Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

Old MacDonald Had a Farm: E-i, E-i, Oasts

Oast in Kentish Countryside, UK

Oast in Kentish Countryside, UK

Oast at Sissinghurst, Kent, UK

Oast at Sissinghurst, Kent, UK

Oast at Sissinghurst, Kent, UK

Oast at Sissinghurst, Kent, UK

Oast in Kentish Countryside, UK

Oast in Kent Countryside, UK

Oast in Kentish Countryside, UK

Oast in Kent Countryside, UK

Driving around the Kent countryside one can not help, but notice, the oast; a building designed for drying hops, as part of the brewing process. The oast consisted of two or three storeys, on which the hops were spread out to be dried by hot air from a wood or charcoal-fired kiln at the bottom. The drying floors were thin and perforated to permit heat to pass through and escape through a cowl in the roof which turned with the wind.  Hops were picked from hops gardens by gangs of pickers, who earned a fixed rate per bushel. The green hops were put into large hessian sacks, called pokes, and the pokes were taken to the oast.  Some oasts had a man-powered hoist, (a pulley and rope) used to hoist the green hops to the drying floor. Green hops had a moisture content of 80%, which needed to be reduced to 6%. The drying floors were 1 1/4 inch square battens nailed at right angles across the joists so there was a gap between each batten and this was covered with a horsehair cloth. The hops would be spread 12 inches deep, the kiln doors closed and the fire lit. Routinely, the men would have to turn over the hops, by walking across the boards and raking it over, in order for the hops to dry properly.  What a hot and dangerous job that would have been! When the hops were judged to be dry, the furnace would be extinguished and the hops removed from the kiln using a scuppet, a large wooden shovel. The hops would then be spread out on the stowage floor to cool and afterwards be pressed into large jute sacks, called pockets, with a hop press. The pockets were then sent to market where the brewers would buy them and use the dried hops in the beer process to add flavor and act as a preservative. Next time you are in a local English pub and see the yellow-brownish, weedy, looking rope, strung about the ceiling and hearth, you’ll know you are looking at picked hops!  Enjoy that beer!

The George Inn, Alfriston, East Sussex, UK

The George Inn, Alfriston, East Sussex, UK

One Response to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm: E-i, E-i, Oasts”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Tim Hewitt, Gardener

The blog of a professional gardener

betagardengirl

My replacement garden diary - one day an alpha will emerge.

gardeninacity

Notes from a wildlife-friendly cottage garden

Growing Self

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reema's Garden

Gardening Simplified!!

Woman, walking

Finding my backyard, one step at a time

Warsaw 2018

city of cobblestones, brutal history, parkland, music, spring ... and twins

Big Dreams for a Tiny Garden

courtyard garden reflections

T's Southern Garden Blog

Novice adventures in gardening and landscaping

Echoes of the Past

Exploration of the Past

AngelineM's Blog

A little BIT OF THE EVERY DAY............A good writer is basically a story teller, not a scholar or a redeemer of mankind. - Isaac Bashevis Singer

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, gardens, travel and life

ALMOST ITALIAN

Food, Photography and Travels

Candelo Blooms

Old Roses, Creativity and Life in Candelo

Gardens For Goldens

A Memorial Garden to help honor and rescue Golden Retrievers.

SARAH THE GARDENER

Real Gardening in my Real Garden

Sacred Touches

Life is a time of purpose and anointed blossoming...

The Walking Gardener

A Gardener Walking

Gramma Penny's Garden

Gardening in Groton, MA

Rereading Jane Eyre

Author Luccia Gray

In The Soul's Streets

seeking other views, places, sounds, lives, souls and selves.

Everydayhero

life & travel / vida & viajes

%d bloggers like this: