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Old 04-16-2009, 02:37 AM   #1
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I have enough acreage to grow hops, barley, wheat and all the essentials for a family of four. What I'm curious about is how difficult is it to grow the essentials. I have read that hops are easy, however, since they are in the cannabis family, do they attract unwanted visitors? I have also read that to malt barley, it blows my mind to think about wetting it down, letting it sprout and all that. Is there anyone in here that grows all of it and makes it without a store?

PS. I have sourdough starter from 1865 just to let ya know I'm serious, just scared I guess.

 
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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I would love to be able to grow my own barley. I have been joking with people lately that this year I'm growing hops and next year I'll put in my barley field. With a .25 acre lot I dont thinks that's gonna happen though

As for the "unwanted visitors" and the hops plants...I dont think there's anything to worry about. I've seen both plants growing and they dont look similar when growing. The cones are VERY similar in appearance, though. I'm guessing that's your concern, people thinking you're growing cannabis and coming to steal it? I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #3
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The big problem with barley is harvesting. I haven't seen (nor have I look too hard) an easy way to harvest in an efficient manner.

 
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:39 PM   #4
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I would go with hops and wheat....this keeps it simple. Buy your barley
Much of the stuff you probably already grow (etc. corn) you can use to brew with too
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:42 PM   #5
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They have been harvesting barley for what, 4000 years now? There is a lot of good information concerning "growing beer" in the "Homebrewers Garden" the book is really geared for small scale scratch brewing. I think that you will be fine, a bit of diligence and you will make it.
-Ander

 
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anderj View Post
They have been harvesting barley for what, 4000 years now? There is a lot of good information concerning "growing beer" in the "Homebrewers Garden" the book is really geared for small scale scratch brewing. I think that you will be fine, a bit of diligence and you will make it.
-Ander
I just got that book and so far so good. To quote the author " one crop of barley on an average garden plot can produce the grain ingredients for up to 5 batches of all-grain beer, or thirty or more batches of extract or partial mash."
It sounds easy to grow.

 
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:46 AM   #7
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I just purchased 4 rhizomes to give it a shot. I have a second story deck with a flower bed below. It faces south so I'm going to run the string to the railing. Should be about 15 feet to the top of the railing and I figure it should make picking the cones easy. I'll keep ya posted throughout the summer.

 
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOB View Post

As for the "unwanted visitors" and the hops plants...I dont think there's anything to worry about. I've seen both plants growing and they dont look similar when growing. The cones are VERY similar in appearance, though. I'm guessing that's your concern, people thinking you're growing cannabis and coming to steal it? I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Any pothead will know the difference. Other than bugs which can tend to be a problem, you shouldn't have to worry about unwanted visitors. Despite being from the same family, they DO NOT smell even remotely the same...oh and be careful if you have dogs, because hops are lethal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HBHoss View Post
I just got that book and so far so good. To quote the author " one crop of barley on an average garden plot can produce the grain ingredients for up to 5 batches of all-grain beer, or thirty or more batches of extract or partial mash."
It sounds easy to grow.
This is quite comforting because im getting ready to try and grow barley but i don't know much about it. a completely "homegrown homebrew" is a really nice though. I will aim for that as the pinnacle of my homebrewing career.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
if you have dogs, because hops are lethal.
NO

If you brew much, growing and malting enough barley will take serious space and time.
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:31 AM   #10
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hops toxicity in dogs:
Hop Toxicity in Dogs
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/so-h...ld-pets-61575/
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