Gardening for the Homebrewer: Grow and Process Plants for Making Beer, Wine, Gruit, Cider, Perry, and More
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Forget farm to table - go from garden to glass!
There's no feeling quite like cooking with home-grown carrots or grabbing a fresh handful of cilantro from your own yard. Well, unless you're growing fruits, vegetables, or grains for brewing that is. Gardening for the Homebrewer is an introduction to the wide variety of plants that you can use for fermentations or infusions. Learn how to tell if your yard is a perfect site for barley or whether it's better suited to a fragrant collection of herbs. Learn how to grow, dry, and store fresh hops. Or go off the beaten path and grow everything you need for your first gruit, cider, perry, or fruit wine. Have just a balcony or a windowsill? No problem! A variety of plant recommendations will suit gardeners of all types, even ones with limited space.
NAME: Myrica gale PLANT TYPE: low, deciduous shrub USDA ZONES: 2–9 HEIGHT: 4–6 feet SOIL: damp, peaty, acidic LIGHT: full sun to light shade WATER: constant; suitable for bogs GROWTH HABIT: shrubby PROPAGATE BY: softwood cuttings, layering, seed SPACING: 4–6 feet YEARS TO BEARING: when large enough to give up the required number of leaves PRUNING: Pinch to keep dense; use harvesting as pruning. HARVEST: At the time of flowering, harvest only new leaves growing on new stems. Don’t over-harvest an
in September and October. Grapes may change color before they are fully ripe, so a taste test is the best indicator of ripeness. Cut the clusters when they are dry, and keep them that way until it’s time to put them in the fermenter. Grapes keep their quality for two to three weeks in the refrigerator. NOTES: Well-tended vines can produce thirty to sixty clusters. Grape plants are self-pollinating. They live eighty years or more. Remove flowers for the first two years to allow the plants to
upright blackberries in summer, once the canes are 3 to 4 feet; cut the resulting side branches to 1 foot. In fall, remove canes that have fruited. Also remove diseased or weak canes and those growing outside the designated bed. Thin the remaining canes to 12 inches apart. Unlike black raspberries, blackberries retain their core when picked. The Himalayan blackberry Rubus armeniacus is invasive in some areas. For 5 gallons of wine use about 15 pounds of blackberries. BEST USED IN: Possibly the
(stalks) grow PROPAGATE BY: division SPACING: 4 feet YEARS TO BEARING: Wait until the third year to harvest stalks. PRUNING: no pruning needed HARVEST: Pull stalks sideways and upward. Remove when the stalk snaps loose from the base. Don’t cut, which leaves behind a stub that can rot. NOTES: Only the stalks should be fermented (the leaves are toxic). Rhubarb needs some winter chill; it does not do well where summers are hot. Fertilize and keep watered after harvest. A rhubarb plant remains
11:47 am (Forga 39) Job:06-61246 Title:MBI - Gardening for the Homebrewer Dtp:VIVIAN Page:179 it’s all about your own tastes, and how alcohol (forty percent alcohol content), it will pungent and fresh your own ingredients be strong enough to act as a preservative. are. Play with ratios of fresh herbs, vodka, (And it may seem counterintuitive, but with and sugar (or simple syrup) until you find vodka the higher proof versions often will what works for you. Feel free to scale down