. I thought the compost in the soil might be enough, but it kinda sounds like you can't overfertilize them at this time of year! Glad to hear you're doing the same. How much do you use per plant?

I think I'm going add Miracle Grow manually, about once a week this year. My 3rd year Casacades are 13" high with some cones about thumb size already.
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Re: 100% homegrown

Tue May 29, 2012 9:57 am

Threshing breakthrough: Just take a handful of dried barley and bang it back and forth on the inside of a garbage pail. All the long tillers will be threshed in 15 seconds. Then go through the stalks to find any late short tillers and pull them off by hand. You can work your way through an average-sized sheath in 5-10 minutes with this technique -- much faster than using the machine!
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Re: 100% homegrown

Tue May 29, 2012 11:13 am

spiderwrangler wrote:
drummstikk wrote:My girlfriend is Asian???

Ah...yep, I see it now.

Never really clicked until you posted that highly illuminating and on-topic photo.


As a half Asian who grew up on a farm, I notice these things! Glad the harvest went well, I'd been worried before that you were gonna get run off the field by the corn folks, good that you were able to get the full harvest in, even if a bit rushed.


Glad to have full context on this. I thought about saying something, then thought it better to keep quiet. Glad it turned out to be a case similar to me making a joke about someone being short or my wife calling someone a ginger (jokes predicated on visual cues that can be tough to pick up on in an internet forum).

:drink

drummstikk, I am thoroughly impressed with all this. As someone new to both brewing and this forum, it has given me something to pretend I'll someday find the motivation to aspire to. Can't wait to hear about the brews that come as a result of this.
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Re: 100% homegrown

Tue May 29, 2012 9:17 pm

skibikejunkie wrote:Glad to have full context on this.

It's no big deal. Spider has helped me throughout this process, and all the pictures in the world of Asians in hats couldn't change that.
skibikejunkie wrote:drummstikk, I am thoroughly impressed with all this. As someone new to both brewing and this forum, it has given me something to pretend I'll someday find the motivation to aspire to. Can't wait to hear about the brews that come as a result of this.

Nice, thanks for the kind words! I kept on wanting to try something new, but it all came from the love of making something that started with my first brew.

If you ever want to get into the growing side, a suburban backyard is probably enough space to grow one 5-gal batch every Fall, with room leftover for the kids to play. People will tell you to start with growing just the hops because they're "easier", but I think the issue is that there's just less information out there about growing grains. Hopefully this thread can serve as a start for anybody interested in the starch side of the equation.

BTW, total cost for grain, excluding the cost of irrigation and tilling, was $19. Hops are more expensive in the first year because rhizomes are so marked up, but my variable costs are $5 for fertilizer, and a negligible cost for twine.

After you order seeds and fertilizer, it would probably take you something like 10-100 minutes per 100 square feet to till, depending on the condition your soil is already in. Figure on a half hour every week to check for disease and irrigation problems. Then when you're done growing, it will probably take you something like one hour / 100 square feet to harvest, and 2 hours per 100 square feet to thresh. Malting is easy, and requires a 5-gallon plastic bucket, a cardboard box, a garbage bag, a plastic spray bottle, a box fan, and your kitchen oven.

Of course, you'll probably want to spend a buttload of time just sitting, drinking a beer, and staring at the plants as they grow. That's where most of my time went.
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