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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Another Indoor Hop Growing Thread
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
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Default Another Indoor Hop Growing Thread

So I've searched through some of the indoor hop growing threads and read a lot of the "it's a bad ideas, doesn't work wells", but it seems as though my scenario is a little bit different. Take a look at the attachment:

img_4448.jpg

So I bought this nice big townhouse with no yard in downtown Houston and in the upstairs is this peculiar grow room under some skylights. There is a drain already installed and electric fixtures for supplemental grow lights. The distance from the floor to the skylight is roughly 12 feet. From one bottom corner to the other top corner is roughly 25 feet. The burglar bars at the top are perfect for attaching lines for vines to grow around.

So for those with experience growing, how much does this setup improve my chances of making a hop grow successful and what would be the best way? I don't really care about having a maximum yield or impressing those in Yakima with my grow results, I would just love to have this as a project to keep a plant or two growing to occasionally have some home grown hops to use a couple times a year. It just seems like fun and I don't know what else to do with this space.

I can put down some giant soil pots or wide troughs here and use fertilizers, etc.

I've never grown hops before, but I can't help but feel like this is the perfect setup to have something small scale and feasible.

Would any particular hop variety be better for this than another?

Would love some feedback and advice.

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Old 02-26-2012, 03:34 AM   #2
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that's an awesome spot. looks like maybe the previous owner was growing something they shouldn't have been. anyhow ive been researching container growing and they recommend atleast a 10 gallon pot but the bigger the better. cascades are one of the hardiest and most disesase resistant hops to grow. they are also one of the most common home and craft brewing hops. so that's what i would recommend growing. that and maybe centennial too

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #3
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Haha not sure what the seller's were up to exactly, but it couldn't have been anything naughty. Anybody sharing out townhouse roof could have walked over and seen in the skylight! They were elderly and retired too. I guess that shouldn't matter, maybe they had glaucoma issues.

I figured Cascade was a must. Any thoughts on Nugget or Chinook for easy growing?

I think my plan will be to set up two giant rectangular pots on each end of the grow space, two hop types total, and let them grow diagonal to the opposite corners. It should make a big 'X', but hopefully I can separate them depth-wise so they don't tangle. Good idea? Bad idea?

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:38 AM   #4
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It's a nice spot for some house plants but it you want to grow anything like hops or vegetables you are going to need lights. The light from the sky light is definitely not enough to grow anything besides a house plant that doesn't need full sun.

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Old 02-26-2012, 07:17 AM   #5
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It's tough to see in the picture, but there is already a blue lamp up there, presumably for growing and some electrical connections for more lights.

I'm guessing you mean to say that the sun wouldn't help much at all? Would the skylight help in buying less growing lamps or should I pretty much buy lamps as if the skylight wasn't there at all?

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Old 02-26-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
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It's tough to see in the picture, but there is already a blue lamp up there, presumably for growing and some electrical connections for more lights.

I'm guessing you mean to say that the sun wouldn't help much at all? Would the skylight help in buying less growing lamps or should I pretty much buy lamps as if the skylight wasn't there at all?
I think he is saying that the plants would need more direct sunlight than what the skylights could provide. You could indeed use light bulbs to grow with, but they have to be the right type of bulbs. We're not talking about your typical 60 watt light bulb.. The proper bulbs require specific fixtures, and are quite expensive to buy and to light up.. I'd say give it a try just for the fun of it, but likely the plants will be very lanky and won't produce very good quality flowers or yield.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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Nugget and chinook would be fine. I've heard Columbus is a big producer too. That blueish light you described having sounds like the heavy duty grow light you need. The blue spectrum imitates daylight in the summer. CFL lights are a very cheap grow light too if you're planning on adding some

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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Sunlight likely won't even get to the floor of that space. You say there are taller buildings around that can block the light. The amount of light will depend on location, other structures nearby and time of year. The sunlight is mostly going to shine on the wall if it even comes through at all, and then only for a couple minutes.

Take a case of brew and a camera over there and take a pic every fifteen minutes of daylight. Make your own time lapse and it will give you an estimate of the amount of light you are going to get. Currently we are in between solstice so we will see a little more light in the northern hemisphere the next couple months.

If you have a shared roof that would be the place to plant. Train them on a railing.

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Old 02-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
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It'll work with full summer sun, but they'll be lanky until they hit the skylight, then they'll crowd the window. Until they hit the top, I'd hang a 400w Metal Halide in the center of the skylight.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/400-Watt-Dig...ht_2933wt_1139

This is everything you need, including a timer, for under $150. Not sure the exact cost in your area, but it'd be $15/month in my area to run 16 hours a day. Once they're about 10" from the bulb/skylight I'd remove the light and let the sun do the rest. Try to coordinate the timer with the sunlight. I'd plant in early April and have the light on 16 hours a day, overlapping as much true daylight as possible, and aim to remove the light at the end of June. Should get you a nice yield.

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Old 02-27-2012, 01:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASublimeDay View Post
It'll work with full summer sun, but they'll be lanky until they hit the skylight, then they'll crowd the window. Until they hit the top, I'd hang a 400w Metal Halide in the center of the skylight.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/400-Watt-Dig...ht_2933wt_1139

This is everything you need, including a timer, for under $150. Not sure the exact cost in your area, but it'd be $15/month in my area to run 16 hours a day. Once they're about 10" from the bulb/skylight I'd remove the light and let the sun do the rest. Try to coordinate the timer with the sunlight. I'd plant in early April and have the light on 16 hours a day, overlapping as much true daylight as possible, and aim to remove the light at the end of June. Should get you a nice yield.
after 16 hours a day of 100% intensite metal halide, i'm afraid that the sun won't be as intense or give as many hours of high-quality light (sun will only be strong 11 am - 2 pm). it will be a step down for the plants and they'll immediately start flowering.

my opinion is that you shouldn't count on the sun to contribute in this case (at least not contribute enough to skip the grow light at any point - the sun will be like a little bonus). personally, i would figure out some way of getting some chicken wire about halfway up that space, and have the plants grow horizontally across the chickenwire once they get to that height - something similar to what the other "indoor growing" thread has depicted.

but YMMV, i'm not an indoor growing expert (at least not any more... college was a long time ago )
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