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Old 11-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #11
CroptimusPrime
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Here is an update after three weeks in the system.

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Old 11-01-2013, 07:18 PM   #12
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After several weeks of growth we have observed good root development. It is refreshing to see bines growing several inches per day. Although the plants seem to be vegetating, we suspect the crowns needed to hibernate before we brought them indoor. This is a part of a natural dormancy process that occurs during the winter months. Although they are showing signs of growth, (some varieties more than others), we believe they will respond better if we had given them time to hibernate for a month or so and then continue to wake up the crowns under artificial lighting. More or less this is just for research and we will keep experimenting to bring further development into the growth of hops under artificial lighting in a hydroponic growing system.
Current ppm is 290, PH is 6.3, and water temperature is 69.

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Old 11-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #13
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Here is another hydro hops update as of November 13, 2013.

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Old 11-13-2013, 09:07 PM   #14
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We have started training our hops to maximize their growth within the grow space available. The roots are growing very well. These plants are successfully vegetating and I am excited to see the canopy develop further. We are now increasing the ppm and expecting to see a lush vegetative canopy in the following weeks. I think they benefit from the sunlight available through the windows but have proven they are resilient plants and compatible with their hydroponic growing environment. Any advice or questions feel free to ask as we are always available to teach (or learn!) something new. As for an interesting note for comparison, this crown was planted right next to the hydro system in soil and is not cooperating like it's hydroponic sister plants.

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Old 11-14-2013, 10:54 PM   #15
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Man I gotta say, I had my doubts. But I think you're right. Hops can be cultivated hydroponically. I can't wait to see how you train them.

Maybe you could explain your set up a little bit? Whats that white conical reservoir... thing? And that blue thing that displays temp?

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Old 11-14-2013, 11:06 PM   #16
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Oh I hope you keep updating this thread. I'm super curious to see how it works out in the future and what kind of yield you get out of them eventually. I feel like this one has the potential to be as entertaining as Irenzart's walk-in cooler.

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Old 11-15-2013, 06:03 PM   #17
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As far as we are concerned our yield isn't really very important as this is just for beer hobbyists who happen to have green thumbs. The art of growing hydro hops far surpasses the satisfaction of how many cones we end up getting. We are also a hydroponic shop, so we use it as a display and are not very concerned with the costs associated with running the system. : ) if it came down to profit alone, we would be growing them on 20 foot trellises in a field somewhere.

As for the system, we have a DWC (current culture) with 5 gallon buckets. The blue light with the temperature display is our water chiller that maintains our water temperature at 69 degrees f. As for the white conical devise, that is for a separate project and does not link up with the DWC system. But if you are curious, it is a vortex compost tea brewer that brews some amazing biodynamic compost teas. They are especially important in the colonization of microbiology in soil, and increase your beneficial bacteria and fungi count by billions, not millions. They can also be utilized in a hydroponic application. We are going to trellis these to fit our lighting area by training them laterally as well as vertically. Space is definitely a concern. Ideally we will let them veg out for another few weeks and then put them into flower.

As an outdoor hops farmer, I feel like it is fun to grow hops indoor during the winter to curb my hop addiction (lol). I also think they make for a pretty canopy in our store, and am excited to watch cones develop and refresh our store with a hoppy aroma. Try it yourself and give us some feedback!!

Today we changed out the resevoir and increased our ppm to almost 300. Our base water is reverse osmosis and we are experimenting with the cultured solutions vegetative formula. A google search would shed some light into what that is if your are curious. We have supplemented with an algae extract and with a beneficial premium liquid mycorrhizae called orca. Not really trying to go mad scientist with our experiment but I feel like we are giving the plants what they need to be happy.

Thanks for checking in, we appreciate the feedback and questions. I will post more pictures soon : )

-shanti

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Old 11-22-2013, 08:12 PM   #18
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I wonder, does growing them hydro change the flavors/bitterness/aroma of the hops?

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Old 11-26-2013, 05:42 PM   #19
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That is definitely something we are interested in. We are really excited to see how the cones set in and whether they grow similar to outdoor hops. We ran into some nutrient issues and some root rot but we are treating the plants with enzymes and on the route to recovery. I will post pictures soon. The plants are growing exponentially but considering this was our first time with hops in a hydro system so we are working on overcoming these issues before we re start new crowns. Keep following as we are interested in feedback and advise.

Shanti

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Old 11-27-2013, 04:47 PM   #20
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Very cool to see you hop hydro project in action! Glad to see the plants you got from us are growing well.

I don't doubt that you will see cones start to form when the lighting conditions are optimal to initiate flowering. However, like grapes, the characteristics of the hops will change based on the environment they are grown in. It will likely affect the flavor, aroma, alphas or oils in some way. This has often been said about tomatoes that are grown indoors vs outdoors as well.

Growing hops indoors is definitely possible, we just don't recommend anyone try to do it commercially. The hops depend dramatically on their dormancy period.

Anyway, it's really cool to see the project in action. I look forward to seeing the final results. Hopefully some day I can try two beers using the exact same recipe with one set of hops being grown indoors, and the other set outdoors.

-Brian
GLH

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