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Old 07-26-2010, 06:33 PM   #21
KathyLyn
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http://www.freshops.com/hop-growing/hop-gardening/#harvest


Here is some good/practical info I found at the above website about harvesting:

Quote:
"Because most hops are produced out of reach from the ground, it is safest to lower the vines in order to pick the hops. The harvest date varies with variety and location but will become evident as you gain experience as a hop grower. At maturity, the hop aroma is at its strongest and is measured by crushing a cone and smelling it. The yellow lupulin glands in the cone become much more evident and plump looking when magnified.

The cone will develop a drier, papery feel and in some varieties a lighter color as it matures. Some browning of the lower bracts is a good sign of ripeness. Squeeze the cones as they develop and you will notice they become more light and resilient rather than green and hard. The actual picking is self-explanatory and this is where you want the flower cones, not the leaves. I don't know why raw hop cones are occasionally called leaf hops, when the idea is to not pick the leaves."
And, here is some helpful info about drying:

Quote:
"Drying can be done in a good dehydrator, custom made hop dryer, well vented oven, or they can be air dried. If you use heat, the temperature should not exceed 140 degrees F. Cooler temperatures take longer but a higher quality hop is obtained. Under dry weather conditions, I suggest taking a screen off of your house and setting it up in a wind protected area, elevated on each end. Spread the hops as shallow as possible and fluff daily so moist inner cones are brought to the outside of the pile. If weather is dry and the pile is not too thick they will dry in about three days.

A high moisture content in the cones will adversely affect storability and recipe formulation. The hops are dry when the inner stem of the cone (strig) is brittle and breaks rather than bends. The strig takes much longer to dry than the bracts, so be patient. Pack the hops in an air tight container and store in a freezer until used."
I appreciate what is said about using scales on page one of this thread, but I think knowing when to pick--and how to dry--our hops (like the hop farmer writing above) is somewhat of an art that comes with experience, not unlike brewing itself!
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:24 PM   #22
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Default Picked Some

I just picked 14.5 oz of Cascade. This plant sprouted in early march and was putting out burrs very early. After the first burrs had turned into cones this plant sent out side arms and then a bunch more burrs. So what I harvested today was the first set that came out so early.
The next harvest should be double this one. The side arms are really loaded with cones.
I should get about 4 oz of dried hops from this first batch.

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Old 08-06-2010, 09:48 PM   #23
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Well I just finished vacuum sealing the 4.5 oz (14.5 wet) of Cascade that I picked yesterday. It amazes me that even when you're sure there ready to be picked (papery and crunchy on the bine) they still had some grassy smell to them when they were dry.

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Old 08-06-2010, 10:52 PM   #24
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Don't get in a hurry to pick.In most areas Cascades will not be ready till the end of the month.They need almost a month in the cone stage.Dry a few and smell (wait for the grass smell to almost disappear) or do dry matter tests if u have a lot

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Old 08-06-2010, 10:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopfarmer View Post
Don't get in a hurry to pick.In most areas Cascades will not be ready till the end of the month.They need almost a month in the cone stage.Dry a few and smell (wait for the grass smell to almost disappear) or do dry matter tests if u have a lot
The ones I picked have been cones for at least six weeks, probably more.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #26
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General Question:

Do you pick all at once, or As they ripen??

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Old 08-23-2010, 12:55 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
General Question:

Do you pick all at once, or As they ripen??
Some of the answer is practical. I have 4 types of hops on a cable arrangement and my cascades are in different areas. This year I picked one of the hop types on my cable early as the string was breaking anyway and they looked ready. I picked the other 3 varieties yesterday. My cascades ripen a bit later so I will pick them after I get back from vacation.

I wouldn't bother picking the same variety at different times if that is what you mean.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:27 AM   #28
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A word of caution. I hadn't checked my hops for about a week so I went out there today to see how they were doing. The Cascade still has some time left on the bine but when i checked the Chinook they were dry. I mean DRY, like the had already been in the dehydrator. So I harvested them.
This time of year you need to watch you hops. When they are ready to harvest you need to do it right away.

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Old 08-25-2010, 03:19 PM   #29
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I haverested last night. I'd been away for a few weeks. Some (~20%) were brown. Not brown edges, nearly all brown. Should I toss these brown ones? I am new to this.

Also, I planted Centenials, and Willametes. I didn't keep track of them. Some died, I think I was left with 2 plants of 1 variety. Got a bit of citrus aroma, but I do not know hops well. Not sure what survived. Centenials maybe?

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Old 08-25-2010, 03:20 PM   #30
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This is only my second year harvesting. Last year I picked around the first week of September. Much different growing season this year...lots of rain.

The cones are much bigger but they are starting to brown already. They are still not very dry/papery feeling and they do not have the strong aroma I remember from last year yet.

My question...is the browing an indicator they should be picked? I wanted to leave them as long as possible but dont want to risk overdoing it.

Thanks for any help

**edit** guess same question as above

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