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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > my hops are ready to pick and still spell like grass
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default my hops are ready to pick and still smell grassy

i've got 3 plants, 2 cascade and 1 willamette. first year plants. they grew fine, not crazy but they all reached 10 feet and produced pretty looking cones. the problem is, they still smell no better than my lawn (grass). when i open them up i can see the nice bright yellow/gold crystals. they look good, but if you hold it to your nose it smells very grassy. i've tried letting them go longer but now several are going brown and the others are definitely dry enough to pick. is this a normal first year occurrence or is there something else i should be concerned about. the way it looks now i wont be harvesting any or using any in a fall brew. no big deal on that, i just want to get an idea what to do now and if i have a good shot at harvesting next year. thanks in advance.

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Old 09-01-2011, 11:04 PM   #2
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i just harvested my cascade first year just a little while ago and they smelled pretty good but my nugget plant next to it is about ready to harvest and some cones smell like grass and some smell good

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Old 09-02-2011, 12:50 AM   #3
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The oil farnasene usually creates the grassy smell. The flavor profile changes as the bines get older until they hit 3rd or 4th year. When you dry, many of the grassy flavors will go away as that oil has a relatively low boiling point. Pick, dry, see what happens.

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Old 09-02-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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Mine were piney/citrusy with a little green smell when just picked. They are almost dry now and are more hoppy/citrusy.

Also, just ripping them open doesn't do much....try rolling them around and really crushing a few in your palms and then just open your thumbs and stick your nose in and sniff.

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Old 09-02-2011, 02:38 PM   #5
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My Cascades started smelling like tea after a few days of drying. Seems like they did that last year too.

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Old 09-02-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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Try picking one of the cones and smashing it in the palm of your hand. You should get some citrus/spice/hop aromas that way. I find that when they're still on the plant and still have lots of moisture to them they're just gonna have some grassy aroma along with the hop aromas.

Also I find that higher alpha acid hops have a stronger more pungent aroma while on the plant. My Centennials and Columbus have a more noticeable aroma right off the plant than do my Cascades.

Happy Harvesting!

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulasaurus View Post
Try picking one of the cones and smashing it in the palm of your hand. You should get some citrus/spice/hop aromas that way. I find that when they're still on the plant and still have lots of moisture to them they're just gonna have some grassy aroma along with the hop aromas.

Also I find that higher alpha acid hops have a stronger more pungent aroma while on the plant. My Centennials and Columbus have a more noticeable aroma right off the plant than do my Cascades.

Happy Harvesting!
+1 Lower alpha hops have a much milder aroma and do smell a bit grassy. I'm on my 4th year and still have trouble telling when my cascades are ready by smell alone. I pay more attention to the appearance of the hop cones and the lupulin glands now than I do the smell.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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ok, i went ahead and picked them last friday, here are a few pictures...they still smell grassy to me.

on the vine


willamette and then 2 different cascades


cascades


my helper

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Old 09-07-2011, 04:44 PM   #9
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I had the same issue with my centennials. But I dried them out for 2 days and they smelled awesome; no more grassy smell.

I might be picking my cascades tonight so I can throw them in the dry hop on Saturday of a Belgian Red IPA I made a few weeks ago.

Love the bottom picture. My three girls love helping with the hops and brewing.

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Old 09-08-2011, 12:52 AM   #10
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Are you sure you have Cascades? Those pictured sure don't have the distinct classic square elongated cones of Cascade - rub some cones out in your hands; if the lupulin forms little balls it is probably Cascade. (Magnum is the only other variety I know that will do this) As for the grassy smell - take Dan's advice and dry with some heat - it drives out the farn . . .

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