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Hop Growers in Chicagoland, I need some advice

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The Soft Underbelly

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So I'm new to brewing but really digging the hobby. I wanted to put some hops in the garden this year but don't really know what varieties grow well in this area or what varieties I might be looking to grow based on the beers I like.

I have a pretty varied taste in beers, but mostly like IPAs Stouts, California Commons, those type of things.

Can anyone here offer any advice on what I might try growing.
 

Crazytwoknobs

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I know Cascade grows well here, but I haven't done it myself.

/bump cause I'm interested too.
 

cj8scrambler

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I ordered some leftover rhizomes on clearance from morebeer in July last year. Due to the quality of the Rhizomes and the very late start I didn't really expect much. The Tettanger sprouted, but never did much more. The Nugget never showed any sign of life. The Horizon did the best with 2 vines about 6' long. I never got any cones, but I wasn't surprised. I don't think the Chicago weather killed the first two, but the Horizon was definitely strong enough to survive the summer.

Assuming the Horizon made it through the winter, I hope to get cones on it this year. I've also pre-ordered Goldings, Mt. Hood and Cascade from NortherBrewer.com for planting this spring. I ordered them based solely on taste and with no regard to climate or hardiness. I figure I'll learn as I go.
 

Rhoobarb

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I planted Cascade, Nugget and Willamette when I was living in Plainfield. The first year, the Willamette bore no hop cones, the Nugget bore ~6 oz. and the Cascade ~a pound. The following year, the Willamette was about where the Nugget was the previous year, but the Nugget did good, yielding about 1.5 lbs. and the Cascade went nuts, giving me ~3 lbs. I have a pic of my Cascade from that year in my gallery. Last year was too rainy and the yields were about 25% less than the year before.

I just moved to Oak Forest and am starting over again. I took some Cascade and Nugget rhizomes with me to transplant. I may look to order a third variety to plant. As long as they get a lot of sun, they'll do fine.
 
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The Soft Underbelly

The Soft Underbelly

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Rhoobarb said:
I planted Cascade, Nugget and Willamette when I was living in Plainfield.... As long as they get a lot of sun, they'll do fine.

I took the plunge Sunday and ordered rhizomes from Midwest. I needed other supplies anyway and though "what the hell". Doing some research on indigenous varieties, I wound up getting Cascade, Chinook and Willamette. We'll see how it goes.
 

OLB

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I might try growing hops this year for the first time. It seems that Cascade is a good choice and that others have had success with it in the Chicago climate. Any input on how last year went for some of you or if there are other strains that grow well here?
 

discgolfin

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Chicago really is good weather for most hops that can take the heat. I have Cascade, Cenntennial, and Hallertaeu. I plan to plant Chinook and maybe another noble hop. I had a few issues with Jap beetles last summer..but I read it was one of the worst summers for them. They ate more of my garden than my hops. Keep them well hydrated the first year. If we have a real big heat wave it is good to do it several times becasue they will dry out easliy..

J
 

OLB

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Chicago really is good weather for most hops that can take the heat. I have Cascade, Cenntennial, and Hallertaeu. I plan to plant Chinook and maybe another noble hop. I had a few issues with Jap beetles last summer..but I read it was one of the worst summers for them. They ate more of my garden than my hops. Keep them well hydrated the first year. If we have a real big heat wave it is good to do it several times becasue they will dry out easliy..

J
Is there any place to buy the rhizomes locally or do you recommend online purchase?
 

CBBaron

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Cascades seems to be the most productive variety. I have Cascades, Chinook, Centennial and Willamette planted. All are growing well but the Cascades is easily my most productive. The Willamette is the least vigorous and productive but does appear to grow well.

My best advice is to grow what you like. If you like a lot of american ales then one of the C hops is a good choice. If you like English hops then Willamette, Fuggles or Goldings is good. I think Willamette may be the easiest of those to grow. And of course there is the German or Chec varieties and their relatives.

Craig
 

wognot1991

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I put two Cascades and two Chinooks in two years ago. The first year I had marginal harvest from the Cascades and none from the Chinooks. This past summer I harvest about 4 pounds (wet) from the Cascades and about 2 pounds from the Chinooks. They ended up being about 16-18 tall in August.
Oh and I live just south of the Wisconsin border.

Wognot
 

RandalG

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Relatively new to brewing.I'm partial to wheat beers mainly with the occasional stout or porter.I prefer sweeter beer to bitter also most of the time. What would you guys suggest?
 
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