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Backyard Hops and Funky Yeasts

Backyard Hops and Funky Yeasts

Unleashing the Kraken: An Alchemist’s Journey into Homebrew Sorcery

Ah, the sweet scent of fresh hops and the gentle bubbling of fermentation – there’s nothing quite like the thrill of crafting your own libations, am I right? As an avid homebrewer, I’ve embarked on a veritable odyssey of flavor, experimenting with everything from earthy bitters to zesty ciders, all in the pursuit of that elusive, perfect pour.

But today, my friends, I’m here to regale you with the tale of my most recent adventure – a deep dive into the world of backyard hops and funky yeasts. It’s a story of trial and error, of unexpected twists and turns, and of course, the occasional (read: frequent) glass of victory.

Taming the Hop Beastie

It all started when I stumbled upon an article about the Galaxy dry-hopped funky cider from The Mad Fermentationist. Now, I’ve always been a sucker for a good hoppy beverage, but this one piqued my interest with its promises of tropical aromas and funky yeast magic. I mean, who doesn’t love a little funk in their life?

So, I rolled up my sleeves, donned my best mad scientist goggles, and set out to create my own version of this hop-infused cider. The first step? Sourcing the raw materials, of course. I scoured the local gardening stores and found a veritable treasure trove of hop rhizomes, just waiting to be planted and coaxed into producing their fragrant bounty.

Now, let me tell you, wrangling those hop bines is no easy task. They grow like weeds on steroids, climbing and twisting their way up any surface they can find. But I was determined, and with a little patience and a lot of trellis-building, I managed to tame the hop beastie and get it settled into its new home.

A Yeast of Burden

With the hops taken care of, it was time to turn my attention to the other crucial component of my cider-brewing journey: the yeast. I’d heard whispers of the Funk Weapon 2 from Bootleg Biology, and let me tell you, the name alone was enough to pique my curiosity.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to get their hands on something called a “Funk Weapon”? It just screams “add me to your brew and prepare for flavor explosions!” And that’s exactly what I did.

But as any seasoned homebrewer will tell you, working with funky yeasts is no walk in the park. They can be temperamental, unpredictable, and downright stubborn at times. It’s like herding a bunch of wild, eccentric musicians – you never know quite what you’re going to get, but when it all comes together, it’s pure magic.

A Cider Saga: Triumph and Tribulation

With the hops and yeasts in place, it was time to put my cider-making skills to the test. I carefully selected a bounty of crisp, juicy apples and set to work, crushing and pressing them into a fragrant, golden liquid. Then, I added the Funk Weapon 2 yeast, crossed my fingers, and waited.

The fermentation process was a rollercoaster of emotions, let me tell you. One day, the airlock would be bubbling away merrily, and the next, it would be silent as the grave. I’d fret and fuss, wondering if I’d somehow managed to kill off my precious yeast culture.

But just when I was about to throw in the towel, a miraculous thing happened: the fermentation kicked back into high gear, and the flavors began to transform. That’s the beauty of working with funky yeasts – they keep you on your toes, constantly surprising you with their complex, ever-evolving profiles.

A Dry-Hopped Delight

As the cider neared completion, I knew I had to take it to the next level. Inspired by the Citizen The Full Nelson and Millstone Hopvine ciders mentioned in the Bootleg Biology article, I decided to give my own creation a dry-hopping treatment.

Now, dry-hopping a cider might sound a bit unconventional, but trust me, it’s a game-changer. I carefully selected my hops, opting for the same Galaxy variety that had captivated me in the first place. The idea was to complement the apple flavors without overpowering them, creating a harmonious dance of fruit and floral notes.

As I submerged the fragrant hop pellets into the cider, the aroma that wafted up was nothing short of intoxicating. It was like a tropical fruit salad had been transformed into liquid form, with just a whisper of earthy bitterness to keep things interesting.

And when I finally poured that first glass and took a sip, the flavors exploded on my tongue in a symphony of complexity. The cider was dry and crisp, with a delightful tart edge that played off the hop-derived citrus and stone fruit notes. It was a revelation, a true masterpiece of homebrewing alchemy.

The Artistry of Fermentation

As I sat there, savoring the fruits of my labor, I couldn’t help but reflect on the incredible journey that had led me to this moment. Homebrewing, you see, is not just about creating tasty beverages – it’s an art form, a alchemy, a way of life.

Each batch is a unique canvas, a blank slate waiting to be filled with the flavors and aromas of our imaginations. And when you work with wild yeasts and funky fermentations, it’s like you’re tapping into the very essence of the natural world, unleashing a symphony of microbial magic.

It’s a humbling, exhilarating experience, really. You start with the most basic of ingredients – hops, yeast, apples – and through the alchemy of fermentation, you transform them into something truly extraordinary. It’s like watching a caterpillar morph into a butterfly, or a lump of coal become a diamond.

The Brooklyn Connection

As I sipped my Galaxy-hopped cider, I couldn’t help but think about the rich brewing history of my own neighborhood, Brooklyn’s Georgian Coffee House. This place has been a hub of culinary and beverage artistry for generations, and I like to think that my little backyard brewing operation is carrying on that tradition in its own way.

After all, what better place to explore the wonders of funky yeasts and backyard hops than right here in the heart of Brooklyn? This is a city that thrives on creativity, on experimentation, on the unexpected. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to capture in my brews – a little bit of that Brooklyn magic, bottled up and ready to be shared with the world.

So, if you ever find yourself in the mood for a truly unique and captivating drinking experience, come on down to the Georgian Coffee House and let me pour you a glass of my latest creation. Who knows, maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of my hop bines climbing up the trellis in the backyard, a testament to the endless possibilities that await the budding homebrewer.

Cheers, my friends, and happy brewing!

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