'tis the season I suppose...
I wanted to pass along a thought I had.
For those of you who are growing your own hops, drying them quickly and efficiently is a critical step after the harvest. I am a big fan of Good Eats
and on an episode of his from a while back, he was making jerkey (and in another episode, drying herbs) with a very simple contraption of his.
Purchase a set (3, 4, 5, or more, depending on your volume of hops) of furnace filters
(the kind with the zig-zag grooves) which most closely match the size of your household box fan. Lay one flat, line the grooves with your freshly harvested hops, and lay a second filter on top. Continue until you are out of hops or have just one remaining filter. Lay an empty one on top of the stack and lay your box fan face down on top of it.
Retrieve a few bungie cords from your car trunk and strap the stack to your fan, with the grooves of the furnace running horizontal (to keep the hops from all rolling down to the bottom.
Turn it on.
You can point it into the house or out, it's your call. It will definitely spread the aroma of hops in whatever direction it is pointed. This setup apparently dries herbs in less than a day.
Here's a link to someone making beef jerkey with the same setup.
The advantage of this being, I wouldn't feel at all gross about using those filters again to dry hops (or maybe even in my furnace), but never the beef jerkey...
If I grew hops, I'd be doing this right now. Instead I'm waiting to hear back from a vendor on some organically grown varieties...