I planted some hop rhizomes the other day. These are root cuttings from vines of big hop plants. I planted three hop varieties: Centennial, Galena and Mt. Hood. Galena is used purely as a bittering hop by itself in the Amber, BudClone, Pumpkin, Octoberfest and Bock. I generally use it for malty, unhoppy beers. Mt. Hood is both a bittering and flavor/aroma hop used in the Stock and Winter Lagers, Belgian Whit, Christmas, Stout and Pilsners. I haven’t used Centennial yet but it is a more floral and citrusy in flavor and will be good in pale ales and IPA’s.
And ‘yes’, these hops and the others I use all stick with the ‘100% American Ingredients’ theme of my recipes. My wife thinks that that may be a future limiter, but I say it gives me a chance to be more creative. I want the beers to represent the region (Akron-Cleveland-Canton Ohio) as best I can so focusing on American grain and hops are a key.
These vines should grow 6-8 feet this year though they most likely won’t produce hops until next year as they will be establishing their root systems.
One needs a lot of hops even for a small nano-brew operation. I hope to grow several varieties for special ‘seasonal’ and ‘limited edition’ beers.