Who here grows their own hops? Could you please post up what part of the country you live in and any tips youve come up with along the way. I have plans to start growing my own hops in the spring just trying to get a little head start.
I do. Cascades & Nugget. I'm in Iowa. You need to buy rhisomes in Feb or March. I buy mine from - http://www.freshops.com
They are cheap, for $16 you can buy two of each. Cascade & Nugget are recomended for beginners. These varieties grow fast, they are disease resistant, and have higher yields on year one. Yields triple and quadruple in following years. Anything more than four rhisomes would be too much work in my opinion. You might loose interest if they require too much work.
In general, they are easy to grow and can be grown anywhere in the continental US. You need to provide them with something to grow on, a structure with a twine or rope, roughly 16-18' in length. This should be placed where they can get 6-8hrs/day with full sun and regular watering. Watering could be daily once the temp is over 85F. They also need to be pruned weekly as they can grow additional energy sapping sprouts that rob the main shoots of nutrients. Mine grow as much as a foot a day in May, June and July.
FYI - I get about 4oz/plant in August & Sept. I only use mine for late additions (flavor & aroma). I brew often enough that I don't want to waste them for bittering. Its also risky in using them for bittering. One you don't know the AAU, and because the AAU level drops with age. This can be minimized with vacuum packing and freezing.
I would also buy "The Homebrewers Garden" book which is also available at this web site mentioned above.
Do a search on this, there are several old threads on HBT, as this topic has come up alot.
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