Problems with the 2015 winter barley 6-Row Project have resulted in the worst case scenario for my malting production plans….. but luckily it won’t affect your beer consuming needs. Rain, Rain, Rain, and more Rain right at harvesting time.
I never expected the barley to germinate when I planted it last October in 75° weather, but it did. I never expected the barley to tiller just before winter hit, but it did. I never thought the barley would survive the hail, sleet, frozen rain, followed with 80° weather the next day (typical Louisiana), and the ever changing weather patterns, but it did. There’s no way the barley will head much less provide full and healthy seeds, but it did. When the barley began turning that beautiful golden color I knew harvest was near. The starch in each barley kernel is key, as it’s turned to sugar in the brewing process. I could almost taste the sugars exuding out as I mashed-in that lager I’ve been dreaming about. The first fully grown, brewed, and consumed Louisiana beer in a really really long time (if ever). In three weeks I’ll harvest, stack, and allow it to dry under the protection of our barn.
And then it began to rain March 27th, 2015. It rained all day every day for the next week. On April 11th I went and checked on the barley and it still had a hint of green amongst the golden color….It wasn’t ready to be picked. I set up tailgate tents over the +/- 100 s.f. bed of 6-Row; after-all, I’m smarter than nature. If it’s going to rain I’ll protect the barely and allow it to dry towards that beautiful golden color.
It continued to rain & rain & rain.
April 18th, 2015 I revisited the plot and the tailgate tents were 50 yards out into the cow pasture. The barley? Dead on arrival, Deceased, Germinated, Fallen over sitting in water, Life was called April 18th 1:14pm. So close…to close. Heartbroken…
There’s a reason they said, “It couldn’t be done here.” I guess there’s always next year….
Now on to the hop yard!
Happy Gardening, Brewing, and Beer Consuming. I’ll see you soon.