My friend is letting me harvest hops, but that means I'm only really seeing them when I get over there to check them out. I went over yesterday with the intent to harvest (if ready). What I found was a big, heavy bunch of hops that maybe need another week or two to hit their peak, but they're covered with tiny green hop aphids! I've seen them before, the first time I just left them out after picking and most of them seemed to fly away. This time, I really want to get rid of them before I harvest.
It rained last night, but I went over this morning and doused the vines with a 1-tablespoon-to-1-quart dilution of Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile soap in a garden sprayer. It's cool today, so I'm not too worried about burning the leaves, BUT . . .
1. Should I rinse the plants off after a while?
2. Are my hops going to taste like peppermint?
3. Is there any sense to rinsing the hops once I've picked them and laid them out to dry? (I just dry them on a big window screen on some sawhorses.)
If worse comes to worst, I figure the aphids will die when I freeze the dried hops and then fall out with the hot break, but I'd like to get things as clean as possible.