Anyone mad enough to grow their own hops?

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RummerMan

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Hey folks.

I live in the UK and had a crazy idea to grow my own hops for brewing.

Has anyone else done this, is it a common thing? I get that it's a lot of effort to DIY, but wondered if the quality might be better?

Crazy idea or not?
 

lupinehorror

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i certainly know that a few around here do brew with the crop they've grown.
i'm afraid names escape me but have a search and you may find something.
one of said folk also may be along to contribute.
 

Oneflewover

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I grew hops - centennial - last year, bit of fun really, no way would I be able to grow enough to become self-sufficient
 

VW911

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Don't actually grow them myself, but there are several wild ones growing near my allotment.
Also have some growing in the yard at work, which quite a few customers have used successfully.
I think both are Goldings types, or similar...
 

An Ankoù

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Hops grow well in the UK.
I have one bine each of Cascade, Centennial, and Challenger (in France). Because I can't be bothered drying them and I don'[t know what alpha acid content I'd get anyway, I make three "green hop" beer, bittering with Magnum and chucking the hops straight from the bine into the brew towards the end of the boil.
 

RummerMan

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Ok, thanks for the thoughts. Seems like it'll be more of an experiment than being able to rely on it. Also, I have to successfully grow it first hahaha
 

barleytown

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Ok, thanks for the thoughts. Seems like it'll be more of an experiment than being able to rely on it. Also, I have to successfully grow it first hahaha
I'd try it RummerMan if I were you. Growing them is not complex at all. I grow a good load these days. They are not easy to assess in terms of alpha acids but for late additions to the brew for flavour and nose they are the best. Do it.
 

prog99

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Ok, thanks for the thoughts. Seems like it'll be more of an experiment than being able to rely on it. Also, I have to successfully grow it first hahaha
Sunniest spot in your garden with plenty of room for vertical growth... Keep it well fed and watered too, at the peak of the growth phase you can almost watch it shoot up.
 

Bigjas

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I’ve been growing hops for about 4 years. I’m certainly no gardener, but took some advice from this forum and did some research and I now harvest enough to keep me brewing all year. I still buy hops as I like a variety of hops rather than just two varieties. As prog99 says above, find the sunniest spot and allow it to climb straight up if possible. And yes, he is not exaggerating when he says you can almost watch it grow.
 

raymondo

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Northdown, Cobb(Goldings type) and Hallertau here - South Devon. Stored in freezer - far superior to any hops purchased so far.
 

Cestrian

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I used to grow First Gold which is a dwarf variety. I grew it up the side and over the top of the shed, but it tried to take over the whole garden, so had to dig it out in the end. If I did it again I would grow them in pots. When you harvest in the autumn, it feels like you've got loads of hops, but if you dried them out it's not a great deal in weight. I used to have enough for 2 or 3 green hopped beers. It's a bit of fun. You're not going to be able to stop buying hops. Make sure you wear gloves and long sleeves when you harvest them. The bines will rip your arms to shreds, as I discovered after the first year growing them.
 

Fallen trig brewing

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I started last year I've got 8 verities and 20 plants. They are easy enough to grow if you have the space
 

Maxonian

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Patience is the key. I planted a Magnum rhizome in April 2019. It produced zero cones in the first year and a handful of cones last year which I’ve read is normal. It gets plenty of sun and I’ve built a trellis for it. With a bit of TLC I’m hoping to have enough cones to do a wet hop pale ale around September time.
 

JFB

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I've got EKG had enough for a brew first year and second year went nuts! Certainly enough EKG for the year.
I use it for bittering in my stouts and porters. I just guessed the alpha acids🤣
Also grew a cascade that's given me about 30g of fresh each year. I'm going to move it soon and hope that helps.
 

Cwrw666

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I've got 6 plants. Easy to grow - they're basically a weed. You don't get much off them the first year but in subsequent years you can get quite a lot. Best used as flavouring hops rather than bittering hops as you can never really know the AA content.
 

Hanglow

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I've used my hallertau mittelfruh a number of times in beers without having any idea of the AA exactly. Worked fine for hefe weisse and a "kolsch" . I just used them at a typical rate, then I had an idea of how strong they were and could adjust up and down for later brews. For the centennial I used it as a finishing hop at a typical rate so AA was less of a concern anyway.
 

Craftman

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I've had a hop plant in the back garden for about 7years, last year got about 600g (dried) cones from it. Unfortunately I have no idea what variety it is! Planning to use some for an IPA soon (using magnum for bittering, and "garden" for later additions)
 

crescent city Mike

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I grew hops for 2 seasons. My problem is that I live at 30 degrees latitude and it is far too hot. I harvested a handful but it was only a novel experiment. I certainly couldn't have quit my job and become a hop rancher!

Even though you won't know the AA content without sending them out to a lab, you can use them as a dry hop.
 

SouthDowns

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I have four bines in my garden; target, northern brewer, brewers gold and cobbs ekg. I have been growing about 4 years now. They are easy to grow and harvest. I bought a food drier to dry them, then I freeze them. Like others have said, I guess at the alpha acid content when brewing with them. I made some really nice golden ales with the northern brewer and ekg last year. I enjoy the unique "limited edition" that you get with homegrown hops.
 

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