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Old 07-08-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Picking 2013 hops in Tulsa, OK (pictures heavy)

I know it's early July, but I was able to pick over 11oz of hops yesterday. Oklahoma weather, man. Oklahoma weather.

There's more to get, but 11oz was about all I could handle with my small dehydrator.

As a bit of background, this is my second year raising hops. Technically the hops are growing over at my parent's house, as my dad has a large garden with the space for it. I owe him quite a bit for helping me out like this.

I have a handful of rhizomes covering three types: Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade, from left to right. Unfortunately they've blended together quite a bit, so I just call what I pick my own version of 3-C's hop blend.

Attached are the first five pics, the hops on the trellis as well as my view from up high.

2013-07-07-10.56.39.jpg   2013-07-07-10.41.39.jpg   2013-07-07-10.41.46.jpg   2013-07-07-10.42.00.jpg   2013-07-07-10.42.08.jpg  

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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Once I had picked my fill, I brought them home to dry them. Yesterday I mostly picked from the right hand side, which meant I got predominantly Cascades. I think there's also some Centennial mixed in.

I am a lucky man, in that my wife supports my hobby. As a surprise gift earlier this year, she picked me up a small food dehydrator, which looks to me like it will handle up to around a pound of wet hops.

I filled 3 trays with the 11oz I picked, and set the dehydrator to its lowest setting, 95 degrees.

2013-07-07-10.56.24.jpg   2013-07-07-11.20.36.jpg   2013-07-07-11.24.47.jpg   2013-07-07-11.24.53.jpg   2013-07-07-11.25.40.jpg  

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
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Just a few minutes ago, which is about 26 hours from when I turned the dehydrator on, I retrieved my dried hops. I then vacuum sealed them and froze them. You can see the 3 trays below, with fully dried hops on them.

My 11+ ounces is now under 3 ounces, including the weight of the bag. I've read previously that it's about a 4-5 : 1 weight ratio of wet to dry, so that fits pretty well.

Even so, it was a bit of a struggle to fit all of it into the zip-loc bag initially. It may only be 3 ounces, but there was a lot of air in the cones themselves.

I'm pretty confident these turned out well, based on nothing other than the delicious aroma I got when I squeezed the air out of the bag. Oh man, I can't wait to use these in a nice pale ale, or even some sort of crisp lager. I'm so thrilled to be working with my own homegrown ingredients - I DEFINITELY owe my dad for all the work he put in watering these things over the past two years.

I have no earthly idea what kind of alpha acid these have, and I'm not sure I really care. Being Cascades, I'm sure it's in the 5-8% range, and since I'll use these for late additions, it won't really matter.

Regardless - I'm excited. I got a very small harvest last year, and I wound up using them all as "wet" hops directly into a batch that unfortunately did not turn out very well. I've been careful this year to make sure I try to pick them at the right time, and the extra effort going into drying and vacuum sealing them will hopefully keep them viable for quite some time.

Hopefully this is just the first harvest of several this year, and hopefully there will be some great beer in my future.

2013-07-08-13.16.44.jpg   2013-07-08-13.22.43.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:00 PM   #4
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That's pretty rad. Congrats on the first harvest of the year. I'm growing hops for the first time this year and just like you, I'm growing mine at my in-laws house. I have a townhouse with nowhere to put hops but my MIL has a huge garden and invited me to plant there this season. I'm excited to see what I get...

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Old 07-11-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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That's awesome! I live in Sapulpa and I'm getting ready for my first harvest this weekend after one full year of growth. Unfortunately I don't have a dehydrator yet so will be drying using a screen method.

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Old 07-11-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okhipfan View Post
That's awesome! I live in Sapulpa and I'm getting ready for my first harvest this weekend after one full year of growth. Unfortunately I don't have a dehydrator yet so will be drying using a screen method.
That should work just fine - there's a ton of good reports that I've seen using that method.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #7
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mmmm I can almost smell them through the computer

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Old 07-11-2013, 07:33 PM   #8
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definitely been a good growing season up until this point. my garden is going nuts. the only rhizome that did anything for me this year is saaz and its slowly coning up. still a few weeks. those look great man. cheers from T-Town!

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Old 07-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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Every year I do a harvest ale when I first pick with fresh, non-dried hops. You should try this with your next pickings...tastes and smells devine! Cheers!

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Old 07-11-2013, 08:28 PM   #10
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Have you guys tried dry hopping with fresh hops? I attempted to do that last year and it was a mistake - I left them in too long, and it came out with a very strong vegetal flavor and aroma. Wound up dumping that batch.

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