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Old 10-04-2012, 02:23 AM   #11
rexbanner
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Remember, commercial hop farms have hop harvesters. They cost $25-30k but automatically strip the vine for you.

This year I had trouble picking all my hops. I realized it is best to grow hops just for fresh hop beers. Get some friends over to help out, and give them free beer while they pick. Then brew a batch. It can be fun.

Next year I will definitely be making hop plugs, because my freezer is stuffed with hop bags. Get a bit of threaded steel pipe. Put a cap on one end. Then stuff the pipe with hops. Take a wooden dowel and use a sledgehammer to smash it in. Remove the cap and you have a plug. Then vacuum seal the plugs.


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Old 10-04-2012, 06:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
Remember, commercial hop farms have hop harvesters. They cost $25-30k but automatically strip the vine for you.
Keep going...$20 to $30k will get you a used Wolf but you will stick twice that into repairs and upgrades to get it to work.

We offer a harvester/sorter for under $13k but its not quite so "automatic".

The simplest homemade picker I've seen was a thing that looked like a guillotine. It had a weighted blade that came down on another blade. You would pull the bine through it a few times to strip off all the cones and leaves. Of course you still had to sort it out but it sped things up considerably.

The worst I've seen looked like a lawn mower deck set on its side with a bunch of whirling blades and claws of doom spinning away. The "operator" threw the bine at it and cones, leaves, stems and what not went flying in every direction. I can't imagine that guy still has two arms and 10 fingers.



 
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:58 AM   #13
rexbanner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GVH_Dan View Post
Keep going...$20 to $30k will get you a used Wolf but you will stick twice that into repairs and upgrades to get it to work.

We offer a harvester/sorter for under $13k but its not quite so "automatic".

The simplest homemade picker I've seen was a thing that looked like a guillotine. It had a weighted blade that came down on another blade. You would pull the bine through it a few times to strip off all the cones and leaves. Of course you still had to sort it out but it sped things up considerably.

The worst I've seen looked like a lawn mower deck set on its side with a bunch of whirling blades and claws of doom spinning away. The "operator" threw the bine at it and cones, leaves, stems and what not went flying in every direction. I can't imagine that guy still has two arms and 10 fingers.
Interesting. This homemade picker...can you describe it a little more? Do the blades point towards each other, literally like a guillotine?
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:46 PM   #14
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I wish I still had the picture... The top was a blade with a weight on it and a rope to a pulley to yank it up. The bottom, as I recall, was blade-like. It wasn't like they were sharpened knife blades. They were more like to 1/8" metal plates with the two contact surfaces ground down to an edge. The top one was weighted so it would press down on the bine as you yanked it through. It would take several tries and sometimes the bines would break so you would have to yank through side arms, but it still seemed better than 100% hand picking. Of course, I didn't watch the sorting of leaves and stems from the cones so I'm not sure how long that took. I can imagine this unit left a lot of clusters of hops, which are easier to sort by hand but hell on mechanical sorting equipment.

Our unit just uses a single drum of picking fingers to pluck everything off the bine. I suppose you could make something at home like this using a drill to run it. You can see the pictures here: http://www.bineimplement.com/3060_Harvester.php.

 
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GVH_Dan View Post
I wish I still had the picture... The top was a blade with a weight on it and a rope to a pulley to yank it up. The bottom, as I recall, was blade-like. It wasn't like they were sharpened knife blades. They were more like to 1/8" metal plates with the two contact surfaces ground down to an edge. The top one was weighted so it would press down on the bine as you yanked it through. It would take several tries and sometimes the bines would break so you would have to yank through side arms, but it still seemed better than 100% hand picking. Of course, I didn't watch the sorting of leaves and stems from the cones so I'm not sure how long that took. I can imagine this unit left a lot of clusters of hops, which are easier to sort by hand but hell on mechanical sorting equipment.

Our unit just uses a single drum of picking fingers to pluck everything off the bine. I suppose you could make something at home like this using a drill to run it. You can see the pictures here: http://www.bineimplement.com/3060_Harvester.php.
How much does the Bine 3060 cost?
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:34 AM   #16
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Great Post!!!
I also LOVE saving money at the expense of time/effort/companionship whenever the 'need' arises!


(it's like tripping on your own shadow...)

 
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
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How much does the Bine 3060 cost?
I'll PM you. I make a point of not advertising...but lets say its considerably less than a Wolf but still too much for someone with only a few bines.

 
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:30 AM   #18
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Classic! Enjoyed your post.



 
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