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.
healthiest three. You can also grow in rows two weeks after the average last frost date with one plant every 2 to 4 feet. Cover with for your area in hills 1 foot apart if you grow plastic tunnels to keep the soil warm if the them vertically, or plant them 3 to 4 feet weather is still on the cool side, or night- apart and let them wander around on the time temperatures are dipping down below ground. Alternatively, you can transplant 50 degrees Fahrenheit. starts that were sown six
After cleaning, consider freezing your ing flavor from fruit, flowers, and herbs. The fruit. Even an overnight freeze will burst simplest way is to add the plant material cell walls and release additional juice. This to the bucket prior to primary fermenta- is an especially useful tactic for berries. tion. Alternatively, it can be steeped in boil- Once they’re thawed, the berries can be ing water on the stove or mixed with boiled easily crushed with a potato masher. Avoid water
cherry) PLANT TYPE: tree USDA ZONES: 5–9 (sweet); 4–9 (sour) HEIGHT: standard sweet cherries, 20–40 feet; sweet cherries on dwarfing rootstock, 10–12 feet. Sour, 15–20 feet SOIL: light and well-drained with mid-fertility LIGHT: full sun WATER: regular. Cherries cannot stand in waterlogged soil, but neither should the roots dry out. Water during arid summers. GROWTH HABIT: upright tree (sweet cherry); spreading tree (sour cherry) PROPAGATE BY: grafting, seed SPACING: for sour and dwarf sweet
than with a bushel or two of pears. apples. Once they reach puberty, they bloom Choose a planting site with at least up to three weeks earlier than apples, mak- eight hours of sun a day and good airflow. ing the buds and flowers susceptible to late Low areas can be subject to late frosts, frosts. On the plus side, pears require less which can blast early pear blossoms. Dig pruning and spraying than apples, and per- a hole the depth of the rootball but wider. form better on poorly
developed Praise of Fraise, you gather 2 pints of by the monastery la Grande-Chartreuse.) fresh strawberries straight from your gar- By the nineteenth century, the monks den and combine them with 1½ cups of had turned Chartreuse into a commercial simple syrup and one-fifth of vodka (at 80 enterprise. These days, the monks distill proof or more). In a ½-gallon jar, muddle the liqueur and have an outside company the strawberries and syrup with a mud- bottle, distribute, and sell it as