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Kershner_Ale

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I've been trying to find information as to whether I can actually grow hops in Alaska (south central AK) or not. Most folks have told me all the daylight we get in the summer makes the vines grow really well, but is poor for cone development. Someone told me the vine needs to "sleep" to start producing cones and really long days (16-18+ hrs of daylight) are too much ligh to allow the vines to "sleep." So from a homebrewing standpoint, lots of vine growth wouldn't do me much good if I didn't get any cones at the end. Anyone try growing hops in Alaska, Canada, or anyplace else around the 60 deg north latitude area of the world? I think I'll try it anyway next spring, just to see what happens.
 

Arneba28

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Hey man, go for it it. My only thought is how many months are you frost free. I am Alaska ignorant and have no idea of your actual climate. I just picture frozen, and although I am sure that is not true. My growing season was starting to get scary when my cones where not ready to be picked and I was approaching frost season. Also I have heard as well that without proper day/night ratios(ie. street lights, summer hours) cones will not develop as you said.
 

Joe Camel

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55N is what I've read to be the northern edge of the growing zone. My hops cones started showing up in early September and toward the end of the month I was starting to get nervous and may have picked them a bit early for fear of frost.
You'll probably have enough sun to grow the bines but when the days start getting short, they get short fast, there may not be enough time for the cones to mature.

That been said, it may be worth a shot, you might get some production. Good luck
 

Ølbart

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I'm at 60°N, and started growing hops this year. The bines grew well, but the cones were small, late blooming and didn't mature properly, which probably has something to do with the plants being in their first year. Others have had better luck, like the guy growing these: http://www.bryggeri.net/userpix/199_humle_1.jpg (also first year hops, middle of September). It's warmer and much wetter here than in Anchorage, though.

I know people have been growing hops here since the 13th century or so, and there are wild plants as far north as 65°N and further, so I say go for it.
 
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Kershner_Ale

Kershner_Ale

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Thanks folks, I'll give it a try next year just to see what happens. My concern is getting cones developing and looking great.....then bam! the first cold weather hits us. Anytime after September 1st around here and all bets are off for frost and snow. I was told there's a place up north of Fairbanks (just south of Arctic Circle) that grows hops for a local brewery, so it must be possible in Interior AK (which has warmer summer days but a shorter growing season yet). I'll have to see what coastal AK can produce :)
 

david_42

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Long days are ideal for bine growth. The trigger for cone production is the amount of sunlight. Early maturing varieties trigger sooner and are harvested in August.

Northern Brewer, Spalter, US Tettnanger, Centennial, Saazer

Unfortunately, if you are a Cascade lover, it's a late maturing hop.
 

MTBREWDOG

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We grow hops just fine down in Montana. Here we have to pick ours in about mid September early October. I know there though it's much colder sooner and your photoperiod is different. If you can find a variety that matures early you'll do fine.
 

bigskydrift

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We grow hops just fine down in Montana. Here we have to pick ours in about mid September early October. I know there though it's much colder sooner and your photoperiod is different. If you can find a variety that matures early you'll do fine.
Hi Brewdog.....
I realize the post I am quoting is a bit old, but I too live in Missoula. I have lived in Montana all of my life, although until recently it was east of the divide where first frost usually happens by Sept 10-15. I have five cascades and one Willamette plant, growing on my pergola here in Missoula. This is their first year, the Cascades all grew to about 16-18 feet and are covered with cones, about the size of my pinky finger now (Aug 6). Does anyone think that these will make muturity before first frost?
PS bought these from Caras nursery, great plants!!
 

xcap

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It would be a PITA, but is it possible to tarp the plants for a while each dat to simulate darkness. That may perhaps stimulate the plants to produce more reliably.
 

McKBrew

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Hi Brewdog.....
I realize the post I am quoting is a bit old, but I too live in Missoula. I have lived in Montana all of my life, although until recently it was east of the divide where first frost usually happens by Sept 10-15. I have five cascades and one Willamette plant, growing on my pergola here in Missoula. This is their first year, the Cascades all grew to about 16-18 feet and are covered with cones, about the size of my pinky finger now (Aug 6). Does anyone think that these will make muturity before first frost?
PS bought these from Caras nursery, great plants!!
They grow pretty quickly once they turn into cones. I think they'll be fine. They are also pretty hardy and while I can't be for certain, I'll bet it will take more than a couple frosts to beat them down.

I went through a few frosts when the bines were still young and poking out of the groud, and they did just fine.
 
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