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Old 09-16-2008, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Do these look ready to harvest?

The top are Target, the bottom are Challenger. The Challengers feel light and papery (so I guess they're probably good to go), the Target feel more succulent (so I'd be inclined to leave them for now) - though the Targets have quite a bit of coloration on them. Is that just the variety, or is it a sign of imminent readiness? They also have some pale yellow lupilin in them, although not as much as the Challengers. Any thoughts gratefully received.

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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Not sure about the coloration though it appears to be reddish. If they were getting past their prime it would be brown and spotty and starting to change along the edges of the bracts not the tops. They look a bit green (the target) still. Rub one between your palms and then smell. If it smells grassy like chlorophyll they are not yet ready. You should only smell the lupulin oil. Also, the lupulin will get more "sticky" as they ripen, you will feel it on your hand. Other signs are the papery feel you mention and the color of the lupulin. It should be a darker gold color.

Hope that helps. Just curious where abouts approximately are you located?

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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They look beautiful btw. Oh and one more thing Watch closely for d@mn hop aphids while they ripen!

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:56 PM   #4
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I assume these are 1st year plants and that the weather is cooling down either abruptly or steadily.

The same is happening here as well and the hops are indicating their discomfort. I am not sure what the commercial harvest schedule is like there, if you can find out for yourself you can use that as a guide. I suspect harvest is already done across the pond whish means it's prolly time for yours too based solely on climate.

Here is the rub, if they are immature plants then they are most likely ready. However, they aren't showing the typical signs of being ready (tip go brownish) this could be due to cool humid mornings and a lot of dew keeping them from drying out. Best guage you can use for this is to look the whole plant over for really browned, almost roasted looking hops to get the sign you need.

If it were me, I'd pick them and not think twice about it but, the beauty of homegrown is that you can afford to wait. It's not like waiting a day or another week is going to cost you $1000.00 in lost revenue. And at worst it will take you 2-3 hours to pick the hops off a single plant.

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Old 09-16-2008, 03:07 PM   #5
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Are those turning brown or is it reddish coloration (like Zymurg asked). If they are reddish, I'd guess some sort of deficiency. If they are browning, like drying brown, I'd say don't hesitate and pick them. It seems the whole crop can turn into worthless in a very short period of time once you see the browning appear.

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Old 09-16-2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymurgrafi View Post
Just curious where abouts approximately are you located?
I'm in Sheffield, UK. That's at around 53.39 degrees north, slightly further north than Edmonton, Alberta (which I gather from my Canadian friends is fcuking cold). Thankfully we have the Gulf Stream to warm things up, so the climate is a lot more temperate - our average temperature for September is around the mid-50s.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch01 View Post
Are those turning brown or is it reddish coloration (like Zymurg asked).
Good point. The Targets are red, rather than brown. It could be some kind of deficiency, though the leaves on both plants look fine, so I suspect it may be varietal coloration, as the Challengers are in the same soil and look OK. But yeah, it's not the sort of brown that suggests they're ready for picking, so I'll hold off a while longer. As Gila says, it's no bother picking the hops (it's only a relatively small first-year batch), so based on all your comments, I think I'll wait a few more days until the cones start browning.

Thanks all!
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:33 PM   #8
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I can't say for certain about those particular cultivators but I am certain I have read that some do have a reddish hue to them. They do not seem to look deficient. Patience...

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Old 09-17-2008, 12:06 AM   #9
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They look ready to me.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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I prefer more lupulin glands on my hops before they're plucked.
I can certainly see them in your photos and it looks like they could use a bit more time.

I'll echo what Zymurgrafi says. Rub em in your palm and take a sniff.

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