It’s been a long time coming! Sorry for the radio silence guys- I hope everyone has kept up to date via my Facebook and Instagram posts. I’ve drafted this blog four times now and It’s probably worse than the original, so I’m just going to cut my losses and hope that this makes some kind of sense!
Before I go on, my deepest condolences to Debby, Georgia, Will and Cooper Hallyburton. Brad will be sorely missed and you are all in our hearts. Words are not enough to describe the pain felt by us and the wider community with this loss. Our strength and wishes are also with Rodney, Kelly, Fraser and Connor Oates- wishing Rod a speedy and full recovery!
So the past couple of months have seen a ton of progress here on site; with works in the hop yard, works on our harvest equipment and finalisation of our brewery building. Throw into the mix a trip to China for equipment inspection and a nasty bout of salmonella and it’s been a hell of a journey!
We’ve been pretty busy getting the hop yard and barley under control. All I can say is thank god it’s all done now(until harvest at least); 864 rhizomes in the ground from 12 varieties, upgraded fertigation, comprehensive nutrient management program as well as an ‘organic principles’ shot at ground covers/counter cropping along with two new age malt barley varietals in the ground. It’s been awesome fun reading and learning about these little babies, although the biggest lesson has been that seedlings and rabbits DON’T MIX WELL. I’ll leave that one there though. Rabbits aside, this gives us a great standing for the next season; our plan is to increase our hop yard from around 1.5 acres this year to nearly 5 next; this with the 12 varieties under plant, plus a few extras in the pipeline; things are looking good!
I’ve nearly finished construction of our hop dryer, utilising a 3kw industrial heater coupled with two standard bathroom vent fans and a series of drying racks, we are attempting to mimic a traditional oast on a much, much smaller scale. The idea is to dry the hops as quickly, but as gently as possible from a harvest content of 80-85% moisture, to a storage content of 8-12% moisture (varies by variety and p