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Old 07-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
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Default I believe I'm close to harvesting

I planted Cascade and Nugget rhizomes May 5th of this year and surprisingly I think I might get a decent harvest. Because they are first year I let all the bines go to get their root system well established. I ran out of room and had to attempt to train them back down so I have quite a mess to sift through when I harvest, but I'm just excited that I will be able to this year. I pulled one hop cone off just to take a look at it. It didn't quite feel papery like I've read they are supposed to and it did spring back when I pressed it between my thumb and index finger. They didn't smell that strongly but when I cut it open I could detect a little something. All these things lead me to believe that they need a little longer before I harvest. Some of the cones haven't fully closed so I know I need to wait on those. There are many that have closed up and seem to be further along. I'm guessing a week or so. I attached some pictures and am interested in what you all think.


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Old 07-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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A couple more pics.


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Old 07-23-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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I had the same uncertainty for my first harvest. I never really experienced the strong hop aroma like I expected, I went by the feel of the flower. I quantified it as a very similar feeling to taking a piece of tissue paper (like the paper your wife buys to make gift bags pretty) and balling it up. The flower/cone should feel close to that light and papery. I waited until the leaves just barely started to turn a tiny bit brown.

here's a little kitchen-counter video that I sent a friend to get his opinion - and they were perfect to harvest.
http://s54.photobucket.com/albums/g8...2-18-01-41.mp4
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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The tissue-paper feel test that Gridlocked mentioned is the same strategy I use. The "snapping stem" technique never worked for me. The first year I had a harvest, I picked them too early. Patience pays off in more fragrant hops. I think the color changes, too, which can help identify when they're ready. They tend to turn light yellow even tan, not light green like when they first-set hops from burrs, when they're ready. I tend to find some hops that have browned just slightly, when the bulk are ready for harvest. Unless, you have time to harvest over the course of the week or two or three, it's best to shoot for the time when most hops are at the ideal level of readiness, which means a few might be a bit passed prime and some are a bit early. For me, it's a convenience thing because harvesting takes time. It took me 2 hours+ to harvest 3.5 pounds off three second-year plants yesterday...

Either way crumble one of the average ones in your palm to make sure that it's fragrant and hoppy smelling, not grassy and weak. If it doesn't have much aroma, then I'd let them sit on the bine some more. In terms of AA% and aroma, I think picking them a little late is better than a little early, even though they don't look as pretty.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
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I had a small harvest this morning. First time. I used the dry papery technique and browning technique. I got my first 3.2 ounces...with more on the bines. I used the dehydrator for this batch but will try using a screen technique next.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:13 AM   #6
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Awesome! Yeah I was thinking that I should probably wait a little longer but I didn't want too long. You all just reaffirmed my thoughts. Yeah I would definitely say the one I removed had more of a tissue paper feel that you mentioned Gridlocked and not the typical paper feel that I thought I was to be looking for. The pics and video were also helpful. I think I'm about a week out on my first harvest! I have this sat and sun off so I'll check on them then. Then to decide how to dry them. I don't have a dehydrator so I may have to go the furnace screen route as those are the only two ways I've seen while scouring the site. Thanks again.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkrausen
Awesome! Yeah I was thinking that I should probably wait a little longer but I didn't want too long. You all just reaffirmed my thoughts. Yeah I would definitely say the one I removed had more of a tissue paper feel that you mentioned Gridlocked and not the typical paper feel that I thought I was to be looking for. The pics and video were also helpful. I think I'm about a week out on my first harvest! I have this sat and sun off so I'll check on them then. Then to decide how to dry them. I don't have a dehydrator so I may have to go the furnace screen route as those are the only two ways I've seen while scouring the site. Thanks again.
Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:33 PM   #8
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Well had my first harvest Thursday. It went pretty well, I harvested 2.20 oz of hops. Not a whole lost but there will be plenty more to come. I definitely have a better feel for when they are ready I believe. They had some browning on the leaves, had that noticeable tissue paper feel and slightly more apparent odor. They also didn't have that deep green color. They had more of a yellowish hue to them. Anyway, I just thought I'd update.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkrausen
Well had my first harvest Thursday. It went pretty well, I harvested 2.20 oz of hops. Not a whole lost but there will be plenty more to come. I definitely have a better feel for when they are ready I believe. They had some browning on the leaves, had that noticeable tissue paper feel and slightly more apparent odor. They also didn't have that deep green color. They had more of a yellowish hue to them. Anyway, I just thought I'd update.
I've already harvested 3.4 dry punches from my chinook. Time to do my first Willamette harvesting too but doubt ill even get an ounce. Excited because I just got done creating a pale ale recipe to brew tomorrow using all my Chinook! It does get easier to identify done hops after the first/second harvesting. Cheers!
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
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I haven't tried the screens yet. I've not gotten enough to fill the sehydratir yet. Let ne know what you chose ti do


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