Hops Harvest

I have now completed the harvest of my fresh hops. I always have a question in my mind as to when they are ready. After Labor Day, they seem very numerous and ready to go. I have held off to the last minute when some of the varieties turn a little bit golden. I read that if they get very dry and golden, the flavor molecules start to fall apart and the flavor will be less. I have not had that problem yet, they are very sticky on the fingers and full of aroma.

In search of the perfect IPA beer, I have used a LOT of hops in my brews. So far the only thing I have not tried is dry hopping after the fermentation. This last batch I just tried doing that so we will have to wait and see if it is any better. Dry hopping is the procedure of throwing hops in after the fermentation has slowed down and letting them soak in there for a week or two. I never did this because it seemed like it would contaminate the beer, but I just tried it and nothing seems bad in there yet.