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Wine barrel hop growing

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PowellAvenueBrew

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We just built a couple half barrel hop growing systems. Anyone else have any great hop growing setups for folks that can't/don't want to plant them in their yard? Here's a link to our setup: 2012 Hop Planting

 

Schumed

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Nice job...I'm using wine barrels to but just letting them climb to the roof line of my house...might need to consider this
 

deadboy

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Hey Schumed, how well do hopps survive around here in the KCMO area? Our weather isn't very accomodating to most plants in the winter. I've been thinking of getting a couple starts going but am not really sure if it's something you replant every year or if it will die off and regrow.
 

jfrizzell

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No need to replant every year. You cut the bines off at the ground and they come back the next spring.
 
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PowellAvenueBrew

PowellAvenueBrew

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Thanks, its going to be a great experiment. I just went out there this afternoon and the hops are already breaking the surface. Its going to be nuts how quickly this grows.
 

Conan

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Very interested in how this turns out. We may be moving soon and SWMBO says no to the hops. We rent, so I guess I see her point. This idea, however, has been cleared! Are you worried about tipping in wind once the hops are full? Kyle
 

Alchemy

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Very interested in how this turns out. We may be moving soon and SWMBO says no to the hops. We rent, so I guess I see her point. This idea, however, has been cleared! Are you worried about tipping in wind once the hops are full? Kyle
Shouldnt be a problem, my umbrella stand is 35 pounds and it holds a 8 foot umbrella down, a half wine barrel filled with dirt has to be pretty heavy
 
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PowellAvenueBrew

PowellAvenueBrew

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Kyle, it doesn't get really windy here through the spring and summer. Plus the post is bracketed to the bottom of the barrel and the barrel is full of soil so I don't think it's going anywhere. We will see!
 
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PowellAvenueBrew

PowellAvenueBrew

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Our first shoot is starting to push up. I'll keep updating this thread as the hops progress.
 

TheDudeLebowski

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I've grown Cascade and Northern Brewer. First year growth for me easily went above 25' for both and they were in buckets with not optimal sun and produced a good amount. You may want to train them in a spiral around the outer lines instead of straight up each line. This way if they get over 25' it will be more compact and I think actually look prettier.

I've also seen setups where you train the vines straight up and feed more line thru those top brackets eyeholes. Therefore, having the top of the vine ever chasing the top and the lower end of the vine pulled out for air flow. I don't think that would have worked for the Northern Brewer tho. Once those NB started to grow the vine gets very thick and rigid. Probably breaking if you allowed the bottom to bend as you fed more line. Cascades were more flexible and probably could do that. For me a straight 30' line worked. Not exactly pretty but easy to harvest. I live next to a lake that gets pretty strong winds and they never flipped over. Hops are very resiliant so don't worry about killing them. They'll come back next year. Gardening is always a learning experiment. Last year was good. This year I'll probably encounter bugs or something.
 
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PowellAvenueBrew

PowellAvenueBrew

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I've grown Cascade and Northern Brewer. First year growth for me easily went above 25' for both and they were in buckets with not optimal sun and produced a good amount. You may want to train them in a spiral around the outer lines instead of straight up each line. This way if they get over 25' it will be more compact and I think actually look prettier.
That's a great idea. How many shoots did you allow to grow?
 

LabRatBrewer

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In this video from Basic Brewing, at about the 5 minute mark, they show a set-up like the OP, but he has an eye hook at the top of the pole and extra string through it. As the plant gets close to the top, he lowers the string so that the plant has to grow another couple feet, and then lowers it again. The result is the plant is always trying to grow upward, as it wants to, and there is a coil of hops below. Thought it was a clever addition.

http://ec.libsyn.com/p/e/b/3/eb3f6f...1ce3dae902ea1d01cb833fd4cf5c795e&c_id=1452358

In case the link doesn't work, it is the "March 24, 2009 - Homegrown Barley and Container Hops" show in the podcast video archive at Basicbrewing.com
 

TheDudeLebowski

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That's a great idea. How many shoots did you allow to grow?

I didn't prune any the first year. I let grow as many that came up. Cascade had a bunch and the NB probaby had about 4. This year: I have probably 3 times as many on both. I transplanted them into the grown last fall. I actually wasnt that gentle with them and they came back with a vengeance. I used really composted manure and compost in the buckets. The only fertilizer I used was a couple of application of fish fertilizer. I had to really watch the water in the summer time because using buckets really dried them out so I was watering almost every day. You probably have to worry about that in Cali. The only thing I pruned were the leafs on the first foot of the vine coming out of the ground to avoid disease. Mulch was a good thing too to keep the moisture in. Probably would have been good to allow some leaves to protect the soil from the heat of the sun. But mulch and water seemed to give me a good harvest.
 

Alchemy

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Was wondering how i was going to plant my hops when they come in, thank you for this!!

I already found two half barrels on craigs for 35 bucks!
 

TheDudeLebowski

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Renting our current place.

The only advantage I could think of is convenience of moving (or city gardening) if you're using it as an ornamental and they can be evasive. I transplanted mine and the Cascade had a huge root that actually forced its way out of a small drain hole and started into my yard.
 

deadboy

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That makes sense then. Just wasn't sure if as a start it was easier to get them going in that environment or if there was an advantage to the staking you did.

Is the pole best or would a rose trellis work? Obviously I'm a neophyte here.
 

deadboy

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Ok, this may not be the place to ask this. Problem is this looks so cool I REALLY want to do it. My question relates to yield I guess. How much brewing do I need to do to make it worth planting? How much will a vine yield and how does that yield convert to a comparable weight of pellets?

I only brew once or twice a month and my hops are all over the place in variety used.


Practicality has never stopped me before but...
 
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PowellAvenueBrew

PowellAvenueBrew

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My question relates to yield I guess. How much brewing do I need to do to make it worth planting? How much will a vine yield and how does that yield convert to a comparable weight of pellets?
From what we've read it seems you get a smaller yield of about 1lb the first year, better the second year, and it really gets good the third year. As far as use it's suggested that you use homegrown hops for aroma/flavor not bittering (as it would be hard to determine you Alphas). The difference between whole hops and pellets is usually about 10% less in whole leaves. For us its honestly all just a big experiment because it seemed like it would be fun.

Practicality has never stopped me before but...
Exactly! Us either! So go find a rhizome and give it a try. Post some photos on here if you do!
 

Face Eater

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This is awesome, can't wait to see as this progresses. Just picked up some wine barrels for my hops today. First time growing hops so I'm excited!
 

deadboy

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Ok, you've talked me into it.

I have another dumb question. If you're NOT using the pole and eye hook method to grow them how do you harvest the vine. I will almost certainly plant mine in the ground with a pole using this method. I'm just sort of curious.
 
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PowellAvenueBrew

PowellAvenueBrew

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Ok, you've talked me into it.

I have another dumb question. If you're NOT using the pole and eye hook method to grow them how do you harvest the vine. I will almost certainly plant mine in the ground with a pole using this method. I'm just sort of curious.
Most of the ways I've seen all include some way of growing up a string, thread, or something. I'm sure there are other ways of growing them, but nothing I've seen. Did you find a Rhizome?
 

deadboy

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Yep. Planted Mt. Hood, Goldings, and Willamette last night. Holding out hope for a cascade in the final plot, but if it doesn't happen there's always next year. We'll see how they come out. Now they are in a either end of 2 plots that are 3'x8' each. First year, do I need two stakes or would one stake planted in the middle suffice for both?
 
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PowellAvenueBrew

PowellAvenueBrew

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Yep. Planted Mt. Hood, Goldings, and Willamette last night. Holding out hope for a cascade in the final plot, but if it doesn't happen there's always next year. We'll see how they come out. Now they are in a either end of 2 plots that are 3'x8' each. First year, do I need two stakes or would one stake planted in the middle suffice for both?
Awesome! From what I've read it best to keep the plants at least 5' from each other so you don't end up cross polinating the hops. I'm not sure how much it matters but that's what I've read. Once you get your set up done post a pic!
 

deadboy

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Ok, if cross polenation is the concern then they will definitely each want their own stake. The instructions I was given just said make sure to give them between 5' and 6' of space between where you plant them. The actual growth and harvesting part of the instructions were kinda sparse.
 

Bobby_M

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There is no pollenation because we only grow female plants but plant them too close and all the side arms will intertwine and you won't know which plant's cones you're harvesting.
 

deadboy

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How long are the side arms? My initial plan was to run an 8'-10' pole between the two and have them run up the line. Providing I let out some slack on the twine and prevent them from tangling would it be a problem?
 
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