Growing my own hops.

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Sanityworkshop

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I've just started this brewing thing and I have read up a bit on it but I use to garden a ton when I had room for it... and I was wondering how easy it would be to grow my own hops just for the hell of it... and one out there doing this at the moment and want to drop me a line?
 

david_42

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There are several threads on this, but go to www.freshops.com and read about it. A key point Dave doesn't make is the amount of water they need, 5-6 inches a week during the prime growing season.
 

Rookie

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david_42 said:
There are several threads on this, but go to www.freshops.com and read about it. A key point Dave doesn't make is the amount of water they need, 5-6 inches a week during the prime growing season.
I use a slow running drip line that directs the water to a small area around the hops so it is easy to get the needed amount of water without playing havoc on your water bill.
 

david_42

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Yah, drip lines next year. The hops garden is 200 feet from the house. That's a lot of pipe to bury.

I also have a well that's right next to the garden, but no water in the dry months. Right now, it's wet enough that I get water out of the pump with the power shut off!

Another thing about hops, they have a big tap root, but will put out surface roots if the water is available. They can be very invasive in yards.
 

Schlenkerla

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I did my my first year of hops growin' . I was pretty successfull. I grew two cascades and two nuggets. Both are rapid growers and are recommended 1st trys by freshops. I got about 2.5 oz of cascades and 1.75 oz. of nuggets this year. This being my first. I was not disapointed. They smell awesome at harvest time. (August-October) Next year the yield should be 4X more.

I know this doesn't seem like much, but the appreciation will be much like drinking your first homebrew....

I really gave them alot of TLC. Watered every other day, weeded, and clipped back extra growth... If you make the decision to buy the rhizomes, I bet you'll probably do the same... The are really vigorous growers in July. The'll grow 6-8" per day!!! I used the the Teepee method. Check out the photos from harvest time.....

http://boozinsusansbrewery.spaces.live.com/

I bought mine around March-April at http://www.freshops.com

My first batch brewed from home grown hops is with cascades from Charlie P's suggested American Cream Ale recipe. The initial taste, at bottling, seems to be pretty good. Hopped very mildly at 13-14IBU w/ 6lbs Lt DME & 1/2lbs carapils. Mild is a good idea with the 1st batch since you don't know the AAU's

This batch was my first lager too. Used Superior Lager Yeast. I am bottle lagering this batch now until the superbowl.

Bears just lost to the Pat's......:(

Hope da bears get dair.....

:mug:
 

boo boo

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I tried my hand (or green thumb) at hop growing this year also. Due to weather restrictions here in Newfoundland, I didn't get my hop plants shipped to me until late june. These were seedlings and not rhizomes, and the cascades produced an ounce of dried cones from the three plants. Another three hallertau plants I had didn't produce this year. I expect them to grow big this comming year and have to build a trellis for them to climb.
 

Sir Humpsalot

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I was thinking the other day about how cool it would be to grow hops hydroponically... so you could adjust the nitrogen levels in the air and micro-control their environment to get some really killer hops.

There's plenty of information out there about growing things like this hydroponically, but if you decide to do the research, don't be surprised if the FBI comes knocking on your door some day....
 

debtman7

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I'm planning on trying next year. We have a trellis that's about 10' high, currently we grow grape vines on it but there is some open room for hops. Only thing I'm not sure about is that it's only about 10' high and most hops seem to like to grow around 20'. Will a 10' height work out ok?
 

Schlenkerla

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10' should work. It will probably get more bushy. You may have to clip back the hops so they don't growover or choke out the grapes.
 

tanglewood16137

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Hello I used to have like 12 different kind of hops growing but all have died out excepth on its still going strong its canadian red vine and it hasn't been on a pole inyears and it grows up to 100 feet out on weeds and brush around it huge and it produces huge fragrent spicey cones and tons of them.



Rod
 

javedian

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Starting to think of what hop rhizomes to get (and where in the yard to put them).
Thinking of 3 plants. Anybody have comments? I am just getting back into brewing (with a vengance), and brew all sorts of beer, rarely anything twice. I like variety. FYI - Freshops just posted on their web that rhizome orders will be accepted starting 3/21.

1. Cascade - well, I do live in CA.

2. Mt. Hood, Liberty, or Sterling. Anybody have experience with growing these? What about flavors? How does Mt Hood & liberty compare (or differ) to Hallertauer, and Sterling to Saaz?

3. Canadian Redvine - can anybody post a good flavor / aroma profile or something similar? From Freshops: MAJOR TRAITS: exceptionally vigorous, very low alpha (5%), high cohumulone, little humulene

4. Sunbeam - may replace one of the above, depending on garden location, as I have a couple of part-sun locations where I can grow up a pole / trellis / twine. MAJOR TRAITS: attractive lemon-yellow leaf color during the whole season., reddish brown stem color which contrasts nicely with the yellow leaves.
OTHER INFORMATION: This is an ornamental diploid hop which is not intended for commercial
production. However, the cones could be suitable for flavoring beer and
ales especially of a Saazer-type aroma profile is desired. The reduced
chlorophyll content makes Sunbeam sensitive to direct sunlight in
midsummer, causing shriveling and browning of the leaves. Therefore,
this variety is best grown in semi-shaded areas to maintain attractive foliage
during the growing season.
 

Schlenkerla

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I would buy only aroma and finishing hops. In my first try I followed Freshops recomendation. Cascade & Nugget. Both grew quite well.

I read in my hop gardening book that its risky brewing with fresh hops for bittering. First you don't know how high the AAU's are going to be and two you don't gain the "fresh" benefit.

I am using my homegrown for Aroma and Flavor exclusively (late additions and dry hopping). I will always buy pellets for bittering.

My Pleasant Hill Lager is my latest batch using home grown I pitched in 1/4 oz of nugget at flame out. I used a pale hopped extract for standardizing purposes.

FYI - Nugget is a bittering hop with supposedly good aroma.

I will do the exact same recipe with the cascades tomorrow.

My American Cream Ale is awesome. This was my first lager and first go with my cascades. The hop taste mildly prominent but not over powering. (12-13IBU 1/2 oz fresh.) The flavor is more floral than citrusy which is opposite of what I expected. - Still quite good!

:mug:
 

david_42

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I planted a Sunbeam last year, but it didn't produce anything. The only shade it gets is from the other hops on the east side of the trellis. Maybe I should swap it with the N.B., so the Sunbeam is shaded in the afternoon?

Funny they call something that can't handle full sun, Sunbeam!
 

Tony

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Couple questions on using homegrown hops. Ive read from so many sources that homegrown hops are great for aroma and finishing, but not for bittering, because you cant actually calculate IBU's because you cant be sure of the actual alpha acids.

First, is this true?

Have you homegrowers run into this?

If it is, what equipment is actually used to measure alpha acids?
 

Schlenkerla

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That's correct. The flavor & aroma additon does very little for bittering.

Its really a waste of fresh hops anyhow if you use them for bittering. Unless you have alot, more than you can use for the year for flavor & aroma.

If you want you can have them evaluated at a lab for alpha acid units, but I don't know of anyone who has done this or where they could be sent.

I don't know what equipment is needed or how practical that would be.
 

david_42

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You can probably send them to the hop heads at OSU, but I think we are talking $200 per test. They typically use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and those run $250,000 or so. [And take bleeding forever to calibrate!]

My hop plants are a mix of aroma & dual use hops, like Nuggett and Perle.
 
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Yuri_Rage said:
Anybody have any success growing hops in a dry climate? How big are the root systems on the average hop vine?
I tried some here last year and they were going like gangbusters. Then June/JulyAug happened (100+). Got burned up pretty much. They're even growing under a horse cover to start, then got to 10' and exposed to the AZ sun. I'd say if you're under 100 and can get water to them daily you might do well. I had mine on a timed drip line. I'm not pulling them up, we'll just see if they figure it out or maybe have them grow under the cover instead of around it.
 

david_42

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Most hops are grown in dry regions, like Eastern Washington and Oregon. As I learned last year: Lots of water, Lots. An inch a day isn't too much at 100F. Many of the big growers have gone over to constant drip irrigation and that's were I'm headed this year.
 

Whelk

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What hops should be easiest to grow in southern NY (Westchester county)? I've never tried growing my own, but I'm looking forward to the attempt.
 

olguy25

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I've grown my own hops for several years and here are some things that I learned the hard way. 1) grow them on strings so that you don't have to nearly destroy your fence in the fall when you try to remove the old tough vines.
2) Watch for Aphids and wash them off with soapy water or just a high pressure nozzle with plain water. 3) Use a drip water system, you can improvise one without running underground pipes, etc. 4) Seal the dried hops in "seal a meal" type bags. Good luck!!
 

olguy25

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olguy25 said:
I've grown my own hops for several years and here are some things that I learned the hard way. 1) grow them on strings so that you don't have to nearly destroy your fence in the fall when you try to remove the old tough vines.
2) Watch for Aphids and wash them off with soapy water or just a high pressure nozzle with plain water. 3) Use a drip water system, you can improvise one without running underground pipes, etc. 4) Seal the dried hops in "seal a meal" type bags. Good luck!!

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