advice for hops in Ohio

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Mad Hornet

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If you could grow 4 hop varieties in Ohio what would you recommend? We are USDA zone 5/6 at 1,008' elevation. I am thinking of brewers gold, cascade, magnum, and nugget but curious how more experienced growers would think.
 

marc1

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No matter where I was I wouldn't grow bittering hops like magnum - no way to know the alpha, seems like a waste. I grew some "heirloom" varieties from Great Lakes Hops for fun (Diamond Springs and Saugatuck). I wanted to make shade for an area in the summer, so I have them growing on a trellis. So far they have been successful at creating shade, not great at making hops :)

From those you listed, I'd do Cascade if I was to get another.
 
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Mad Hornet

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Well it's something I want to try and experiment with. I have the space and the planting site is high ground with excellent drainage and full sun and the rhizomes are relatively inexpensive. Thanks for the reply I will check out Great Lakes.
 

marc1

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Well it's something I want to try and experiment with. I have the space and the planting site is high ground with excellent drainage and full sun and the rhizomes are relatively inexpensive. Thanks for the reply I will check out Great Lakes.
They are cool plants to grow!
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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While it’s true you won’t know the AA on bettering hops, they run close to commercial numbers. I grow Newport (on Long Island NY) and you may want to grow duel use hops like Nugget. Really what you grow should be based on what you like and if it will produce in your climate.
 

willy_mugobeer

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I have two Columbus plants (well, one's a Zeus, but same thing) going here in Columbus OH ... fantastic production levels and pretty high AA; for an IPA fan like me, these have worked out really well. Used a couple old fermentation buckets as poor-man's drip irrigation systems last year, and harvested more than 10 pounds dry weight.
 
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Mad Hornet

Mad Hornet

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I have two Columbus plants (well, one's a Zeus, but same thing) going here in Columbus OH ... fantastic production levels and pretty high AA; for an IPA fan like me, these have worked out really well. Used a couple old fermentation buckets as poor-man's drip irrigation systems last year, and harvested more than 10 pounds dry weight.
Nice! How long ago did you plant them? From rhizomes?
 

willy_mugobeer

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Nice! How long ago did you plant them? From rhizomes?
The Columbus is now going into 7th year ... it's on the east side of the house and so loses the direct sun every day about noon ... still produced about 4 lbs last summer. The Zeus (now going into 3rd year) is on the south side, so plenty of sun ... and produced some GIANT cones this year. Both of them I started from actual plants ordered from the suppliers (the Zeus was from Great Lakes hops, can't remember where I got the Columbus.) Contrary to popular wisdom, I let them both throw up a LOT of bines (after clipping the bull shoots in the spring, of course) -- generally two per string, total of 16-20, per plant, every year. Seems to work fine....
 

B-Hoppy

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Depending on where you're at in Ohio you might want to contact Barn Talk Hops over in Wadsworth. She's been propagating hops for close to 10 years now and she & her husband have a few acres planted and also process for a handful of local growers. He bought a wolf picker when they first got started and about a year later jumped through the hoops to put together a small pellet operation. She wants to try to keep these locally developed varieties proprietary but you can always ask! They also have a bunch of others but these two have gained the interest of some local brewers and The Brewkettle has actually thrown some $$ behind them.
 

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Mad Hornet

Mad Hornet

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Depending on where you're at in Ohio you might want to contact Barn Talk Hops over in Wadsworth. She's been propagating hops for close to 10 years now and she & her husband have a few acres planted and also process for a handful of local growers. He bought a wolf picker when they first got started and about a year later jumped through the hoops to put together a small pellet operation. She wants to try to keep these locally developed varieties proprietary but you can always ask! They also have a bunch of others but these two have gained the interest of some local brewers and The Brewkettle has actually thrown some $$ behind them.
Thank you! I live in Pataskala so Wadsworth is a couple hours north but sometimes I get up there for work so I'll be sure to check it out.
 

RePete

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I’ve been growing Cascade here in Cincinnati the past few years. Just a few plants on the side of my house.
 

Ridenour64

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I live in northeast OH and I planted Chinook, Cascade, Styrian golding, and hallertau. Chinook and cascade grew like crazy. The other 2 not so much. Going into my second year.
 

Northern_Brewer

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If you could grow 4 hop varieties in Ohio what would you recommend? We are USDA zone 5/6 at 1,008' elevation. I am thinking of brewers gold, cascade, magnum, and nugget but curious how more experienced growers would think.
Just as a general thing, I'd concur with the idea that it's a bit of a waste growing bittering hops, at least to start with. Perhaps the best thing about growing your hops is being able to use them in the whirlpool or as dry hops as green/fresh/wet hops, which means that all the volatile flavours go into the beer that are normally lost during drying. So if you only have limited amounts of fresh hops, you want to use them as dry hops and not in the boil (which also drives off the volatiles. Then as (hopefully) your production increases, you will have enough hops to use in the whirlpool and potentially enough to use in the boil.

Just as a general thing, more modern varieties generally have better disease resistance and more alpha acids than old varieties like Brewer's Gold. But really it depends what kinds of beer you like to drink - if you like lagers, then grow things like Hallertau or Liberty. But do ask around, either other local growers or eg your local agriculture extension people. Some plants just don't like certain terroirs that should be good for them, whereas others haven't read the books that say they will never grow well.
 

RePete

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Do you know about the Ohio Hop Growers Guild? Here is a link to their Facebook page.
 

RePete

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I did not! Thank you for sharing!
No problem. They hold an open house of hop yards every summer, and I have visited a few in the area. It's a good opportunity to ask questions, and see how they function.
 

CJnCincy

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Cincinnati area here....We've been growing hops on our urban farm for about three years now. I chose to go the German impersonator route since I mostly brew German Lagers. I have 5 plants (Crystal, Liberty, Mt. Hood, Super Sazer, and Ultra). I purchased mine from Great Lakes (mentioned above) as hop plants, not as rhizomes. They all do quite well with varying degrees of yield. My advice is to just keep them well watered with lots of fertilizer....they like the chicken poo our ten hens freely provide.
 

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