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Any Hop Growers?

Maine Homebrewer

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I just purchased some rhyzomes, Horizon to be specific (he was out of Goldings), and I was wondering if anyone who has tried growing these things and made any mistake or run into any problems I might avoid.

The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
The smart man learns from his own mistakes.
The ... it'd be politically incorrect for me to finish this one.

Just trying to be a wise homebrewing hop grower!
 
H

harebare

I just got a bucket full (and planted them) from a nice fellow I met at the mug club party at the local brew pub. All cascade (my favorite dry hop) except for one poor sad little kent golding. My neighbor gave me a dead stick of a fuggle he got as a bonus on the order for bushes we planted between our houses.

Two weeks in the ground and they are already a foot tall or more. I have to get some sting up fast.

Can't WAIT to hop with my own produce!

- Hare
 
D

Dr. Sideburns

Just curious about how you guys are making out with your hops so far? 

-Joe
 
H

harebare

Mine are growing like weeds (something I grow a lot of in my garden). Several of the cascade bines are over 20' tall. The EKG and fuggles aren't doing that well. 3' and thin.

Something is enjoying the leaves. Anybody know a safe insecticide to use on hops?

I'll see about getting a picture or two posted.

- Hare
 

Wastegate

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harebare said:
Mine are growing like weeds (something I grow a lot of in my garden). Several of the cascade bines are over 20' tall. The EKG and fuggles aren't doing that well. 3' and thin.

Something is enjoying the leaves. Anybody know a safe insecticide to use on hops?

I'll see about getting a picture or two posted.

- Hare
Put some dish washing soap (4-5 tablespoons)  in a spray bottle and spray it on the plant. It is biodegradeable, Mild, and bugs don't like it. I use it on my Bonsai's which tend to be particular about what I put on them.

Cheers

Preston
 

Wastegate

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harebare said:
I'll try the soap. (Bonsai? How many time consuming hobbies do you have, Preston?)
As many as it takes to keep the voices in my head quiet.

Cheers

Preston
 
H

harebare

Just got the roots from a neighbor this spring. I should take another picture. They are HUGE now and full of cones. (Are they called "cones?" I know they are "bines" and not "vines." Whatever the heck "bines" are...)

How goes?

- Hare
 

Maine Homebrewer

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I believe the word bine refers to a plant that uses hairs instead of constriction to climb.
As far as cones goes, I believe that simply refers to the shape of the flower.

Another question: what variety are your wonderfully producing first year hops and how much sun do they get.
I'm in a valley with tall trees, so my plants are lucky to get five hours of continuous sun.
That explains why my peppers did nothing and my tomatoes have given a lackluster performance.
Hops are a sun loving plant, and I am unable to provide that for them.
 
H

harebare

I'm growing cascade (a favorite for my pale ales). Just luck as that is what the guy giving away the plants grew.

Mine probably don't get much more sun than you describe. I have one stand on the south wall of a west-facing garage and the others on a fence. I have a few trees that bock sun from the east and 4 huge (200 plus year-old) Oaks and my two storey Victorian to the west. I've grown the two stands on very different support systems and those that I let grow tall seem to be doing the best.

I really WILL take some photos and post.

Do you keep yours well watered? It seems like in this hot weather they drink like sailors on shore leave.

Thanks for the kick. I'll drag out the camera soonly.

Best,

Tim
 

Maine Homebrewer

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Mine are Horizon, the last thing the guy had left.  They're supposed to be similar to Cascade as far as usage goes, but I haven't found any information about yield.
Cascade rank at the top for yield, so that partially explains why your plants are doing so well.
As far as water goes it's been raining so much here in Maine I feel like I'm back in Oregon, so that isn't the issue.

I never expected to get anything useful until the third year anyway, so I'm not disappointed.
 
H

harebare

My brew buddy decided that the hops were dry and put a hose on them yesterday afternoon. I moved it around and then forgot about it. The tall bines were watered all night. They sucked up more water than I can imagine. Then, they broke the string. They seem in ok condition and the flowers seem ready to pick.

I'll decide tomorrow. Pics posted soon.

- Hare
 

Blackfriar

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About 3 weeks back was the end of winter down here in Oz, so I thought, time to get some hops in.  I planted Golding and Hallertau.  The Hallertau rhyzome was around 22cm long and is already shooting up.  The Golding was only around 11cm long and is a no show at this stage.  I'll let you how they go.
 
H

harebare

If you want hops for anything other than decorating your beer glass, you'll need to plant a hell of a lot more than that. I had around 40 plants, grown 3 to a string and got around 8 or 9 oz of dried flowers.

I dry hoped a pail ale with 2 oz and it turned out GREAT...

- Hare
 
B

billvelek

harebare said:
snip ... I had around 40 plants, grown 3 to a string and got around 8 or 9 oz of dried flowers. ...
YIKES!!!  I get the impression that you mean 'total harvest' ... or do you mean each plant?  If total harvest, then something isn't right -- your location (latitude is too low or too much shade where planted), or the suitability of the varieties, soil, watering, disease, or something.  Most mature hops plants produce an average of about 2 pounds per plant -- some much more or much less -- but your harvest of about a fifth of an ounce per plant is an incredibly small harvest, even for first year plants.  My first year plants produced 6 dried ounces each.  I invite you and other hop growers to join 2,400 other hop growers and a HUGE pool of knowledge and experience at my Grow-Hops group -- www.tinyurl.com/29zr8r

Cheers.

Bill Velek
 
H

harebare

No, that was my yeild from all the plants. I had two growing locations and half did better than the other half (although I think it was more the height of the string rather than sun, water or soil). The bed where the string topped out at about 12 ft had the best yeild. The bed with 7 foot strings did less well. I planted all this spring so I expect a heavier harvest next year.

10.5 oz (I went back and counted bags) is A LOT of hops. My dried hops weigh less than an ounce per pail. I had a hell of a time compacting, sealing and fitting them all in my freezer with room left for food.

I'm growing Cascade. Perhaps yours are not completely dried? Mine really are far less dense than say a pile of goose down.

- Hare
 

BrewWhat

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I don't have any plants yet. But I plan on planting some come spring. What are the best varieties to plant in the heat and humidity of the South?
 
H

harebare

Hops like lots of sun and water. Hot, not so much. I'd suggest you try the hops you like to brew with. ;)

- Hare
 
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