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Old 09-17-2009, 05:33 AM   #1
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Default which hop variety to grow?

i'm a new brewer, but have been interested in growing my own hops for some time. I would like to keep the plant a managable size... i've seen pictures of how mammoth they can get! My main question is what is a good variety for general beer brewing? I live in central texas, so it is hot and pretty dry lately... most of the time really. Will the plant only get as large as the support given to it? thanks for answering my questions... sorry if they've been asked before... i couldn't find anything when i searched.

brandon


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Old 09-17-2009, 06:41 AM   #2
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There's good info in this pdf.

http://www.crannogales.com/counters/click.php?id=1


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Old 09-17-2009, 01:03 PM   #3
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I don't know anything about choosing based on variety viability, but if you're going to pick just one, i would choose something you can bitter as well as finish with. I had to pick two, so i picked a high AA bittering one (Nugget), and an all-purpose flavor/aroma one (Willamette) to cover all my bases.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Will the plant only get as large as the support given to it?
No, and trimming the top can seriously impact the cone production.

As to type, what kind of beer do you like? If it's West Coast IPAs, the answer is Cascades. Cascades is also a very tough hop. I have nine varieties growing and a heat wave (only 107F) knocked out everything this year, except the Cascades.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:18 PM   #5
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For me, of all the 13 plants I have growing, the American varieties are definitely the most vigorous and healthiest. Followed by the English.

The Germans may get pulled out. They looked nothing but sickly for 3 years running.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
The Germans may get pulled out. They looked nothing but sickly for 3 years running.
That makes me feel a little better about how crappy my Tettnang looks compared to my Nugget & Willamette.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:59 PM   #7
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The main question is what kind of beers do you lke, what hops are you using in the beer you make now? Choose varieties that you currently use.

Another thing, I was reading some article in zymurgy/BYO and they mentioned a variety that likes the extreme heat and dryness, more than the other varieties I mean. I can't remember exactly but I know it was a high alpha like simcoe or zues or something. I will have to look when I get home unless someone else can help me remember.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Hallertauer Magnum and Tradition, Sterling, and Spalter Select.

None of these have done worth a crap here. they start out gorgeous in spring when climate is mild and then turn sickly once the heat hits.

The english varietals/hybrids gorw fine and look healthy enough, they just have low yields for me. they might get pulled too eventually if they don't shape up.

Too much effort goes into growing hops to tend to sickly plants.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
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The cascades seem to do very well for everyone. But I'd choose the variety according to the beer you like. It seems a waste to grow hops that you might not like to put in your beer. The heat is a concern. You might need to water a bit every single day. I've heard of people skipping a day in a heat wave and killing the plants.

Up here in Michigan, I should be able to grow most of the varieties.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:38 PM   #10
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I don't know about Texas (except that you don't mess with a Texan).

Here in Oregon, the most prolific I saw this year were the Newport, Cascade, Nugget and Willamette ("It's Willamette dammit").


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