Simple question what was the "best year"? I know best is subjective but give it try.
In addition do your home grown hops tatste diff than store bought? if so how? Can your toungue tell what part of oregon or washington the hops come from? Do you guys know how to manipulate flavor profile through nutrients for hops?
I would have studied this deeper from a growing perspective but I cant grow and I'd like someone to give me advice if I will even find literature on these topics.
My 2009 cascades were fantastic- fragrant, aromatic, and all around great. My 2010 cascades were less so. Still fine, but not nearly as wonderful. I'm sure it's the differences in the seasons- one year was cool and dry, one year was hot and wet.
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There is supposed to be difference in flavor of hops grown in different soils...I can't speak from personal experience since my taste buds are not that highly refined.
What I can tell you is that most homegrown hops will have more flavor/aroma than commercially purchased ones. This is because they are usually fresher, handled more gently and are dried at lower temperatures which preserves more of the oils and aroma than commercially produced hops. So if you are trying to compare home grown hops to ones purchased at the store, its somewhat like trying to compare sweet corn from your garden to sweet corn shipped from California up to the midwest. The stuff from CA may have been better to begin with, but it has been so abused in transport and processing that you would never know.
GVH I do not consider myself with highly refined taste buds but a great memory of what things tasted like.
Yooper I have not had the experience you mention but if you ever read my first posts I talked about how bear republic's hops changed from 2008 hops to 2009. I really think they ran out of their cascade or chinook.
If anyone has obsessivly studied this please come forward! haha
btw Does anyone know who sells grapefruit/orange cascade and not just pure orange?