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 to I Had to Come Back to Sissinghurst! | The Travel Lady In Her Shoes Cancel 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 )

Connecting to %s

Journeys with Johnbo

Reflections on places traveled and photos taken.

Wandering Dawgs

Every Day is a Gift!

P.A. Moed

Creative Exploration in Words and Pictures

Mari's Travels with her Camera

Words and Images from around the World

The Travel Lady In Her Shoes

Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

The Hungry Travellers

Independent travel, food, photography and culture

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

Monkey's Tale

An Adventure Travel Blog

Wet and Dusty Roads

Camino stories & Other journeys

photographias

photography and life

Touring My Backyard

Rediscovering Singapore

Photography That Matters

A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench...

marilyn unmasked

deciphering my diversity

Girl in Niagara

Joyful Stories, Wine and Travel

toortsie.com

Skyn, liggie, skyn!

wRighTing My Life

inSpirations and inSights on my pebbled garden path...

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah

Our Forest Garden

Tips and Tools for Gardening in A Forest Community - The Journey Continues

Help from Heaven

Stories to Inspire, Encourage, and Give Hope

HopsSkipsandJumps

Retired and travelling - it doesn't get better than this!

%d bloggers like this: