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Old 02-27-2011, 01:24 AM   #1
porterguy
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Default Hop Rhizome Recommendations?

So...if I'm going to grow only two types of hops (space limitations), any recommendations? I'm not into pale ales, if that helps. Rhizomes that should do okay in this (IL) area include:Cascade, Centennial, Fuggle, Hallertau, Magnum, Northern Brewer, Nugget, and Willamette.

Thanks!

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Old 02-27-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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Cascade and Centennial.

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Old 02-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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Centennial - dual use - American. Check
Willamette - many many uses, including your English ales.

I would say Hallertau, especially if you are a lager brewer... but odds are your yields will be crappy and thus a waste. Really hard to not put N. Brewer on the list :-(

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Old 03-01-2011, 03:12 AM   #4
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Hey St. Charles guy, I'm in Aurora IL.

First thing, I would pick hops that you use often in a beer. So look at your recipes and the pick hops you like.
Second, I would ask WHERE are you getting your hops?

Not to slam the home brew store in st. charles, but of the three times I bought hops, the rhizomes I bought from them were the weakest/poorest growing. Bad luck? Maybe, but the same year I planted product from Thyme Garden that took off.

My opinion on rhizome vendors is don't buy from a middleman. Buy from a hop grower. You know where it's coming from. They know what they are doing. The product seems stronger/healthier in my experience.

Something to consider

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip. I was actually considering Thyme Garden since they do organic, too. From your number of posts, looks like you've been doing this awhile.

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Old 03-04-2011, 10:15 PM   #6
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I'm not looking to hijack the thread but I'm also looking for some recommendations. I'm on the north side of chicago so I figure this is appropriate. My plan is to get 3 sets of 2 rhizomes for 6 total. I don't have that many brews under my belt so I'm not sure which hops I will use the most in my brews. I will for sure be getting Cascade since I have used it in a few brews that I've liked and it looks like it can have some great yields. Second, I was thinking Magnum for some lager brewing with some higher yields compared to Hallertau. I'm having trouble picking my third. Willamette, centennial, northern brewer, chinook? My taste in beer is pretty diverse so I'm at a loss for the moment. Would it make sense to break my sets of 2 into singles? I haven't read up enough on yields yet so I'm still unfamiliar with how many batches each plant can provide for.

Also porterguy where did you get the list of which hop varieties grow well in Illinois?
Lastly, any preference in vendor between Thyme Garden and Freshops? Both hop growers that seem to have some popularity and I'm sure each has great products, but if anyone has used both I'd be interested to hear.

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Old 03-05-2011, 03:11 AM   #7
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I've ordered from both Freshops and Thyme Garden. Both were great companies, I like them both the same. Go with who's cheaper?

My Chinook is a STRONG grower. Significantly stronger than any other hop I grow.

Having said that I strongly recommend you grow a hop you use. If Chinook grows well, and you don't like it, you have a lot of nothing. If you like Chinook, grow it. If it's like mine, it will out grow anything else you plant.

When I started I planted two rhizomes in each 'hill'. So your plan of '2 of each'- 6 total sounds good to me. I would plant the two rhizomes together in one hill. As young plants, this increases the chance that they will survive. By next year they'll have merged into one larger crown. The two in one hill basically hedges your bets and better ensures you'll have success.

There are a lot pro's here. People that have a lot more experience than me. There are a few other guys in Chicagoland that know more than me and are better growers. I have around 14 plants in my yard. So in Aurora IL, I'm the hop guy. I mainly point that out to say if you have any questions I'm happy to answer them or help out in anyway.

I haven't done any digging yet, but *may* have rhizomes to give away this year. To Be Determined....

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:29 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=ralphie Also porterguy where did you get the list of which hop varieties grow well in Illinois?
Lastly, any preference in vendor between Thyme Garden and Freshops? [/QUOTE]

My list is just based on what rhizomes were on a handwritten sign at the LHBS here in St. Charles, thinking he probably sells ones he knows will grow in this area. But after Retrofit's comments, maybe my assumptions are wrong.

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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Of course, depending on yield and whether you would use your entire yield, there's also the thought of growing hops you could trade with someone within your general proximity, such as Aurora and St. Charles.

So, Retrofit, post on this thread when you decide what you're growing. I'll post when I plant. And maybe we'll be able to do a little trading if we both have good yields.

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Old 03-09-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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I haven't ordered them yet but I'm going to start out with cascade, magnum, and willamette. Once these things get established, when it comes to a hop/rhizome exchange count me in. Oh and I'm in Vernon Hills for what it's worth.

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