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Gonna be growing hops this year!!!

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oster99

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Hey everybody! I'll be attempting to grow my own hops this year and I'm looking for suggestions/input/advice from you guys. I think I'm going to grow 3-4 different vines. I'll probably grow 1 cascade and 1 amarillo. I'm can't decide on what else to grow. I'm looking for a good balance of bittering, flavoring, and aroma hops. Any suggestions? Thanks!:mug:
 

McKBrew

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Fuggles or Goldings if you make alot of english style beers.
 

ohiobrewtus

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I believe that some of the folks on here have had decent success with Cascade, which makes a decent bittering/flavor hop.

I'm looking to grow some Warrior, Columbus and Simcoe myself. :D
 

FlyGuy

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I am going to start this year, too, like many of us I am sure. But I wouldn't plan on growing hops for bittering -- its pretty hard to determine the alpha acid content of homegrown hops, so hitting the correct bittering levels is probably quite tricky without some serious experimentation.

Instead, homegrown hops are probably best for either (1) aroma or possibly flavour additions, or (2) anything left-coast American style (i.e. hoppy). So I am thinking the best bets are probably to grow hops that go well with hoppy-flavoured and aromatic beers, like APAs, IPAs, etc. -- Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, etc.
 

BeerCanuck

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FlyGuy said:
Instead, homegrown hops are probably best for either (1) aroma or possibly flavour additions, or (2) anything left-coast American style (i.e. hoppy). So I am thinking the best bets are probably to grow hops that go well with hoppy-flavoured and aromatic beers, like APAs, IPAs, etc. -- Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, etc.
I have been tinkering with the idea of growing hops this year and was considering which variety...thanks for the suggestion FlyGuy

Got any suggestion where to get said hop plants...can you grow from seed?
I remember from some research that you want mainly female plants

Cheers
BeerCanuck
 

FlyingHorse

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BeerCanuck said:
Got any suggestion where to get said hop plants...can you grow from seed?
Most grow from rhizomes (basically, a root cutting), not seeds. Many LHBS can hook you up with rhizomes, and they're also available online (freshops.com, for one).

Some material to get you started:
http://brewery.org/library/HopGrow.html
http://www.freshops.com/garden.html
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Hop_cultivation

The Wiki page needs some work...some of you guys who've actually had some luck growing hops -- ahem, EdWort, Mr Texas Hop Garden -- might want to contribute your wisdom.

There are also a bunch of threads on this topic, if you search for "growing hops".
 

Grimsawyer

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good luck on Amarillo... one of them lines that belongs to some company. Btw, if you do score some i'll buy some off of you, heheh! I would love to get amarillo, sorachi ace, and simcoe but that won't be happening anytime soon unfortunately. :( I'm not sure about summit hops though. If that line is available I'm getting a few because they are dwarf hops. They don't need as tall a terrace to grow and still produce alot! I've got cascade, nugget, fuggle and golding in my backyard now. Got them free off of craig's list... well, i traded homebrew for them. Anyhow, GRATS!!!! and if you get a line on amarillo, SHARE!!!! I'd kill for some rhyzomes!!!!!!
 

EvilTOJ

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BeerCanuck said:
I have been tinkering with the idea of growing hops this year and was considering which variety...thanks for the suggestion FlyGuy

Got any suggestion where to get said hop plants...can you grow from seed?
I remember from some research that you want mainly female plants

Cheers
BeerCanuck
You'd be hard pressed to find any male hop plants anywhere. Once female plants are fertilized, the *****in content of the cones goes way down, along with cone production. Just like the hops' other, darker cousin :D

OK seriously, what the crap? The word filter doesn't like L U P U L I N for some reason!
 

chthonik

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Grimsawyer said:
good luck on Amarillo... one of them lines that belongs to some company. ... I would love to get amarillo, sorachi ace, and simcoe but that won't be happening anytime soon unfortunately.
Isn't Simcoe trademarked too?

I've always thought claiming proprietary rights to living things was BS. Same with outlawing living things.
 

scoates

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BeerCanuck said:
Got any suggestion where to get said hop plants...can you grow from seed?
One of the guys in the MontreAlers has Perle and Cascade plants. I'm hoping to steal a bit of his cascade rhizome in the spring. Ping me around then, and I can probably drop some in the mail for you (it's only overnight from here, probably, and no messy customs to worry about).

S
 

mr x

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chthonik said:
I've always thought claiming proprietary rights to living things was BS. Same with outlawing living things.
Try making your first point with Monsanto and your second with the DEA.
 

david_42

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Trying to grow hops from seeds is a total rap-shoot. As an example, would you believe Cascade is a Fuggle x Fuggle cross? Fortunately for all of us, rhizome availability should be good this year.

As far as proprietary rights to living things. Breeding specific qualities into a plant of animal is a multi-generational effort that may or may not pay off. The High Alpha Acid project at Oregon State University has produced most of the newer hop varieties and the hops are in the public domain, but once in a while, a private operation comes up with an Amarillo. You can always buy several hundred acres of land and grow thousands of hop plants from seed, if you feel this is unfair.
 

BeerCanuck

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scoates said:
One of the guys in the MontreAlers has Perle and Cascade plants. I'm hoping to steal a bit of his cascade rhizome in the spring. Ping me around then, and I can probably drop some in the mail for you (it's only overnight from here, probably, and no messy customs to worry about).

S
Thanks for the tip.
I was doing a little research in purchasing rhizomes.
There is a place out in British Columbia you can buy from Crannóg Ales
They put out an excellent Hop growing PDF

I would like to buy a little bit more local (Niagara Region, Ontario) but Crannog site is kind of appealing.

Cheers
BeerCanuck
 

mr x

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BeerCanuck said:
Thanks for the tip.
I was doing a little research in purchasing rhizomes.
There is a place out in British Columbia you can buy from Crannóg Ales
They put out an excellent Hop growing PDF

I would like to buy a little bit more local (Niagara Region, Ontario) but Crannog site is kind of appealing.

Cheers
BeerCanuck
The problem with Crannog is:

"Priority will be given to new commercial scale growers, due to the current hops situation."

Hopefully, they may have some leftover for the rest of us.
 

vasie

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You will always want to start growing from rhyosomes. If you plant from seed, you could get male plants which do not produce hop cones at all. Be sure to place your order for the roots early on. The lists fill up pretty quick and you could get stuck waiting another year.
 

Donasay

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Part of the problem with growing your own hops is that you have no way of testing or knowing what the alpha acid levels are. One of my friends grows them, but he exclusively grows hop varieties for flavor and aroma, and buys commercially grown hops for bittering. So much of the balance of a recipe depends on the bittering hops and knowing what the AAU's are so I wouldn't count on being able to guess the level of alpha acids.

That being said, there is nothing like throwing fresh off the plant cascade hops in your boil towards the end, you really get the full aroma when they are fresh.
 

Soulive

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I just secured more rhizomes for this spring. Now I gotta figure out how to fit them into my existing setup...:D
 

The Soft Underbelly

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Great thread.... I am new to brewing and am looking forward to planting some in my own garden this year.

Can anyone from the Great Lakes region on this board suggest which perform best in our climate.

And more generally, how much space should i allot. i have a decent sized yard, but wanna leave room for the rest of the garden and for the mutts to go tear-assing around.

I'm a big fan of hoppy beers like IPAs etc....

Thanks!
 

abracadabra

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oster99 said:
Hey everybody! I'll be attempting to grow my own hops this year and I'm looking for suggestions/input/advice from you guys. I think I'm going to grow 3-4 different vines. I'll probably grow 1 cascade and 1 amarillo. I'm can't decide on what else to grow. I'm looking for a good balance of bittering, flavoring, and aroma hops. Any suggestions? Thanks!:mug:
I didn't see where anyone answered your questions specifically. So I'll give it a go.

I think Holly Springs is somewhere near Atlanta correct me if I'm wrong.

I tried and failed to get my rhizomes to grow last year. I'm a little south of ATL we have a number of problems growing hops down south. Hops like relatively cool summer weather and lots of rain neither of which is in abundance here in the south and with Governor Sonny Purdue set to announce new watering restrictions it doesn't look good this year either. So you are going to have to be very sneaky about watering or you could get fined and or have your water cut off. Or you'll need a private water supply such as a well, lake or stream. Another alternative is to use grey water but you'll have to check and make sure that's OK with your county, and or sub-division. A third option is to get rain barrels, then collect and store rain water, at any rate you'll need lots of water.

Most hops grow best up in Wash. Oregon and Idaho, but there are a couple of varieties that were better suited for growth in hot weather climates. Galena was one of them and I can't remember the name of the other and can't seem to find that info any longer.

Other advise is to get them in the ground or some kind of planter ASAP. Keep them watered in well draining soil with plenty of sun light. And pray the drought ends this year.

Another fact to keep in mind that it generally takes 2 years to get a good crop, the first year the cones are usually kind of sparse.

Best wishes with your gardening::mug:
 

Catfish

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I think Hopunion will test the AA content of hops for $35 or so. I think I heard it mentioned in an interview a few months ago on the BN.
 
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oster99

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Thanks for the input abracadabra. Holly Springs is about 30 miles north of Atlanta off 575. I plan on using rain barrels for the majority of the watering of my hops because I think it's better for them. I also plan on using one planter per vine about 27 cu ft of garden soil instead of our nasty georgia clay. I'll be buying from Freshops.com, but they won't release the list of available rhizomes until march 21st. Hopefully, it will all work out.:mug:
 

Liam

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Hi all!

This is a very useful thread and actually brought me to this forum. I'm interested in growing some hops this year on my deck and was wondering if there is any way to secure a delivery of a particular strain of hops' rhizomes. I see that freshops.com delivers but will they deliver to the USA? I was searching the Richters.com product page and they don't ship any rhizomes to the US, only seeds, and this made me wonder if anybody did.

Cascade or Nugget would be ideal, as would Warrior, Tomahawk, Chinook, Centennial.. I see that it was mentioned earlier that Simcoe and Amarillo were trademarked.

Is there any hope of getting rhizomes of any of those varieties? I live in northern Virginia. Also, are any of those varieties better suited for a fairly hot/dry summer?
 

humann_brewing

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I believe that some of the folks on here have had decent success with Cascade, which makes a decent bittering/flavor hop.

I'm looking to grow some Warrior, Columbus and Simcoe myself. :D
Can you get simcoe rhizomes? If so, where.

I have some second year plants going this year but I had to choose before I really knew what I liked and I think I will swap out a couple this year.
 

paddyfunk

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Simcoe, Warrior, and Amarillo are hard if not impossible to find, I think they are all propietary. However there are a number of good substitutes out there. I personally grow cascade and nugget, since I like pale ales and IPAs. I usually buy bulk bittering hops and then use my own for aroma. Hops need a year to take root and then produce a CRAPLOAD of cones in their second year, a good bit in their third, and then start to decline a bit. Be sure to dry correctly, I had a few "kinda still damp" cones ruin my cascade this year.
 

Brewgee

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Anyone have any luck growing hops in Alberta? Im in zone 2b looking to purchase rhizomes and Im not sure which varieties will take.
 

FuzzeWuzze

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Part of the problem with growing your own hops is that you have no way of testing or knowing what the alpha acid levels are. One of my friends grows them, but he exclusively grows hop varieties for flavor and aroma, and buys commercially grown hops for bittering. So much of the balance of a recipe depends on the bittering hops and knowing what the AAU's are so I wouldn't count on being able to guess the level of alpha acids.

That being said, there is nothing like throwing fresh off the plant cascade hops in your boil towards the end, you really get the full aroma when they are fresh.
There are labs on here that for $5 will take a sample of your beer and tell you its IBU.

If you do a simple half gallon smash with your hops and send the result it should be simple to reverse engineer the hop IBU's with a tool like Beersmith.
 

dlaramie08

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Y'all may want to check out the hops growing section of this forum. It is a wealth of information for beginners and seasoned growers alike.
 

FuzzeWuzze

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Simcoe, Warrior, and Amarillo are hard if not impossible to find, I think they are all propietary. However there are a number of good substitutes out there. I personally grow cascade and nugget, since I like pale ales and IPAs. I usually buy bulk bittering hops and then use my own for aroma. Hops need a year to take root and then produce a CRAPLOAD of cones in their second year, a good bit in their third, and then start to decline a bit. Be sure to dry correctly, I had a few "kinda still damp" cones ruin my cascade this year.
Just consider them impossible unless you are planning on finding out where they are grown, going to sneak onto the farm land and steal a rhizome. They are proprietary and if someone starts selling them they are in big trouble as is their source.

With proper fertilizer and taking care of your plants they can grow pretty crazy the first year...then again after work pretty much every day i went out back and inspected them to keep an eye out for bug infestations. I still think those two ladybug bags i released a few months apart really helped, those bastards were covering my plants...which means no aphids can take hold and suck the life out.

With 3 plants i ended up with just over 1 pound dried hops...that said I am in Oregon so your results may vary.

Personally i went for Cascade(Some bittering but mostly Aroma), Columbus(High AA but also decent aroma), and Newport which is just a straight bittering hop similar to Galena.

That said, just like brewing in general, dont think your going to grow hops to save money. To really get decent harvests you need to keep an eye on them, sure you can just let them do their thing and water when you remember but you'll get ****ty yields...and for a plant that only harvests once a year seems like a waste to not pamper them!
 
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