Fresh hops help.

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camonick

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I am going to experiment soon with some fresh hops growing at my mom’s house. My brother planted them years ago from rhizomes he got from Coors for their “Native” beer program. They are Cascade variety. They have been stressed from the severe drought and winds we have experienced this summer despite being watered weekly. They have produced a fair amount of cones. I want to start harvesting them, but need advice on proper timing. I picked some this afternoon and this is what the majority of them look like now. They are a little stunted in size compared to previous years.
5A508B05-CF0F-434A-9258-AB4686F30BC0.jpeg

They have some of the yellow lupulin when broken open and smell like nice Cascade aroma.
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Should I start picking and drying them now? Or do I need to let them mature on the vine a little longer?
If I understand correctly, I should dry them and use the dry weight for my recipe?
I’m also going to try to malt some locally sourced 2-row spring barley and make a SNPA clone with everything if it all comes together.
Thanks
Nick
 

Leezer

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Those look like they may be close. When ready to pick they should feel dry and papery and make a crackly scrunchy sound when you squeeze them. Also they should snap in half easily. When mine are ready I think they are usually a more faded green color than the ones in your photo. But the dry papery quality is important.
 
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camonick

camonick

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Those look like they may be close. When ready to pick they should feel dry and papery and make a crackly scrunchy sound when you squeeze them. Also they should snap in half easily. When mine are ready I think they are usually a more faded green color than the ones in your photo. But the dry papery quality is important.
Thank you for replying. I was using this article for reference. Fall Hop Harvest Guidelines - Brewer's Friend
I will watch them closely this week and hopefully be able to pick a bunch.
 

Joggin

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Where I'm at in Pa. the sun has been intense and had to start picking several variaties turning brown all of a sudden.
Mostly the first shoots that went up, followers still green. Pretty early picking but that's climate for ya.
 

mashpaddled

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I'm over in Denver and actually harvested the last weekend of July. It was a little early but logistically I needed to and it was a good thing I did because the following weekend we got thirty minutes of hail that shredded all of my gardens. On the upside, I'm already drinking my fresh hop beer.

We got some weird weather here this summer with the very late snow and then virtually no rain through June. Just a weird year to grow. You could harvest now if you want or wait a couple weeks. The hops at the top of the bines are probably ripe or closer to ripe now than the ones lower down. Depending on how big the plants are and cone volume, you might have a harvest ready to go and then another one in two or three weeks.
 

Northern_Brewer

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This from YVH is a nice guide on when to pick :

The hops at the top of the bines are probably ripe or closer to ripe now than the ones lower down. Depending on how big the plants are and cone volume, you might have a harvest ready to go and then another one in two or three weeks.

The other advantage of doing it this way is that you can pick some on brewday, and some for dry-hopping towards the end of fermentation if you're going for a wet/fresh/green-hop beer.

The one critical thing with picking is that fresh hops become worthless for brewing really quickly, like within 24 hours, they really don't keep. The commercial brewers in Kent start the boil, and then go to the farm to pick up their hops. So you need to make sure that you either brew or starting drying them within hours of picking them. And allow yourself time to pick them off the bine - it's a tedious process.
 

catalanotte

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The one critical thing with picking is that fresh hops become worthless for brewing really quickly, like within 24 hours,
I was worried about this for my first ever wet hop brew and took down the bines to a tarp in the garage and was picking as I was brewing for the freshest of hops. Bad idea. Trying to pick a couple pounds of hops cones in 30 minutes while the boil was underway was a bit stressful and led to a few mistakes. Will probably pick completely first them brew next time. Live and learn.

Great to see everyone’s harvest pictures in the posts above.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Trying to pick a couple pounds of hops cones in 30 minutes while the boil was underway was a bit stressful and led to a few mistakes. Will probably pick completely first them brew next time. Live and learn.

I decided to pick my hops one day after work. I was debating about what I was going to do when I got done. About 2 hours later, when it was getting dark out, I was finally to the stage where I had my hops spread out drying.
 

mashpaddled

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I was worried about this for my first ever wet hop brew and took down the bines to a tarp in the garage and was picking as I was brewing for the freshest of hops. Bad idea. Trying to pick a couple pounds of hops cones in 30 minutes while the boil was underway was a bit stressful and led to a few mistakes. Will probably pick completely first them brew next time. Live and learn.

Great to see everyone’s harvest pictures in the posts above.

I decided to pick my hops one day after work. I was debating about what I was going to do when I got done. About 2 hours later, when it was getting dark out, I was finally to the stage where I had my hops spread out drying.

Even my container grown hops take a few hours per container to completely harvest the hops. For the hops that go into the fresh hop beer I pick them in the morning and brew in the afternoon. It would only work as a half hour operation if you had several people to help or planned to make a one gallon batch.
 

catalanotte

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It would only work as a half hour operation if you had several people to help or planned to make a one gallon batch
Was a 10 gal batch, had the 60 min addition (18 oz) pre boil, got the the 30 min addition (10oz), but barely made the 5 min and flameout adds (20oz).
3 vines yielded about 7 pounds wet and took about 3 hours total., picking from the ground after the whole bine was cut down Had a bit of help for some of it. Not recommending, as you point out, this took much longer than anticipated and I did have some help. Still it was a very memorable and unique brew day, looking forward to tasting this one.
 
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