Week 24/25 – Ah, there’s the rain.
Remember that intensely dry spell in March and April, when I was praying for rain that didn’t come in time? Well, it looks as if my calls were answered, but with a slight lag of roughly 3 months.
Since the start of July it has been nothing but terrible, with almost continuous wind and rain. Both of these things are bad news for a ripening crop of barley and a not-so-sturdy hop pole standing 15 feet tall in what is looking to be a rather exposed spot in Devon.
A lack of sun is a big problem for both the hops and barley, as this will slow the ripening and potentially limit the final crop of each, whilst the rain and wind are capable of causing physical damage to th
e plants as well as create an environment that is a little too well suited to mould and disease. For the first 4 months of Growing Beer I thought I would be out every day watering, but the classic British summer has once again shown itself to be predictably unpredictable – jet streams eh?
July should have been the month where I put my feet up, cracked open a beer and enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of an allotment in full bloom. Instead, I’ve been weeding in the rain and reinforcing hop poles in 50mph winds.
I’m not going to go into the full details of all that has happened, I’m afraid you’ll need to listen to the podcast (launching mid-September) to find out just how well, or badly, that final brew is looking. I’m still confident that there will be a beer at the end of this year, but how much I have is going to come down to this weather, and if improves or not.