How did your hops do this past year?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
I live in north east/north central Alabama at 1300 ft ASL. I should have had the best year for hops , the 3rd year for half my bines . 2nd for others and planted a couple new ones. we had plenty of rain ( but it was non-stop rain sometimes for days) we had sunshine( but it got HOT way early) At the end of the season I barely harvested a handful, collectively. Just wondering how everyone elses did or possibly my lack of hops was just localized.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

My hop trellis brings the boys to the yard.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
8,895
Reaction score
19,889
Location
Long Island
I didn’t get out to tend to them for two years in a row now, but I did see cones among my mess of bines that had nothing to climb. I’m in the North East.
It sounds like you know that hops require good drainage, they also need to have rhizome runners trimmed to keep more of the plant’s energy for cones. In the spring I find places we’re hops are popping up (and I didn’t plant them) pull it up and cut it a foot or two from the crown. These can be shared with fellow brewers or thrown out, unless you want more to harvest they can be planted.
You can always check with a local university cooperative to learn the needs of plants in your locale.
Three years ago I had a really nice harvest and wet hopped a hefe with Crystal. This pic is Newport
7A20DB26-ECA3-4C39-AC5C-E36F804C9BB9.jpeg
 

IanJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
289
Reaction score
46
First year for my bines, they didn't do great. Mostly as expected, as far as cone production at least. Similar situation to you, got hot way too early and so much rain. It was an abnormally hot swamp in 7B all summer, my garden in general did really badly, so much disease/late blight, bacterial problems, and the bugs were out of control. Spotted lanternflies are taking over here in NJ so it was just a terrible plant year in my microclimate, spent all of the summer months killing those bastards all over my property.

What I really need to figure out is a cheap, easy seasonally deconstruct-able trellis system for 6 plants in my tiny backyard, to give them the best chance if this happens again.
 

Murph4231

Homebrew Advocate
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
575
Reaction score
916
I live in north east/north central Alabama at 1300 ft ASL. I should have had the best year for hops , the 3rd year for half my bines . 2nd for others and planted a couple new ones. we had plenty of rain ( but it was non-stop rain sometimes for days) we had sunshine( but it got HOT way early) At the end of the season I barely harvested a handful, collectively. Just wondering how everyone elses did or possibly my lack of hops was just localized.

I have hops growing in north central Alabama also. I planted 7 different varieties. 2 simply never sprouted. 2 took off and grew very well for first year plants and they produced about 8 oz each. 1 is cascade. I expected it to out perform all the others but it was a late bloomer. It sprouted timely with the others then slowed considerably. It waited till the end of the season to produce about an ounce of cones. I did everything according to preparation and planting so I am hopeful next year I'll have a bountiful crop.
IMG_20210714_150708267.jpg
IMG_20210806_180727815.jpg
IMG_20210823_173453565.jpg
 
Last edited:

Hoppy2bmerry

My hop trellis brings the boys to the yard.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
8,895
Reaction score
19,889
Location
Long Island
First year for my bines, they didn't do great. Mostly as expected, as far as cone production at least. Similar situation to you, got hot way too early and so much rain. It was an abnormally hot swamp in 7B all summer, my garden in general did really badly, so much disease/late blight, bacterial problems, and the bugs were out of control. Spotted lanternflies are taking over here in NJ so it was just a terrible plant year in my microclimate, spent all of the summer months killing those bastards all over my property.

What I really need to figure out is a cheap, easy seasonally deconstruct-able trellis system for 6 plants in my tiny backyard, to give them the best chance if this happens again.
I planted adjacent to chain link fence posts (fence fabric removed) and I‘ve gotten 3 inch PVC pipe that fits over the post hooks and capped on top. The hooks are for the cordage which is staked to the ground. One and a half pipes coupled and glued is a pretty decent 15 ft for the hops to climb. Easy to put up and take down for the winter.
 

IanJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
289
Reaction score
46
Sounds like a very affordable solution! Wish I had a fence that wasn't completely shaded by a tree, same with the house, nothing stable and facing the right direction for any decent sunlight.

So I did end up with something similar but wasn't too sure about doing it again. Put some 5 ft u-posts into the ground and wedged a much thinner PVC pipe (1" x 8ft tall -- all I could fit in my car) between 2 of them, secured by zip ties through the post holes. It didn't seem THAT bad, but the height won't be ideal for next year and for any side branching. I'm not sure if any taller would be secure enough for the weight + wind when they start to plump up around August.

Maybe 3" would work with a T at the top, supporting one bine on either end?
 

corkybstewart

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
3,483
Reaction score
4,950
Location
Silver City
This was the third year I attempted to grow hops at our house in Silver City NM. When we moved there from the other side of the state I brought about 20 Cascade crowns, broken into about 75 or so rhyzomes, some Magnum, and something else, They mostly sprouted but none got taller than a foot. The next year I bought plants from Great Lakes, they got a foot high and died slowly over a month or so. This year I ordered Cascade, Magnum, Nugget and Willamette and had decent success for the first year. They all grew tall, all made some cones, and the cones smelled great. I'm looking forward to next year
 

IanJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
289
Reaction score
46
This was the third year I attempted to grow hops at our house in Silver City NM. When we moved there from the other side of the state I brought about 20 Cascade crowns, broken into about 75 or so rhyzomes, some Magnum, and something else, They mostly sprouted but none got taller than a foot. The next year I bought plants from Great Lakes, they got a foot high and died slowly over a month or so. This year I ordered Cascade, Magnum, Nugget and Willamette and had decent success for the first year. They all grew tall, all made some cones, and the cones smelled great. I'm looking forward to next year

What do you think might have changed this third time that resulted in success? Soil? Weather? I remember trying to grow some rhizomes I got from GLH one time and both died early in the season.

You could do that. I’d take a picture of the hooks, but I’m too lazy to go out to the garage.

Haha, no worries. I get the general idea, I'll have to do some experimenting before they (hopefully) take off in the spring.
 
OP
OP
Soulshine2

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
I didn’t get out to tend to them for two years in a row now, but I did see cones among my mess of bines that had nothing to climb. I’m in the North East.
It sounds like you know that hops require good drainage, they also need to have rhizome runners trimmed to keep more of the plant’s energy for cones. In the spring I find places we’re hops are popping up (and I didn’t plant them) pull it up and cut it a foot or two from the crown. These can be shared with fellow brewers or thrown out, unless you want more to harvest they can be planted.
You can always check with a local university cooperative to learn the needs of plants in your locale.
Three years ago I had a really nice harvest and wet hopped a hefe with Crystal. This pic is NewportView attachment 748411
i absolutely know what they need. i have them planted in an old long ago livestock pasture so the soil is basically super fertilized . my first year with these were the best years. i couldnt believe how much i harvested . they declined each year since. last year i barely got a handful over all plants combined. yesterday since the weather was so nice i went out and went around each crown , pulled weeds and cultivated in preparation for winter. most crown are healthy and have next years growth buds already set. hopefully the non-production this year could mean a boom season next year. i thought about splitting the first ones out and expand my plots since they are 3 yrs old. theyre due.
 
OP
OP
Soulshine2

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
I spent 2 years making compost and fixing the soil.
my guess and i mentioned it . it got really hot too early and we had rains that were torrential downpours for days. then we had droughts between the rains. not much consistent or beneficial for good gardening. our vegetable plots were not very productive either.
 
OP
OP
Soulshine2

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
First year for my bines, they didn't do great. Mostly as expected, as far as cone production at least. Similar situation to you, got hot way too early and so much rain. It was an abnormally hot swamp in 7B all summer, my garden in general did really badly, so much disease/late blight, bacterial problems, and the bugs were out of control. Spotted lanternflies are taking over here in NJ so it was just a terrible plant year in my microclimate, spent all of the summer months killing those bastards all over my property.

What I really need to figure out is a cheap, easy seasonally deconstruct-able trellis system for 6 plants in my tiny backyard, to give them the best chance if this happens again.
thats both interesting and coincidental. youre in NJ and Im in North AL and we're both in 7B zones. im at 1300 ft ASL . any idea what your elevation is?
 
OP
OP
Soulshine2

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
I have hops growing in north central Alabama also. I planted 7 different varieties. 2 simply never sprouted. 2 took off and grew very well for first year plants and they produced about 8 oz each. 1 is cascade. I expected it to out perform all the others but it was a late bloomer. It sprouted timely with the others then slowed considerably. It waited till the end of the season to produce about an ounce of cones. I did everything according to preparation and planting so I am hopeful next year I'll have a bountiful crop.View attachment 750917 View attachment 750918 View attachment 750916
North central AL? what town? we might be close. what varieties do you have?
 

corkybstewart

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
3,483
Reaction score
4,950
Location
Silver City
my guess and i mentioned it . it got really hot too early and we had rains that were torrential downpours for days. then we had droughts between the rains. not much consistent or beneficial for good gardening. our vegetable plots were not very productive either.
We live on a granite ridge in SW New Mexico, in the corner near Arizona and Mexico, but at 6200' the climate is actually very good, better than where we were. So the "soil" is basically sand and clay. We have free range cattle wandering through our area and a neighbor with horses so manure is easily accessible and free. Combined with brewing waste and kitchen waste the compost is pretty formidable stuff. We only had 4 days over 100F this summer and very good monsoon season so we had a great year weatherwise.
 
Last edited:

IanJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
289
Reaction score
46
thats both interesting and coincidental. youre in NJ and Im in North AL and we're both in 7B zones. im at 1300 ft ASL . any idea what your elevation is?

Oh crap, sorry I was wrong, I'm in 7A (according to the new 2012 zoning) and definitely not as hot as you would get, and likely much colder winters and a bit shorter growing season at least. You got me questioning myself, not sure why I though B. Though NJ does range from 6a-7b. But it was still a brutal summer.

According to an elevation map I'm very close to sea level (~200ft), which could explain the swamp factor.
 

Murph4231

Homebrew Advocate
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
575
Reaction score
916
North central AL? what town? we might be close. what varieties do you have?
Cullman. I planted Cascade, Fuggels, Chinook, Nugget, Centennial, Sterling and Columbus. The Fuggels and Chinooks are the two that failed to come up. My Nugget and Centenials did the best each producing about 8 Oz. Got about 2 Oz from the late producing Cascade but the Sterling and Columbus failed to produce mature usable cones. Where are you located? I recently moved here from B'Ham and want to learn more about the beer scene in the Huntsville area. My late brother was a huge fan of Brother Joseph so I want to visit Straight to Ale. I also hail from the panhandle so I'm not always in Bama. My hops are planted on old family farm land where my goal is to have hops for generations to come.
 

mendelec

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
48
Reaction score
44
Location
Berwyn
2020 was a horrible year for me, but 2021 was my best total yield yet on my 4, 4yo bines up in Chicagoland. But, the harvest was highly variable. Chinook was a monster of a haul (25.5oz dry weight), overshadowing the yield off the next best (glacier) by a factor of 2, which was itself twice the yield of my columbus and cascade plants.
Total yield of 53.2oz, dry weight, off the 4 plants. Plants were on their 4th season.
The relatively low yield off the Columbus surprised me, since that's usually solid producer. But, I did take it for granted this past year and I think the yield suffered for it. My cascade sits over a central air condenser and it's always a challenge to keep watered. The ones that did the best, were the ones I gave the most love too. I attribute the relatively good year to mulching over winter and a good dose of manure and compost earlier than I had in past years. Bines are all on a 12ft trellis setup. I keep pondering giving them more height, but I have significant space constraints.
I'm hoping to get out this weekend to prep the bed for next year.20210901_165954.jpg 20210901_165914.jpg
 
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
341
Reaction score
417
Location
Keizer
This was my first year to cultivate hops. My Cascade rhizome took off like crazy, my Kent Golding was a non-starter. My growing space is on the South wall of my house with a long twine to grow up to the peak of the house(if they make it that far). I got about an ounce and a half from the Cascade, pleasantly surprised. Now that the typical Oregon weather is here, time to cover it up with some mulch and wait until next spring so I can replant something else.
 

Murph4231

Homebrew Advocate
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
575
Reaction score
916
2020 was a horrible year for me, but 2021 was my best total yield yet on my 4, 4yo bines up in Chicagoland. But, the harvest was highly variable. Chinook was a monster of a haul (25.5oz dry weight), overshadowing the yield off the next best (glacier) by a factor of 2, which was itself twice the yield of my columbus and cascade plants.
Total yield of 53.2oz, dry weight, off the 4 plants. Plants were on their 4th season.
The relatively low yield off the Columbus surprised me, since that's usually solid producer. But, I did take it for granted this past year and I think the yield suffered for it. My cascade sits over a central air condenser and it's always a challenge to keep watered. The ones that did the best, were the ones I gave the most love too. I attribute the relatively good year to mulching over winter and a good dose of manure and compost earlier than I had in past years. Bines are all on a 12ft trellis setup. I keep pondering giving them more height, but I have significant space constraints.
I'm hoping to get out this weekend to prep the bed for next year.View attachment 751032 View attachment 751033
That is what I'm hoping for next season. I used to live in Lockport and I had hops growing up one side of my house. They looked very much like yours.

Good job.
 

superiorsat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
370
Reaction score
311
Seemed to have a fair year in Iowa. My 2 year plants really rocked. I have 3 Comet, and 3 Cashmere. Picked about 5 or 6 5 gallon buckets full of hops off each variety. Did a couple huge wet hop beers of each variety and shrink wrapped the rest. Been trying to use them when I can but still have a grocery sack full of each. Best guess is I just missed 2 pounds per plant on average. My new crop was not very good. Cascade took and off those 3 plants maybe only got 1.5 ounce dry. The Centennial I didn't even bother to pick as there was almost nothing. Spent the whole season taking cuttings trying to get some clones going for the 2 spots where the rhizomes didn't take off. Eventually I had to put some rooting powder on attached bines and bury it in a small pot. After a while they sprouted its own roots and I cut it off the mother plant. Tried like 5 times to just take a cutting and put in a pot with rooting powder to get started but none would take. After the long hard battle I've got all the spots filled so fingers crossed they all come back next year.
 

Joggin

Joggin
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
56
Reaction score
36
In SE Pennsylvania, had not that great a harvest. Spotted lantern flies, though less seen than years before are still around. About 30% less yield than last year.
 
OP
OP
Soulshine2

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
Cullman. I planted Cascade, Fuggels, Chinook, Nugget, Centennial, Sterling and Columbus. The Fuggels and Chinooks are the two that failed to come up. My Nugget and Centenials did the best each producing about 8 Oz. Got about 2 Oz from the late producing Cascade but the Sterling and Columbus failed to produce mature usable cones. Where are you located? I recently moved here from B'Ham and want to learn more about the beer scene in the Huntsville area. My late brother was a huge fan of Brother Joseph so I want to visit Straight to Ale. I also hail from the panhandle so I'm not always in Bama. My hops are planted on old family farm land where my goal is to have hops for generations to come.
we're in Grant. Cullman isnt too far away. We're about as north in Marshall county as you can get. the 3 i have that are 3 yrs old are -Crystal which is my best growing hop. Mt Hood , Hallertauer Mittelfreuh . I had Tettnang but it I dont know if it didnt like where it was planted too wet , too sunny. or just the general climate. Maybe just not a healthy plant, idk. Id like to try another one and put it in a different spot and see if i can get it to grow. It never produced much but then last year the neighbors goat got loose and into my property and finished it off. so, i just planted Cascade in its place last year kinda late. i received 2 (minimum order) and didnt want to plant them when i got them because it was a little swampy but 1 was fairly aggressive but soon when the heat came up so high and fast it about burned up, the other one i had to put in a pot , took forever to grow. I tried Nugget , at least 4 plants . Tractor Supply sold them , they all died.
Straight to Ale is a must. great food and beer, one of our favorite places to go . theres a "speakeasy" hidden in the back . You do know that the building its in used to be a school. theres a couple other breweries in the same area. Yellowhammer is literally next door. good pizza and beer as well.
If you get in that area and its during the week take a ride just down the road from STA to Pearly Gates (aka Pearlys) its a health food store but they also have a really good section of supplies for us homebrewers. Its my local go-to before i order online.
 
OP
OP
Soulshine2

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
That is what I'm hoping for next season. I used to live in Lockport and I had hops growing up one side of my house. They looked very much like yours.

Good job.
you lived in Lockport,IL?? where? small world ,buddy. I was born and raised in Joliet just off Essington Rd in the Crystal Lawns area ,just a stones throw from the Joliet Mall. Last place I lived was on the north side of the mall in the subdivision behind the shell station. How did you end up here in Bama and how long have you been here? we moved here in 2017. good timing too.
 

Murph4231

Homebrew Advocate
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
575
Reaction score
916
you lived in Lockport,IL?? where? small world ,buddy. I was born and raised in Joliet just off Essington Rd in the Crystal Lawns area ,just a stones throw from the Joliet Mall. Last place I lived was on the north side of the mall in the subdivision behind the shell station. How did you end up here in Bama and how long have you been here? we moved here in 2017. good timing too.
No doubt on your moving timing. I was born and raised in Cullman. Moved to Joliet in 1971 to work for a railroad in Chicago. Lived there 9 yrs got transferred to FL for 9 yrs then back to Chicago for 6 yrs. Over those yrs I lived all over the south western suburbs. Moved back to Bama in 96 then back to the panhandle in 04 and currently residing in both locals. We're you ever involved with Chicage Beer Society or BOSS (Brewers Of South Suburbia). I was president of BOSS for a few yrs back in the 90s. Where are you located?
 
OP
OP
Soulshine2

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Grant
No doubt on your moving timing. I was born and raised in Cullman. Moved to Joliet in 1971 to work for a railroad in Chicago. Lived there 9 yrs got transferred to FL for 9 yrs then back to Chicago for 6 yrs. Over those yrs I lived all over the south western suburbs. Moved back to Bama in 96 then back to the panhandle in 04 and currently residing in both locals. We're you ever involved with Chicage Beer Society or BOSS (Brewers Of South Suburbia). I was president of BOSS for a few yrs back in the 90s. Where are you located?
which railroad and rail yard. my wifes grandfather, my best buds dad and one of my dads cousins all worked for rock island about then.
I was not in BOSS .
Im on top of this mountain everyone refers to as Grant mtn but its really Gunter mtn. if you come up from 431 towards cathedral caverns. not far from the Grassy mountain holiness church.
my parents moved to guntersville to retire ,fall of 92.
this "other hobby " i have , working on a 1951 chevy truck. i bought a s10 for a chassis swap from Wayne Shaffer in Cullman. if you are from there you'd probably know him.
 

Murph4231

Homebrew Advocate
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
575
Reaction score
916
which railroad and rail yard. my wifes grandfather, my best buds dad and one of my dads cousins all worked for rock island about then.
I was not in BOSS .
Im on top of this mountain everyone refers to as Grant mtn but its really Gunter mtn. if you come up from 431 towards cathedral caverns. not far from the Grassy mountain holiness church.
my parents moved to guntersville to retire ,fall of 92.
this "other hobby " i have , working on a 1951 chevy truck. i bought a s10 for a chassis swap from Wayne Shaffer in Cullman. if you are from there you'd probably know him.

Burlington Northern for 6 yrs then Amtrak for another 20. Lol yes everyone knows the Shaffers. Won't mention his name but one of them is an outstanding distiller. While I recently moved back to Cullman, it's home to me. For a few years I had a convenient store in Cullman where I kept a few kegs of homebrew on tap. Never sold a drop as it was and still is illegal to sell it. I gave it to anyone who expressed interest. I promoted homebrewing here even did exposes and invited guest speakers from other areas to talk about homebrewing to the masses who attended. All before homebrewing was legal in the state of Alabama. Cullman is a German town. Established by Germans for Germans. As a result when Cullman was established beer and wine making was documented as essential to the German life style. Therefore local citizens were allowed to make and consume homebrew and wine for personal consumption long before the practice was legalized state wide. I am briefly familiar with your area as my wife has family in Pisgah. Some time we need to schedule a meeting in Huntsville and visit the breweries there.
 

mendelec

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
48
Reaction score
44
Location
Berwyn
If you are looking for tips and advice on managing your hops, I recommend spending some time with the articles on the website of great lakes hops. (Think they're under the blog heading if memory serves, but there may be good info elsewhere). Geared towards the commercial yard, obviously, but you can still learn a lot that you can apply to your own plants. Fertilization (when and what matters and changes over the season, which I hadn't known, for example), composting, bine management, disease management, and more. Lot of good stuff there. I attribute my good season this year to having adopted some of the advice I found there.

Cheers
 

jlash630

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
86
Reaction score
38
Location
Joliet
For you guys from Joilet, have any of you gotten a water report from Ward labs?
 

eldernut

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
70
I live in Northern NSW, AU. It's floridian climate here (almost) not great for hops. I planted three varieties 2yrs ago. Dr Rudi, Cascade and Goldings. Only the cascade survived and I harvested a handful of flowers this year. Not bad considering we are far too humid for hops really so I'm happy to have even one.
 
Top