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Old 02-20-2012, 03:54 PM   #1
HopHeadGrady
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Default Hops in the Great White North

Hello All,

Just a couple quick questions regarding hop growing in canada.
I have a backyard that backs onto a farmers field and it gets plenty of sunlight. I grow other veggies with excellent success. I worked in a garden center through high school many moons ago so I get the basics on ph etc. In fact I am much more educated with gardening than brewing. I have a planting bed thats 40 ft long by 4 wide which I ususually use for tomato's etc. I am thinking this would be good for hops.

The questions I have are :

1) If I make a nice soil tea with the proper ph, give the hops required space and room to vine, can these be grown in Canada?

2) Does anyone know where to get hop rhizomes from in Canada?

Thanks.



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Old 02-20-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
FuBaR1218
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Also looking and getting into hop growing here in Canada. Supplies at local shops are very limited so the prospect of having fresh hops readily available is quote enticing. Any info on growing in Canada and a supplier to get crowns would be awesome.



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Old 02-20-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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You should have no problem getting em to grow. I think you are still in the same grow zone as i am, and mine do wonderful. As far as where to get em, try the hops venders on this site, try freshhops.com or any other online source. Not sure if they have an issue shipping to canada, but i dout it should be an issue.

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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HopHeadGrady,

I live in Edmonton and have been growing hops for about 4 years now. My yields this year were: Mt. Hood= 1.2 kg dried, Nugget = 500 g dried, Cascade = 600 g. I have also planted a Sterling and a Fuggle, and I expect good yields this year. Moral of the story, you should be able to grow hops in Ottawa no problem. As for where to get the rhizomes, I ordered mine from Left Fields out of BC and was pleased with the product. Good luck.

Cheers,

Greg

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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Thanks, this is great news. As far as the vines go, can I just stake them up? I was thinking I could use the same set up as I do beans and peppers? For them, I put a stake in the ground then run twine and anchor it out about 3 feet from the base. This way they can get a bit of an angle towards the sun. As far as weight, I am assuming these can get pretty hefty for a vine? I guess since I can grow em I will start doing more research. How tall should my stake be?

Im really not too picky as to what to grow. If there is a style of hop that does better in these climates etc I would be more interested in pursuing that.


How tall should my stake be?
Do hops need to be cured at all, or do you just drop em on a screen and flip em a couple times a day?

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
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Hops grow just fine up here, and I don't even care enough to worry about soil PH, just manure and such every spring, I even ignore the aphids and let the ladybugs show up.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seeds-to-Blooms/141757779234691

http://www.crannogales.com/leftfieldstore/catalogue.html

They grow 20-25 feet or more, easily. My first years hit 17 feet, so I have no idea if you can stake them.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopHeadGrady View Post
Thanks, this is great news. As far as the vines go, can I just stake them up? I was thinking I could use the same set up as I do beans and peppers? For them, I put a stake in the ground then run twine and anchor it out about 3 feet from the base. This way they can get a bit of an angle towards the sun. As far as weight, I am assuming these can get pretty hefty for a vine? I guess since I can grow em I will start doing more research. How tall should my stake be?

Im really not too picky as to what to grow. If there is a style of hop that does better in these climates etc I would be more interested in pursuing that.


How tall should my stake be?
Do hops need to be cured at all, or do you just drop em on a screen and flip em a couple times a day?
you'll want something that is at least 20 feet tall (that's 6 metres for you metric types*). most people have their hops grow up a rope/twine that they tie up to a tree branch, flag pole, balcony, roof awning, etc. with a tad more effort you can get hops to grow horizontally, if you're willing to train them along a fence or some such. unfortunately a 6 foot pea trellis with nowhere to go isn't going to work very well. hops need to stretch out.

in terms of varieties, one you should check out is Canadian Redvine. predictably enough, it does well in colder climates. for additional suggestions, check out the link in my signature and look for varieties that don't do well in heat. there are several to choose from.

curing: drying the cones on a screen is the typical way of doing it. don't do it in the sun, tho, that will make them skunky. drying should be done indoors. do a search on this forum for "drying hops", there is lots of info available. i believe that the general rule is you want to reduce your dried hop weight by 75-80% of their wet weight before bagging and freezing.

*i'm a from the ottawa valley myself - born n' raised in aylmer.
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table

Drinking: a chocolate oatmeal stout, a belgian imperial stout, a Vertical Epic 09.09.09 clone
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Aging: an oud bruin, a BDSA/Dubbel thingy, a soured Saison, my "Wild Oats" brett/sour, and some other stuff i can't think of at the moment...
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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Haha, small world.

I have a huge tree in the corner of my yard, I should be able to get about 4-5 vines going 20-30 feet. I had no idea they grew so tall.

I'm gonna try this out. My wife loves to garden and we have a garden around our entire house. I may run 2 vines up the side of the house and then a couple more off the tree and see what happens.

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Old 02-20-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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Just pulled the trigger on some Goldings, Mt Hood and Cascade

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopHeadGrady View Post
Haha, small world.

I have a huge tree in the corner of my yard, I should be able to get about 4-5 vines going 20-30 feet. I had no idea they grew so tall.

I'm gonna try this out. My wife loves to garden and we have a garden around our entire house. I may run 2 vines up the side of the house and then a couple more off the tree and see what happens.
small technical detail: hops have "bines", not "vines". weird, i know.

you need to "train" the bines along the ropes by twisting them clockwise (so they follow the sun across the sky and continue to wrap themselves around the rope).

keep in mind that most of the flowers (i.e. what you want to harvest) will be in the upper portions of the plant - so you need some way to get to them once they're ready. ladder is one way of getting up there, another is to have the rope be attached to a pulley or some other mecahnism that allows you to lower the bines, harvest, and then hoist them back up. if you throw a rope over a branch, make sure you have plenty of slack on the other side to fall back to the ground on the other side.

a small downside of using a tree is that at some point, the top of the bines will fall into the shadow of the tree if it has leaves. if you have a dead branch with no leaves and isn't too rotten to support the weight, you're (molson) golden.

more thoughts on support structures: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/hop-vine-support-structures-300974/


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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table

Drinking: a chocolate oatmeal stout, a belgian imperial stout, a Vertical Epic 09.09.09 clone
Fermenting: a split-batch belgian blond/saison
Aging: an oud bruin, a BDSA/Dubbel thingy, a soured Saison, my "Wild Oats" brett/sour, and some other stuff i can't think of at the moment...
Up next: who knows. maybe providing links to recipes for the above beers.
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