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Heh, I'd not seen this recent paper from Bill Bauerle at CSU Fort Collins, which suggests the traditional wisdom in Ray Neve's book is wrong about hops needing vernalisation. Growing Cascade, Cashmere, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Galena and Willamette in artificial growth chambers that allow 4 growth cycles per year, he suggests that vernalisation has little to no effect, it's all about daylength. (see the classic paper from Thomas & Schwabe at Wye for more on that, if you have access).

It could be a cultivar-specific thing, Neve was working at Wye with European varieties, and it seems Bauerle did see a bit of an effect with Cashmere (or at least, he didn't see a statistically-significant null effect). My impression from this forum is that European varieties don't do as well in the more southern parts of the US as the US varieties, and so that could be part of it. Or they could just have a "harder" daylength requirement - certainly the fact that the South African varieties have broken the daylength requirement altogether suggests it can be manipulated.

But broadly - you need to ensure you have enough growth early on to sustain the burden of flowering, and then keep that growth happy through the flowering season. And yeah, neomex genetics will probably work better for you.

The Bauerle paper was accessible, I look forward to reading it tonight. I couldn't get the Thomas & Schwabe article, though. I don't have academic access anymore.

Thank you!

Reevesie
 

Northern_Brewer

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I've been following this work for a while and haven't seen any follow up data. Being that there has been no long term testing, do we know if the plants will produce efficiently in the years to come? Knowing that hops grown in a conventional manner (producing one harvest per year) tend to accumulate carbohydrate reserves in their rootstock makes me think that long term vigor is at risk?

But they only need those reserves to protect against bad years, and in a controlled environment, they won't experience the bad years so don't need the reserves. Bear in mind that these are really happy hops - they produce 23.7–72.9% more per land area in this system than in normal farming, so if they want to divert some production to their roots, it's not like they're short of it.

The whole indoor farming thing is really interesting, you can see why the likes of Philips are supporting this kind of work because potentially it's a huge market for their LED lightbulbs. And something like hops might be an interesting crop to try, being fairly high value, with the strong daylength requirement and heavy labour requirement, so would be useful to bring to tropical areas with lots of cheap labour. But at the moment they're not really pushing this for production, the real value is in doing experimental stuff like this (being able to eg completely separate temperature from day length to understand the biology better) and being able to accelerate the breeding process - doing genetics is so much easier with a 3-month lifecycle, ditto doing brew tests if you can get enough cones to brew with in 3/6/9 months.
 
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But they only need those reserves to protect against bad years, and in a controlled environment, they won't experience the bad years so don't need the reserves. Bear in mind that these are really happy hops - they produce 23.7–72.9% more per land area in this system than in normal farming, so if they want to divert some production to their roots, it's not like they're short of it.

The whole indoor farming thing is really interesting, you can see why the likes of Philips are supporting this kind of work because potentially it's a huge market for their LED lightbulbs. And something like hops might be an interesting crop to try, being fairly high value, with the strong daylength requirement and heavy labour requirement, so would be useful to bring to tropical areas with lots of cheap labour. But at the moment they're not really pushing this for production, the real value is in doing experimental stuff like this (being able to eg completely separate temperature from day length to understand the biology better) and being able to accelerate the breeding process - doing genetics is so much easier with a 3-month lifecycle, ditto doing brew tests if you can get enough cones to brew with in 3/6/9 months.

Even if not indoors, setting up a full-spectrum bulb above the hop area might not be a bad electricity investment. Some people who grow other crops hydroponically and indoors have used such systems with great success. Not that I know anything about any of that, mind.
 

zabu182

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Hello Folks, Im from Colombia and right now Im doing experiments with hops. As you know there is not winter here because I live near Ecuatorial line. Regarding to the winter, from the experiments that Ive done I conclude that Winter is not necessary, the most important thing is the daylenght as the paper says. As you know, we have a daylenght of 12 hours around of all year, so what happens with hops plants is that they have a short grow period, thus we have not a good harvest... I am planning to start my own breeding project in order to get a neutral daylenght hop variety.

Pdt: Im growing: Tettnanger, Crystal, Newport, Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, Multihead and Amalia (Neomex).
 

B-Hoppy

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But they only need those reserves to protect against bad years, and in a controlled environment, they won't experience the bad years so don't need the reserves. Bear in mind that these are really happy hops - they produce 23.7–72.9% more per land area in this system than in normal farming, so if they want to divert some production to their roots, it's not like they're short of it.

The whole indoor farming thing is really interesting, you can see why the likes of Philips are supporting this kind of work because potentially it's a huge market for their LED lightbulbs. And something like hops might be an interesting crop to try, being fairly high value, with the strong daylength requirement and heavy labour requirement, so would be useful to bring to tropical areas with lots of cheap labour. But at the moment they're not really pushing this for production, the real value is in doing experimental stuff like this (being able to eg completely separate temperature from day length to understand the biology better) and being able to accelerate the breeding process - doing genetics is so much easier with a 3-month lifecycle, ditto doing brew tests if you can get enough cones to brew with in 3/6/9 months.
It would be nice to see some long term data on how the plants perform or will the situation arise that replacing them with fresh germplasm periodically just be another cost to factor into the equation?

The cost of production is something else that will have to be looked at, is it economical?

One other concern that comes to mind is the concept of terroir or just the general quality of the crop. To me, a single factor like the role the soil microbiome plays on the final quality of the crop may be huge? Again, in the end, it would come down to customer preference as to what will be accepted or rejected and would the cost be comparable?

Never having tasted any beers brewed with hops produced this way leaves the whole thing up for discussion. To my knowledge, the cooperator who Bauerle was working with abandoned the concept and moved back to the standard method of production. Is this a definitive answer to the question of whether it will work or not, no - but it makes me wonder why more research hasn't been done concerning this concept?
 

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My 3 cascade's 2nd yr. I have a fuggle to the left which produced no hops and two sorachi-ace which also didn't produce hops. funnily enough the hartwhick bine i snipped back in june with a lot of root on it I planted grew quite a bit and has one hop on it.
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My Arcadians.
some parts of the plant attached itself to a pine tree and i think that protected it from the hail because it's the only part of the plant loaded with hops. I need to get up there with a ladder and pick them i think because they are getting whisps of brown and starting to open up plus they get more sun than the lower hops that don't smell ready to me.
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here is what my hartwhcks are doing. those mature late like mid september usually. the cones smell like nothing to me so i know those are not ready.
IMG_3420.jpg
 

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some parts of the plant attached itself to a pine tree

So I have a 1st Tahoma that attached itself to a neighboring tree as well. However, it also started to grow along side the poison ivy vine that popped up this year. Killed the ivy vine and re-routed the Tahoma. It's got some cones on it, but I'm a little scared that they have urushoil on them so I think I'm not going to use anything from that plant this year. Anyone have thoughts on this?
 

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These hops have been here for four years. I bought 7 rhizomes and transplanted another originally found growing feral. Two of the purchased ones failed to thrive & died, while 3 really took off, and the rest doing OK. Rather idiotically, I misplaced record which ones were which. I know the feral one is on the shipping
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container, and the one that tries to grow in the willow tree is Cascade, which has always done best. I can't even find the sales slip that lists what I bought, but think two of the others doing well are Mt Hood & Willamette.
 
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Ok folks, I did a quick search and turned up empty; probably because this is a little specific.

Two years in a row, my Centennial has started strong and then died off. Completely. I just bought a Medusa, and it died off in less than a month (maybe over-watered?). The Cascade does Ok, but I didn't get to harvest it last year, just cut it off after the cones went full dry. The Eroica seems to get about 12-15' up and then starts to die off. The Old Mission and the Chinook go gangbusters. The Shaddock was great, and then it just didn't come back this year. The new Comet I have high hopes for (1st year). I have tried and failed at Zeus, Nugget, Cluster and Crystal (and a previous Cascade). I have several books, lots of articles, I check in with the other hop growers; I am at a loss.

The hops get hours of sun. I don't let the soil dry out too badly, I look at all the plants to see how they are doing since the weather is inconsistent at best here in SoCal by the beach. I do light fertilizer once a month, because we also mulch our green waste and spread that throughout the garden. Most of my other plants do amazing-dragonfruit, grapes, figs, avocados, lemons, pomelos, sages, passionfruit, cacti. By all accounts, I have the greenest thumb in my family. Yet, I keep losing my hops, which is a weed, and should just grow and dominate the garden. Any suggestions based upon what I have detailed?
 

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Last year, I planted three hops (Golding, Hallertau Blanc, Callista) too close together in a friend's garden and let them merge on a structure only 3.5 metres high.

Seems like at least one of the plants is developing a decent number of cones. Can't tell which one, though :D
 

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I see pictures like this and think that maybe I need to give up growing hops and stick to grapes. Unless I am doing something horribly awry that is fixable on my end, the weather in Los Angeles just does not suit my plants. I get no sidearm growth and maybe a half pound of wet hops from each plant. I need to hit the books this winter!
 

Murph4231

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I see pictures like this and think that maybe I need to give up growing hops and stick to grapes. Unless I am doing something horribly awry that is fixable on my end, the weather in Los Angeles just does not suit my plants. I get no sidearm growth and maybe a half pound of wet hops from each plant. I need to hit the books this winter!
I don't think we can compete with Sylvain those hops are simply awesome.
 

Sylvain

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I see pictures like this and think that maybe I need to give up growing hops and stick to grapes. Unless I am doing something horribly awry that is fixable on my end, the weather in Los Angeles just does not suit my plants. I get no sidearm growth and maybe a half pound of wet hops from each plant. I need to hit the books this winter!
my soil is very good for hops. clayey and very deep.
I have a lot of wild hops around me.
and despite the heat waves and exceptional drought in France, some plants are beautiful.

You should try the Neomexicanus, they are suitable for harsher conditions
 
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my soil is very good for hops. clayey and very deep.
I have a lot of wild hops around me.
and despite the heat waves and exceptional drought in France, some plants are beautiful.

You should try the Neomexicanus, they are suitable for harsher conditions
So far my one experience with NeoMex it died in 2 weeks. That may not have been me, though.
 

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I don't have any photos, but my wife wanted to get involved and said she would grow the hops. I have Chinook, Cascade and Centennial I think. I don't remember. The Chinook seems to really be going well. Not as huge as any of the ones here, but for me, it is pretty good. The other two are doing ok per my wife. But what do I know. LOL. Great stuff.
 

superiorsat

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3rd year Comet on the left and 3rd year Cashmere on the right are doing well. My second year plants are not nearly as robust but Centennial on the left and Cascade on the right are close to harvest.
 

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Murph4231

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I harvested one pound (16 oz ) of Sterling hops two days ago. Dried them on a screen over a fan for 16 hours. I then vacuum sealed them and tossed them in the freezer. After drying I ended up with 6.85 ounces. That means I removed 9.15 ounces of moisture by drying. I can't wait to make a Checz
pilsner with them. 20220817_080302.jpg 20220818_133418.jpg
 

Northern_Brewer

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I thought hops need sandy soils? I have very clayey soil here and it's awful. Most things fail to grow unless I mix in sand, compost, and other organic matter.
Well pure clay isn't much good for anything if you're in a dry climate as it dries solid and any rain then just bounces off it. So everything will grow better with a good loam on the surface.

But yep, hops love deep clay, for them to get their roots down into to support their thirst - all that lush topgrowth transpires a lot and needs a lot of water coming into the roots. That's why they like East Kent so much, apparently there's something like 20ft of clay (I guess something to do with the glaciers coming off the ice cap in the Ice Age, Kent was at the edge of it).
 

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This is only my second season of growing hops. Last year the cones were large, plentiful and healthy as in the photos above but this year they look dreadful and sparse. I’ve watered and fed them regularly, is it down to the heatwave we’ve experienced in London that they’re withering like this or could I have overwatered them? London is also built on clay and my hops are in large pots although I realise that the roots have now broken through the plastic and have burrowed into the clay earth.
 

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Sylvain

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Well pure clay isn't much good for anything if you're in a dry climate as it dries solid and any rain then just bounces off it. So everything will grow better with a good loam on the surface.

But yep, hops love deep clay, for them to get their roots down into to support their thirst - all that lush topgrowth transpires a lot and needs a lot of water coming into the roots. That's why they like East Kent so much, apparently there's something like 20ft of clay (I guess something to do with the glaciers coming off the ice cap in the Ice Age, Kent was at the edge of it).
It’s very interesting what you say, because my EKG (Calais Golding) has always been the most beautiful, the most luxuriant and the most producer in my house. and my soil is deep clay
 

Murph4231

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Reevesie have you checked for ants? I have a Sterling that got attached by some critter that ate about 1/2 of the plant. So I've been watching it closely ever since with no evidence of further critter attacks, yet it seems to have simply stalled out. So I pulled the mound of mulch back to find an infestation of fire ants. Not positive the ants are responsible for its lack of development but I'm leaning toward that as the cause. Last year I had the same issue with a Cascade in a different garden.
 
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I don’t have ants, but I found some caterpillars on the chinook when I was harvesting today. There were only a few webs, and no obvious leaf damage, like I had with my citrus. I think I need to really look at my feeding and watering schedule.
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evolutionary

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Sylvain’s photos are easily the best here.

Harvested my Columbus, centennial and Saaz over the last few days. Did a wet hop ale with Columbus and centennial that is happily bubbling now. Not much Saaz on year two with that but Columbus was huge and the centennial started new shoots from the ground a few feet away in the last six weeks, so it’s growing nice for upcoming years.
 

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nanobrau

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Do you normally harvest your hops when they're that green? It's hard to tell how dry they are from the pictures. They look so fresh!
 

Shropshire Lad

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Do you normally harvest your hops when they're that green? It's hard to tell how dry they are from the pictures. They look so fresh!
I made an ale two years ago (my first with fresh hops) which were green as in the photo above and it was very agreeable. It was a fresh-tasting light ale which was excellent on a hot day.
 

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