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Old 07-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
Charlieatthedisco
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Default Can hops be picked too late?

Hey guys, earlier this spring my wife and I bought a house so I decided to take a stab at growing hops in my backyard so I planted 4 cascade hop plants. I know hops are usually harvested in sept but since the weather here in Northern California has been warm I already have hops that are fully
Grown but I can't tell properly if when I pinch them that they spring back, I do know that theleaves closets to the stem are kind of curling,I guess my question is, how long can I leave the hops before harvesting them and will it damage them?
Thanks
Charlie

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
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From what I've read, if you leave cones on the bines too long they'll start developing oniony/garlicky notes, and if you really let 'em rot they'll smell nasty. Definitely not something I'm interested in...

Cheers!

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Old 07-18-2013, 04:42 AM   #3
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When you think they're ripe, go out and pick one. Rub, sniff and try to remember what it smelled like and felt like. The next day, do the same. Keep doing this for successive days until they smell like they're going down hill and the bracts shatter from the strig. At this point, they're getting over ripe. It takes a few years and each year is different so there's a pretty big learning curve, especially if you train the first shoots that come up in the Spring as some will mature a lot quicker than others so you're left with a bunch of hops in various stages of maturity. Not gonna touch the 'curling' leaves due to the fact that there's a ton of things that can cause that. Rub-n-sniff, rub-n-sniff!

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #4
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Rub n sniff! I'm good at that lol. Thanks for the help. I don't expect to yield great results as these were just planted this year. Thanks a bunch for the reponses

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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Here's the indicators I use: ripe hops feel dry to the touch, unripe ones feel a little wet. ripe hops feel the same temperature as the air, unripe ones feel a little cooler. Pick any hop that is developing brown spots they are OK to use, use your good judgement and throw away hops that look too brown.

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Old 07-18-2013, 11:27 PM   #6
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Here is a hop I pulled. It doesn't smell like anything but green but the outside is dry while the inside is moist
image-60103040.jpg

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Old 07-19-2013, 12:06 AM   #7
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I'd say they still need some time.

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Old 07-19-2013, 12:46 AM   #8
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That's kinda what I was thinking.how brown should they be?

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Old 07-19-2013, 12:54 AM   #9
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I don't think you want them brown. But you do want a decent amount of hop dust to burst out when you crack those suckers open. I picked some about 2 weeks too early last year and didn't get the full pop that I should have. My other plant ripened about 2 weeks after that. Huge difference in smell and hoppyness.

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Old 07-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastquake View Post
Here's the indicators I use: ripe hops feel dry to the touch, unripe ones feel a little wet. ripe hops feel the same temperature as the air, unripe ones feel a little cooler. Pick any hop that is developing brown spots they are OK to use, use your good judgement and throw away hops that look too brown.
I should re-phrase, don't just let them turn brown. use the other indicators, and in the process, if you see any that are starting to turn brown pick them immediately.
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