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Old 06-20-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default How do you use homegrown hops?

OK, maybe a stupid question, but I have been reading the posts to see how everyone is growing hops....

When you actually get a good harvest, where do you go from there?

Do you just take what you need and throw the whole hop in the pot?

Do you have to dry them out?

just curious....I did a search, and never really found anything on how you process the hops you pick...if you have to do anything at all


thanks for your patience...


Chad

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:31 PM   #2
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unless you plan to use them immediately you need to dry them, this needs to be done at a low temp and away from sunlight or even strong house lighting. A simple solution is a brown paper bag in a warm place for a few days but you can also make a complicated oast to dry larger volumes. after they are dry you can put them in a zip lock bag and keep them in the freezer for at least a year.

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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You have to use them within 48 hours or dry them. I just take the screen off the patio door & set it on sawhorses in the garage. Spread the hops out in a thin layer & run a small fan to keep the air moving.

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:42 PM   #4
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how do you find out their aa%?

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Old 06-20-2008, 05:00 PM   #5
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The only way to accurately find the AA of hops is to send them to a lab. but there are two other solutions, one use them as flavor/aroma hops only and use store bought ones for bittering, and two buy a quantity of store bought hops of the same variety and brew a tea with a set quantity of each the store bought ones and the homegrown ones and adjust the the quantity up or down to match the bitterness and find out the ratio between them for example .75oz of homegrown hops is equal in bitterness to 1oz of store bought then use that ratio when formulating recipes with your homegrown hops. its not perfect but it should get you close.

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Old 06-20-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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I use a much simpler approach and just use an average AA value for the hop. When I brew, I target the middle of the style range, or just use the amount recommended in the recipe. Let's say I've got some Nuggett, its AA range is 11% to 14.5%. I'll use 13%. If the style range is 30-50 IBU, I'll shoot for 40. If my hops were actually at the low end of the range, I'll be at 34. High end, 47 Either would be in style and neither is detectably off from my target IBU.

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Old 06-20-2008, 10:17 PM   #7
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I can't wait to use my homegrown hops this year. It looks like I'll have a ton of Cascades. I think David has the right idea. The only thing is to make sure you dry them out completely, otherwise the weight will be thrown off from the extra moisture. Undried hops will need to have 4-7 times the amounts of a traditional hop addition because of the extra wet weight of the hop.

I'm probably going to make a fresh hop IPA where I won't be concerned about using too many hops.

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Old 06-26-2008, 05:31 PM   #8
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I'm not the original poster but this has helped. Now I have a question. Once the hops have been dried and I want to use them in a batch, do I need to crush the cones or just toss them into the pot? The "whole hops" that I have seen at the homebrew shop look like just leafy piles in a bag.
Thanks!

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Old 06-26-2008, 05:35 PM   #9
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I use homegrown hops for late additions only. Since I don't know their AA%, I can't calculate the IBUs. They're great for late additions though. The only issue I have is some slight grassiness...

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Old 06-26-2008, 05:44 PM   #10
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I am not a brewery, just a hop grower and beer drinker. My brew buddy brewed with our first harvest about 12 years ago and we problem had with aphids coming out of the flowers in the rewing process. They are a chore to pick. Harvesting my hop flowers only twice gave me a great appriciation for the article posted about the "Hop Riots".

This year we are going to try to brew with a batch of wild hops from Eldorado Canyon here in Colorado and water from the Eldorado Springs (voted best tasting spring water in the US...)

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