Trellis Designs?

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sleepystevenson

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Did anyone see the letter to the editor in Zymurgy magazine about growing hops on a regular chain-link fence? I think it was last november or december's issue - it was the one with the stouts and dark beers on the cover. The fellow basically said that everything he had read about "standard" hop growing (tall, string trellis, trimming the weaker shoots, etc.), he tried at first. Then, he decided to just use a std. 5 1/2' tall chain link fence, not trim the weaker shoots, no training, etc. There was a picture there of the editor's hop fence, as he said he did the same thing. The editor's fence was around 30' long, I believe. Both guys said there was little change in yield, and the greatest part was being able to tend them and harvest them from the ground. Seems much easier to me! I just wish they would have given some idea of the rhizome spacing.

Definitely gonna be growing some this year...just have to decide on my design. Now, especially after reading that article, I am thinking about just using a standard 5'-6' tall chain link fence (especially since my neighbor does fencing and said I could have a bunch of old stuff). I have a great location w/ tons of room and direct sunlight in an open field.

Things to decide:

I plan on doing 2 or 3 varieties (Cascade, East Kent Golding, and maybe Fuggles), each on their own separate section of fence. I really don't know how long to make each fence section? And then...how many rhizomes per section???

I am thinking about a 20' section for each variety, and maybe 2-3 rhizomes per 20' section....like one each end and one in the middle.

Any thoughts??? Maybe I could go shorter w/ each section....
 

mlee0000

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Had to gussy up my original eye bolt and twine idea--per SWMBO... I've always been one for bare-bones functionality, but this oughta be a nice project for me now that it is warm.

This will go on the East facing side of the house, which faces an empty lot, to break up the monotony.

By the way, Google SketchUp is a badass program.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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A work in progress. No new photo's yet but the guy wire systems is nearly complete and I am begining to build the rasied bed box. 12 foot is all I was comfortable with as learned that I have a 3 foot think layer of bedrock a mere 2 foor below grade.
 

TimBrewz

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Sleepystevenson- the neighbor who offered her "old growth" hops for transplant has hers growing on a chain link fence and the yield is pretty low. This is probably due to the fact that she has the hops growing on the north side of her driveway and they are shaded nearly all the time by her next door neighbor's house. I think the chain link fence works OK- easy to harvest for sure. I'd be interested in your results.

Good growin'

T
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Mustangj said:
GilaMinumBeer

How are going to string the twine up there?
The old school way. A ladder:D

I am actually torn between running the twine as a vee with 2 foot sacing between at the top or just a single line run skyward.

updated photos:





 

Homercidal

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mlee0000 said:


Had to gussy up my original eye bolt and twine idea--per SWMBO... I've always been one for bare-bones functionality, but this oughta be a nice project for me now that it is warm.

This will go on the East facing side of the house, which faces an empty lot, to break up the monotony.

By the way, Google SketchUp is a badass program.
That's a nice looking design.
 

Joker

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How much hang weight is there to contend with? Or do the plants support their weight pretty well and just use the string for direction?
 

Big "A"

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I plan to attach mine to the eaves supported by shorter poles so they can grow up then over my uncovered front porch. Kind of creating an arbor.
 

Big "A"

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mlee0000 said:


Had to gussy up my original eye bolt and twine idea--per SWMBO... I've always been one for bare-bones functionality, but this oughta be a nice project for me now that it is warm.

This will go on the East facing side of the house, which faces an empty lot, to break up the monotony.

By the way, Google SketchUp is a badass program.
I really like this Idea!!! I don't think I could get it completed before I get my Rhizomes and need to plant them though.
 

AHammer16

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So you all have me slightly confused. I have 4 plants planted 3-4 feet on center. For the past 2 years i have grown them on a horizontal system that is like 5 feet tall. They grow like they are being fed meth. I have never trimmed any vines back. Each plant grows about 20-30 vines and they all cover the trellice to the point where you dont see any trellice any more.

So if i trim all vines back except for 2-4 per plant then i will have better hop production? It seems that I have alot of cones with out trimming back any vines. I will however on everyones advice trim them back substantially. Any other input?
 

Kod_x

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Picture quality is horrible, it was from my phone.

15ft high of 3/4" rigid conduit, hose clamped to a 7" T-Post. on the Cross bar I drilled holes and put in eye bolts to prestring it before raising. (used sisel twine).
 

EvilTOJ

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Ahammer, when the bines are left to run wild, the plant puts more energy into making more leaves and bines. Then when it's time for making hop cones, there's more overhead having to deal with keeping the leaves and bines healthy. When there's less bines, the plant decides to put energy into making cones so it'll put out more. If you get plenty of cones and they look nice growing up the trellis, then you can just let it grow wild as-is.

For first season rhizomes though, I wouldn't worry about trimming them back. The first year is more for estabishing a root system anyways.
 

foonder

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I'm a first year grower and I was planning on building a trellis that was somewhat like a volleyball net, but with the net extending to the ground almost. I'm planning on putting 1 plant at either end of my nets. I'm going to have PVC pipe that's 7' high and probably 8' across. I'm (attempting) growing 2 different types of hops, so I'll have 2 net setups. I'll post pictures once construction really gets underway.
 

BeerSmith

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Hi,
Not my design, but Jeff put a nice article on his blog regarding his trellis design.

Brad
 

McKBrew

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Here is what I did. All items available at lowes.

1) 20 Gallon Maccourt Plantainer from Lowes- $19.97 locally

2) Lehigh Green vinyl covered wire clothesline approx $6.00

3) 10 feet 3/4" electrical conduit $4.00

4) Electrical conduit compression connecter $1.00

5) Conduit connectors bag of 5 $3.00

6) 2- 1/8" Wire rope clamps- $0.40

7) 1X3X25 1/2" board with center drilled hole.

8) Plastic Drinking straw.

a) Drilled hole in the center of the pot and installed the electrical conduit compression connector using the washer on the back to hold it on.

b) Added 3 foot section of pipe to the 10 foot section using the connector (#5) for a total height of 13 feet.

c) Drilled hole through the pipe near the top and glued a piece of drinking straw in, as a rope guide/slide.

d) Screwed board to sides of the pot with center hole to support the pole.

e) Attached green line on sides of pot, secured with wire rope clips.

Total cost approximately $30.00 per pot, making 3.

The end result below.

 
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a couple of ???'s for those who asked. the hop bines will weigh up to 100# so youll need to plan for that.
also yes you can train 1 plant to grow up 2 twines. that is what a lot of the commercial hop growers do its called the classic "V" design you can end up doubling your crop once the root structure is well established.
JJ
 

gruversm

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I purchased all items at Menards. 1/4" CPVC and connecting hardware using PVC primer and cement.

(click on the thumbnail for a larger picture)




 

Mustangj

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gruversm said:
I purchased all items at Menards. 1/4" CPVC and connecting hardware using PVC primer and cement.

(click on the thumbnail for a larger picture)




WOW!!! No snow.
 

postman

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This post clearly shows either how nuts we are or that we're all should be engineers.

I've seen designs for trellis systems that that will survive even a category 5 hurricane. Some simple designs use an existing fence along with rope for a cheap low impact design. Others have gotten extremely clever though a little more permanent, but producing engineering marvels.

To all you engineers, I salute you. I myself have 2 rhizomes on the way and have combed this thread for advice. After much thought, I'm building the fence & rope trellis system as this is the easiest on my wallet. It'll go in my sunny garden where I compost all my used beer ingredients.

Keep up the engineering and have a home brew while you're at it. Who's nuts???
 

CodeRage

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Finally looks like a trellis. I strayed from my originial design. If things go well next year I will probably modify it a little more to match the original. For now, I needed cheap.

From the front


I've got room for one more on the end but dont have a plant for it so I didnt bother. Off to get Manure

[edit] Im on a corner lot if you couldnt tell. People are funny, they'd be driving down the street and practically stop and look into my backyard. I'd wave to them and they would haul off like a bat out of hell.
 

eddie

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Did you use a steel cable for the ridge line? Also, how big are your boxes? I was thinking of doing 2'x2' boxes but am concerned that they won't be big enough for the roots.
 

CodeRage

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The 4x4s are 16ft long, they are burried 30" deep so they are 13'6" above grade.
Each pole has 160lbs of quickrete.
The cable is galvanized 1/8 steel cable.
I may have to replace it if it doesnt hold up to the weight of the hops but I think it will be okay.
I found the 1" rings in the same section as the clips. I used a clip to hold each ring.

The planters are 16x19 with an interior space of 13x16. I was going to do 2'x2' but I would have to buy another $40 worth of wood to do it. So I figured what I could squeeze out of 2 2x12x8' to make 3 boxes.
They are double dug a foot deep so they have quite a bit of room to grow down.

What was suppose to be a cheap project turned into a $150 dollar project. Oh well ought to give some nice shade in the morning and a little privacy from the road.
 

paranode

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This is my simple one. I'll probably grow it sideways if it gets high enough. Fuggles and Kent Goldings.

 

JoSeR

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AHammer16 said:
So you all have me slightly confused. I have 4 plants planted 3-4 feet on center. For the past 2 years i have grown them on a horizontal system that is like 5 feet tall. They grow like they are being fed meth. I have never trimmed any vines back. Each plant grows about 20-30 vines and they all cover the trellice to the point where you dont see any trellice any more.

So if i trim all vines back except for 2-4 per plant then i will have better hop production? It seems that I have alot of cones with out trimming back any vines. I will however on everyones advice trim them back substantially. Any other input?
You also need to consider the quality of the cones that are produced. Do you want a lot of cones that are weak and low in aa or do you want fewer cones that are high quality and oozing with yummy goodness.
Wine grape growers leave 2-4 bunches per spur and drop the rest to end up with high quality grapes that are high in sugars etc. Quality is more important than quantity.
I think the same would hold true for hops.
Any professional hop growers out there??
 

foonder

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It still needs to be finished & then tweaked (and then duplicated for the other 2 rhizomes I have) but this is my hop growing net trellis majigger. It's as big / tall as I could make it given the piece of land I had to work with.

The pipes are 10' long, 30" are underground & weighed down by gravel inside the pipe (couldn't use cement), and anchored by two lines from near the top running down to rings that are staked into the ground. I used some poly propylene rope (I think that's the name of it) for the net, and ran it through drilled holes in the pipes. I'm going to add some simple twine to the lower corners (where the plants will be put in the groud) so the bines can climb up those on to the net, then I can work on letting them grow up & train them to go horizontally / diagonally.
 

Danek

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JoSeR said:
You also need to consider the quality of the cones that are produced. Do you want a lot of cones that are weak and low in aa or do you want fewer cones that are high quality and oozing with yummy goodness.
Wine grape growers leave 2-4 bunches per spur and drop the rest to end up with high quality grapes that are high in sugars etc. Quality is more important than quantity.
I think the same would hold true for hops.
Any professional hop growers out there??
I'm totally not a professional hop grower so I may be 100% wrong on this, but I've never heard of AA% being dependent on density of harvest. You're right about vineyards, but I think that's because the production of sugar is a very energy-intensive process; I don't think lupulin production is the same. I've also just read "The Homebrewer's Garden" cover to cover, and whilst they mention trimming bines back to increase yield, there's no mention of AA% being variable in the same way as grape sugars. (Tangentially, what they do say about AA% is that home-grown hops tend to be at the top end of the AA% range for the variety of hop being grown, so whilst it's generally not worth testing home-grown hops for alpha acids, it's wise to assume they'll be potent examples of their breed. The authors mention the reasons for why this is, but I'm afraid I can't remember them off-hand). So as a thought experiment, even if larger yields were to give lower AA% hops, that drop would be from a higher-than-normal AA% starting point, so I'd guess that they'd still be well within the useable range for hops.
 
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Grave digging.....


So at a cook out this weekend, my brother brought up hop growing and how my wife and I should have a bunch of hops. She totally went with it!

I have been shot down everytime I wanted to do it, but now she said she is up for it.

I think I may be too late for this year, but am going to put in the trellis as soon as I can. Maybe I can find some rhizomes and get them started his year anyway to get some roots developed...



The whole package will cost $200.00. Center pole is going to be a white oak from my back yard, hewn down and stripped.

The center beam is 15' tall, each post is 7' above ground.

44 stainless eye-screws will hols the bines up. One eye screw at the base of each post, one at the top of each post, one at the top of the center pole for each bine, and one near the bottom of the center pole for each bine.

Coir yarn will be secured at the bottom eye screw on each post, threaded up through the eye screw on the post, up to the top pole, and tied tight at the bottom eye screw on the center pole.

Then when harvesting, I just untie the yarn at the base of the center pole and pull the bines down.

This will serve as an outdoor entertaining area. and will hopefully be int he middle of a wheat field :D

Wish me continued luck!!!

..........................

Also, lets see some more of the cool trellis systems you guys have created!

:mug:
 
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Your wife sounds like mine! Oh we're poor and can't afford this right now (you're brewing dilemma before) but all of a sudden it's ok to do this :D We couldn't afford a $50 dollar cooler for my HLT build, but wait, we'll buy a camper instead! brilliant.
 
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Boerderij_Kabouter

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Exactly. Oh well, at least the stuff we talked about before seems to have had an effect.

Hopefully I can get this thing built this summer, then plant some hops next spring.
 

cuinrearview

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Exactly. Oh well, at least the stuff we talked about before seems to have had an effect.

Hopefully I can get this thing built this summer, then plant some hops next spring.

Freshops still has some rhizomes left, and if you poke around you should be able to find what you want. Last year I got a hallertau at a LHBS on father's day and threw it in the hole where one rhizome failed. It's about a foot behind the other two that I planted at the beginning of the season last year. All three should produce a harvest this year.

GET 'EM IN THE GROUND MAN!!!
 
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So are you ding one rhizome per post. I'd probably go 2 of the same per post. But that is because I'm 1 for 2 in my growth per planted ratio.
 
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Boerderij_Kabouter

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I was planning 1 plant per post. If they die I can replace them the next year. I doubt I am really going to use 11 bines worth of hops each year. I plan to have a lot of extra for the community. Maybe even sell them. Who knows. I just like the look of that size for the arbor aspect of the project.
 

xpoc454

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I noticed most people are using the twine technique or fence to have thier hops grow up. Im doing that this year for my first year cascade. I currently have my plant up against the back end of my garage. Probably about 15 feet for growth.
Next year I would like to either use the classic t-shaped post with strings coming down like many have shown on here. Or figure a way thats affordable to put up a tall wooden trellis (the kind with criss-crossed wooden slats) so that it can have a nice covering look to the back of the garage.
Since I havent seem many people show this style of trellis, are there drawbacks? Cost or growth problems?
thanks
 

MajorWoody

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We have a two story house in Portland with a south exposure well suited to growing hops. Our three bines (Cascade, Chinook, Willamette) are each growing up single strand of vinyl coated clothesline wire, connected at the eaves to a snap clip and eyebolt. At the ground it attaches to a piece of rebar next to the plant. Harvesting is super easy...put ladder against house, unclip wire, gently lower to ground, pick what's ready and put back up. In winter, wire is hard to spot.

But I really like hops and the batches I make each use about two pounds of fresh hops. So I need more. I would like to expand to about 10 plants, each supporting two bines in a "V"--commercial style. Out in the yard away from the house we have the space, bracketed by two stout trees about 50' apart. I am thinking about screwing a SS eyebolt into each tree trunk, attaching a little SS pulley to each trunk, and running small guage uncoated aircraft cable between the trees and then down the trunks so that the line can be lowered every spring for harvest. I figure that I could go back to using twine using that method, and just use some of those clamps on the wire to keep the knotted twine from moving around.

In the winter, it would all be down and out of sight--it's 150 feet from the house anyway so I don't think that the wire would be visible even if left up.

Can anyone think of a reason why such a setup wouldn't work?
 
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