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-   -   Large scale hop growing in the southeast (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/large-scale-hop-growing-southeast-95069/)

Orangevango 12-30-2008 04:59 AM

Large scale hop growing in the southeast
My family has a peice of land in south carolina that has been ours for my whole life. My father is expected to die soon, and when he does, the property will be passed on to me and my siblings. Out of the five of us I am the only one who consistently uses the property, so I am afraid that my siblings will want to sell it off. I was thinking. There is about 9 acres of pasture on a south facing slope that is currently unused. The yeild of a cascade hop crop is supposed to be 22000 pounds per acre per year.

Thats alot of hops. Perhaps enough to make me able to afford the property, which has deep sentimental value.

Is the climate in the peidmont of south carolina conducive to hop growing? Are hops a relatively high maintainence or low maintainence crop?

Im certainly not going to jump into a 9 acre farming opperation without growing the crop on a smaller scale first, but I would love to know if the plan is viable.

Brewsmith 12-30-2008 05:12 AM

I would contact someone in the hop business, like Hopunion or Yakima Chief to see if it is even feasible. Even better, try the Hop Growers of America, Welcome to Hop Growers of America

Jaybird 12-30-2008 05:17 AM

Yes its viable. Hop growing on a large scale takes a TON of capital. I have 60 plants I spent over $1500 just on the set up alone (and I have ONLY 60 plants) can you do it cheaper? YES! Can you do it RIGHT cheaper? NO! I did an enormous amount of research into hop growing. I wanted to supply my brewery w/ hops at least a few brews a year. Look into, and take a tour through a few hop yards. If your just going to grow then your OK. If your talking drying and packaging, forget it. Unless you have capitol, if you do, then I say go for it. I would do like we did and do a small test field (60 plants) and see how they grow. You may find that cascade doesn’t do well there but Magnum or Horizon does.
Good luck in whatever you do. And I am sorry to hear about your father.

Brewsmith 12-30-2008 05:24 AM

Also, you might contact the local breweries in your area and see if they are interested in the idea. You might end up with a buyer before you even start. Breweries in the south have a hard time getting fresh hops, especially when trying to do a wet hopped beer.

Orangevango 12-30-2008 06:21 AM

Having never harvested or dried hops im a bit in the dark, but If the hops are harvested in the summer, I have a barn with a tin roof that easily gets over 115 in the summer, If i Painted the roof black and possitioned fans to improve air circulation, would that dry the hops out fast enough?

Brewsmith 12-30-2008 06:26 AM

I wouldn't know. That's why I suggested getting breweries to buy the wet, undried hops

kjg3000 05-02-2010 07:25 PM

hops in south carolina
hi - I'm also tinking of growing some hops here in the piedmont area - can I ask you if you tried it and whether you had good results or not?


pilotdane 05-02-2010 11:29 PM

NC State has a research hops garden. I wonder if any universities in SC have the same. I would contact them (even NC State) and start learning.

Orangevango 05-03-2010 03:12 PM

Ive got 200 rhizomes planted, most of them are breaking ground; however im going to have to move my operation off of the family farm next season due to rancor amongst the family.

And by the way. That first post was a huge lie. I am actually a generation younger than I made myself out to be, I was just paranoid about admitting to being under age at that point. Im a 19 year old freshman at USC.

and I no longer have any desire to grow hops on that enormous (9 acre) scale.

I also will never be able to afford the property, because would cost about 4 million dollars.

GVH_Dan 05-04-2010 11:17 AM

What? Giving up on the 9 acre dream? Yeah, those cute little rhizomes grow into a heck of a lot of work.

Don't give up yet. You still have a lot of life yet and some experience to boot. See if you can find somewhere safe to transplant those crowns until you are ready to expand. But when you expand, go to 1 acre and see how that goes.

Good luck with the family issues. I got no advice there.

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