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Old 02-09-2013, 04:58 AM   #1
TheBeerGardener
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Default Indoor hops experiment

Hi all.

I'm starting this thread to keep track of my attempts to grow hops indoors. This is my first thread, possibly on any site, ever.

Year after year, I find myself looking at rhizomes online, daydreaming about running a successful hop-yard and microbrewery. Someday, maybe. But for now, I plan on keeping myself busy, and hopefully in supply of fresh hops, during the colder months of the year.

I'm going to provide as much information as I can about my experiences. I'm open to any suggestions.

Cheers.

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Old 02-09-2013, 05:15 AM   #2
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Here is what I will be using:


Hops: I purchased five varieties of crowns from Great Lakes Hops about three weeks ago. They arrived on the first of this month(Feb), packaged in plastic bags and what appear to be barley hulls.



I chose Willamette, Perle, Chinook, Mt. Hood, and Glacier. I planted them in 3 gallon containers and used a few different organic soil mixes I had left over from other plants I have. After two days, they started really showing signs of growth. And now they are upwards of 8 inches tall. They are placed outside of an indoor growing chamber, receiving indirect light. I will be rearranging sometime this next week.

Media: My primary planting media will be a mix of Cocogro Coco Coir, Purple Cow Compost, and Growstones for aeration. I have added a few other amendments in smaller quantities. (Azomite, dry Molasses, dry kelp)

Lighting: Update: Now using a 600w MH, and will possibly add a 6 lamp T5 unit.

Nutrients: My goal is to stay organic. For now I'm using Biothrive Grow(General Organics), Ancient Amber(Humic acid from Roots Organics), and Trinity Growth Catalyst(Kelp, Molasses, Yucca etc. from Roots Organics). More products will be added as they transition into flowering.

I will be happy to explain my choices if anyone wants to know.

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Old 02-09-2013, 06:29 AM   #3
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They get very long. how will you manage them? I am imagining hop bines criss-crossing the ceiling of the growing room.

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Old 02-09-2013, 06:34 AM   #4
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I think a very aggressive continually managed "screen of green" technique will work best for growing hops indoors. Im also imagining the hop varieties becoming very difficult to keep apart, you might want to stick with just one or two varieties at a time.

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Old 02-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #5
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I grow Chinnoks against a trellis - think cross thatched "x" shaped lookin thing. They're pretty easy to manage and though these are out doors, i suspect they'd be as easy to manage indoors.

That being said, 600 or 400 watts seems woefully insufficient for the number of rhizomes you got goin on. Might work in year one, but year over year you'll quickly out grow that. Hops will have growth spurts of up to a foot in a day and indoors, with better control of conditions, you'll need to aggressively manage the height. Pruning the tops will spur growth of the sidearms, so that might be an option.

The folks at the lhbs - Brew & Grow Bolingbrook, IL - tell me they might give it a shot, but they're in a warehouse space and have a considerable selection of indoor lighting supplies.

Either way, keep up the thread, I would love to see how you manage the challenges. Looks very interesting!

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Old 02-18-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
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I just finished writing a really long reply only to have the "token" timeout before I hit submit.

Anyway..

Three of my plants have been repotted into 7 gallon containers, all of them have been moved into a dedicated area, and I switched my lighting to a 600w MH. They look pretty happy.

I've also removed the frame from my Growlab. I wrapped it with trellis netting and set four of my plants in the corners. It measures 4x4x6'7". I've left a walkway all the way around for easy access.

My plan is to grow them into living walls(wall of green? WOG?) and drop an HPS vertically in the middle(to maximize light usage). It is much brighter than it appears in the pictures.

I'm not sure how I will keep them completely separated. I might focus on 2-3 main bines from each plant, and prune them to encourage sidearm growth. We will see what happens. If I am lucky, I will be borrowing a time lapse camera to record their progress.

The fifth plant, Willamette, will be going to my work. We are pretty similar to Brew & Grow, minus the brewing supplies. I will post some pictures of that at some point.

I'm not shooting for commercial success, but I feel like I have a pretty good chance to pull something semi-successful off(given the challenges). Either way, I will be happy to even get a few cones on my first attempt. Ending up with enough to brew a batch will be grounds for celebration.

(Also, three friends with organic farmland have offered to attempt growing barley. We will definitely post a thread on that if it happens. Goal: 100% Homegrown)

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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Very interesting. I wish I understood half of what you wrote here but it's interesting nontheless. Hope this turns out well for you.

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Old 02-18-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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what is the photoperiod? If your going all in on the lighting then you may want to maximize efficiency as well. I recommend 18/6 to 24/0 to green up until you want to flower and then 12/12. Also keep that light close. maybe a foot away depending on heat. A fan blowing directly on the plants is good too.

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:06 AM   #9
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So how did this work out for you?

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Old 02-04-2014, 03:08 AM   #10
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Also interested to see how things fared. Growing mine indoors until spring, but at this rate they'll be 8' by that time.

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