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Old 10-07-2008, 09:47 AM   #1
SnaX
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Default Going to be First Time Hop Grower!

This is my first post (Hello), and it is basically going to be a quicky intro, and about my plans for 2009 hop growing.

I first started brewing beer when I was 12/13, with my oldest brother, and have been doing it ever since. However I did not drink much until I was 17, same age as him when he first started brewing.

All my beers turn out great, and lately I have been into it more than ever due to Oktober and my family's heritage of beer and wine loving.
(At all our get togethers with friends and family, everyone kills off my kegs in under an hour... and they always want to know what my recipes for my beer are.) So maybe we can exchange recipes.

So to the point of the thread!

Hops are costing quite a bit of money due to farms replacing their hop crops, with other crops that will bring them more money.

As well I realize that I have an opportunity to enjoy the gardening of Hops, and feel that much more into my appreciation of beer and brewing.

So I am planning on the following varieties:

Brewers Gold
Centennial
Nugget
Chinook
Magnum
Mt Hood
Perle
Sterling

I have done a bit of reading, but will feel more comfortable receiving information from you all, as you have personal one on one experience.
I am so envious looking at the pictures of how well you have done growing your hops!

After looking at online stores, I cannot obtain hop rhizomes until roughly February 2009.

However I do not think I will grow them more vertical. Instead I was thinking I will make a mesh wall and leaning it at about 110 degrees. I feel this will keep the exposure to sunlight to a maximum, and keep exposure within a limit as to not to burn the hops with too much sunlight.

So does anyone know if waiting until February 2009 is a MUST?
As well, the varieties I listed are all moderate to high yielding plants. What is the average yield for a 'high yield' hop? I want to be sure to have enough to last me a long while. I do a bit of brewing for friends and family.


Anyway, this is an AWESOME site! And I look forward to seeing your progress, and being able to show my progress when it comes time!

Aufwedersehen !

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:56 AM   #2
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Here is one of my past brews. I ordered a couple different grains that I thought would go well for a basic Wheat bier.



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Old 10-07-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:58 AM   #5
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SnaX View Post


Maybe it's just me... but none of that grain even looks crushed in those pictures!?

As far as hops, they are planted in the spring, which is why most places won't have rhizomes until then - and even february sounds way early, usually rhizomes don't become available until more like march/april. If you're at a vastly different latitude than the rest of us that may be different of course.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:56 PM   #7
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Maybe it's just me... but none of that grain even looks crushed in those pictures!?
Looks to be about 6#'s of uncrushed grains there. Do you steep, do partial mash or boil (shudder!) your grains?

On the hops; I grew (first year) Nugget, Centennial and Cascade. The nugget did the best, the Cascade the worst but soil conditions may have varied a little and affected their performance. By about the third year your plants should be well established and could produce upwards of three #'s or so each vine. I'd say read thru all of the hop info here, give it some thought and start hitting us up on any ?'s you may have. If you know for sure where you want to plant them next year you can start to do some soil conditioning now before winter but you will be waiting until at least March before you can order any rhizomes.

Welcome to the board and good luck!
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:02 PM   #8
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IMO It's a good idea to only grow hops that you are using for flavor and aroma. Buy the hops that you will use for bittering so you can get an accurate alpha %.

This might not be that important for many here but if you have a batch that you continuously make or are making a clone your Alpha % is only going to be a guesstimate since this will vary year to year.

If the accuracy of your bitterness is not that important then grow every species you can get your hands on.

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Old 10-07-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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IMO It's a good idea to only grow hops that you are using for flavor and aroma. Buy the hops that you will use for bittering so you can get an accurate alpha %.

This might not be that important for many here but if you have a batch that you continuously make or are making a clone your Alpha % is only going to be a guesstimate since this will vary year to year.

If the accuracy of your bitterness is not that important then grow every species you can get your hands on.
What are your personal suggestions for hops?
Nothing is set in stone, and I have more than enough space. So I am totally open to suggestions!!

I was honestly considering Saaz and Hallertauer, or maybe liberty as I am told it is a hallertauer hybrid? These are the hops I usually select for my brews.

The reason for selecting high yield hops, was because I am not sure how low of a yield saaz or hallertauer will give me.
Plus if this hop shortage is as serious as everyone says, then I would like to help out in any way I can.. by growing bulk amounts to help out any brew shops out there. I think any little amount can help out, you know.



---
As for the grains in my pictures, I did not use all those grains lol. As well, the grains I did not crush because I could not find my little milling tool. I'm off at college and boxed a lot of my things up before I moved. I stopped by my father's house one night on a sort of whim because I knew they needed some help brewing, so I did it basically last minute. And not finding all my equipment (Wherever I put it all) wasn't going to stop me to be honest (I live pretty far away).
The beer turned out pretty great still, but would have been even more AWESOME had I been able to put the grains to better use. It's just one setback in a long line of great brews I have done in the past. Live and learn, but it wasn't a major catastrophe.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:22 PM   #10
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I grew the hops I did because I really like cascades (lower AA%) and the Cents (med AA%) and the Nuggett was grown for its higher AA% and heartyness. If you want, I can put up some links later that will give you some good info on the different varieties of hops so you can pick ones that will grow well in your area and go well with what you prefer to brew and substitutes of differing hops. Gotta run to work now.

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