Colorado Front range: have you harvested your hops yet?

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HausBrauerei_Harvey

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I live on the front range outside Denver. I've got 4 bines 5 years old and they are really full of hops! I've got centennial and cascade.

I still haven't figured out the best time to harvest each year, I usually wait until the cones start to look a bit dry/brown on the tips the first 4 years of my growing, but know this is not ideal.

With all the rain we've had I know they are lasting longer than last year, and seem either perfect for picking right now or perhaps I should wait another week or two? I'm looking for advice from others who also live in the area.

Thanks!
 

triethylborane

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Im on front range as well, Den Met area have three bines that are 6 years old and harvest seems to occur late sep. Ive missed out and harvested too late in early oct, where the lupulin is orange. Our temps are lower this late summer than average and Im not entirely sure what this means for the hop harvest. Ill probably stick with late sep, its only three bines and I use it for just a few brews so its not a major endeavor.
 

GiavaBear

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I'm up on Ft Collins and I have 6 first year plants, only 2 with cones. My LHBS suggested to pick towards end of September, when the cones start to get drier and not looking the best.
 

thunderwagn

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I'm in the Ft Collins/Loveland area, and I've got some cascades that could probably be picked now. But all my chinook and most other cascades are still a bit to green. All are very close.
 

Biscuits

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My buddy has cascades, I believe they are on their third year and we harvested 2 Fridays ago. I think he said this was a little earlier than he wanted to harvest but because they were on his in-laws land and they are 3 hours away in Byers, we kinda had to pull the trigger.
 

GiavaBear

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Nice work everybody! I didn't know we had such a strong home brew presence on here in northern Colorado! We should post our recipes of our beers we make with our home grown hops! Is anyone going to make a fresh hop beer? I'm thinking if I harvest enough I may try it, instead of drying them, but that remains to be seen. How are you guys drying and storing? I've got an old dehydrator and looking to get a vacuum sealer food saver. Cheers everyone!
 

rlmiller10

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To answer the OP, I am in Windsor and mine are not ready yet, still feel soft, not the tissue paper feel I think they should have. But last year I did pick about now, so I think it changes by the year.

Second, to derail the thread, I will have some chinook I would love to trade for some local cascade. My centennial, magnum and Willamette are only second year so not a lot of harvest on them. Hopefully next year I will have plenty of each for sale, gift or trade.

To answer GiavaBear, I put mine in a food dehydrator for about 8 hrs at 100 degrees and then vacuum pack and freeze. Try to have them in the frozen within 24 hrs of picking.

This weekend I had a couple of IPA I made with last years chinook and centennial hops. I think a little cascade would brighten it up.
 

thunderwagn

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Nice work everybody! I didn't know we had such a strong home brew presence on here in northern Colorado! We should post our recipes of our beers we make with our home grown hops! Is anyone going to make a fresh hop beer? I'm thinking if I harvest enough I may try it, instead of drying them, but that remains to be seen. How are you guys drying and storing? I've got an old dehydrator and looking to get a vacuum sealer food saver. Cheers everyone!
I also vacuum seal mine and freeze after removing from the dehydrator. I haven't used any of my homegrowns for bittering. Only flameouts and dry hopping. I don't really know the IBU's so they work perfectly for what I use them for.

I signed up awhile back at Loveland Aleworks to donate hops for their annual crowd source project. I have never heard back unfortunately.

Second, to derail the thread, I will have some chinook I would love to trade for some local cascade. My centennial, magnum and Willamette are only second year so not a lot of harvest on them. Hopefully next year I will have plenty of each for sale, gift or trade.

To answer GiavaBear, I put mine in a food dehydrator for about 8 hrs at 100 degrees and then vacuum pack and freeze. Try to have them in the frozen within 24 hrs of picking.

This weekend I had a couple of IPA I made with last years chinook and centennial hops. I think a little cascade would brighten it up.
Let me see how my cascade harvest pans out. I may have a couple ounces. Right now, my cascades are nowhere near as nice as my chinook outlook.
 
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HausBrauerei_Harvey

HausBrauerei_Harvey

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So you wait for the dry/papery stage before picking? If so then I do have a few more weeks to wait. which is good, our annual oktoberfest party is sept 9th, i'd like to brew a fresh hop beer the weekend after that. :)

a few people in another thread said you can vacuum seal the wet hops and freeze them for a few weeks to months to save that "just picked" goodness. has anyone tried this? Last year those i didn't use right away I dried on a screen for a few days then put in freezer.
 
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HausBrauerei_Harvey

HausBrauerei_Harvey

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Is anyone going to make a fresh hop beer?
Last year I did 10 gallons of the 'janets brown ale' recipe from brewing classic styles, and did a whirlpool with about 2 pounds of wet hops (most of my crop last year). It was called '2-pound brown' and it was awesome. I always just use my hops for flavor additions and bitter with something commercial.
 

rlmiller10

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Let me see how my cascade harvest pans out. I may have a couple ounces. Right now, my cascades are nowhere near as nice as my chinook outlook.
Thanks. My chinook are beasts as well. First up, first up to the top and bines the size of a finger.

If you make mead I could also trade honey. I expect to harvest over 200 lb of honey this year.
 

cavman22

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Started picking cascades 8/20 in Parker. Chinooks will be around 2nd week of sept
 

thunderwagn

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Started picking cascades 8/20 in Parker. Chinooks will be around 2nd week of sept
I've been picking my cascades since Sunday...I probably could or should have started when you did. Unfortunately I was on the western slope getting my daughter back to school. My chinook are right in line with yours as well. Some top and exposed berries will probably be this weekend or early next week.
My chinook berries are huge! while my cascades are actually pretty small. I noticed they were smaller last year as well. Anyone know if this is fairly typical or? All are growing in the same soil and maintained the same.
 

cavman22

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I start a little early in all honesty. I can only do 20oz wet at a time with my dehydrator and it takes me about a day or two. I dehydrate at 95 for 6 hours. Lay the trays out and let them just sit in the garage for 24 hours. Then back in for another 6 at 95 then bag them. Gets em down to about 18% usually and they store quite well.

I pick them as I go and leave the plants standing. My trellis are only 10' so the sun exposed ones mature faster than the ones that get covers up by leaves and such
 

thunderwagn

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Thanks. My chinook are beasts as well. First up, first up to the top and bines the size of a finger.

If you make mead I could also trade honey. I expect to harvest over 200 lb of honey this year.
I'm picking. And drying. And picking. I hope to get all or most down this weekend. I have hops for you. I'll pick, but you'll have to take it from there. I live very close to Johnsons Corner, if you'd like to meet up Sat or Sun? All yours if you want them. Should be enough for 4-6 oz dried I'm guessing? Maybe more? LMK.
 

rlmiller10

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I'm picking. And drying. And picking. I hope to get all or most down this weekend. I have hops for you. I'll pick, but you'll have to take it from there. I live very close to Johnsons Corner, if you'd like to meet up Sat or Sun? All yours if you want them. Should be enough for 4-6 oz dried I'm guessing? Maybe more? LMK.
How about Saturday at 11:15? Do you prefer honey or beer in trade?
 

thunderwagn

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How about Saturday at 11:15? Do you prefer honey or beer in trade?
I can't vouch for how good (or bad) the hops are this year. I haven't had a chance to use any yet. So Free! If your centennial's take off good next year, I'd happily accept a rhizome clipping :D
I'll touch base with you, but that time should work.
 

rlmiller10

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I can't vouch for how good (or bad) the hops are this year. I haven't had a chance to use any yet. So Free! If your centennial's take off good next year, I'd happily accept a rhizome clipping :D
I'll touch base with you, but that time should work.
Wish you had asked about a rhizome a week ago. I have barrier fabric around the hops and I pulled up a 3 ft chunk of root with green growth on the end that had run between two layers of cloth. You could have fall planted that and probably gotten a small harvest next spring.
 
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