Hop plants/rhizomes - growing report

Discussion in 'Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water' started by Pabloxprt, Mar 25, 2017.

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  1. Dec 16, 2019 #461

    Cwrw666

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    Probably will as I've got a cascade I want to dig up and get rid of anyway - found out I don't really like cascade after I'd already bought a couple! We're 600 feet up BTW so won't have shoots until late April or May on past experience.
     
  2. Dec 16, 2019 #462

    An Ankoù

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    Like you I had bought three rhizomes, two years ago, a centennial, a cascade and a challenger. In the first year, I had a crop of about 100g wet weight from the centennial and the citra- enough to make a "green hop" beer with each. That was two six gallon brews bittered with Magnum and the whole crop from each plant went into each beer. I have yet to get anything worth using from the challenger.
     
  3. Dec 16, 2019 #463

    Cheshire Cat

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    What does green hop mean?
     
  4. Dec 16, 2019 #464

    Cwrw666

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    It means using them un-dried. You get a different, milder flavour than when dried but there's a lot of guesswork involved in quantity to use. Last year I froze all mine fresh from the vine and used them as green hops. It worked but obviously you need a lot of storage space. This year I've dried em all.
     
  5. Dec 16, 2019 #465

    An Ankoù

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    I don't think I'd use them as bittering hops as I've no idea what the alpha acid might be from year to year. If I get a bigger crop, it might be worth drying them, but my second year crop wasn't much bigger than the first. I should say that I made the cascade and the centennial in exactly the same way, using magnum for bittering, a dose of either cascade or centennial towards the end and then the green hops on flameout. While the cascade is a nice, pleasantly fresh-tasting beer, it's the centennial which has the floral scent, almost like sniffing a bouquet of flowers. Whether that would happen if I chucked a load of dry hops in at flameout, I don't know as I haven't tried it.
     
  6. Jan 9, 2020 #466

    Hoppy

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    Just some words of advise for harvesting times.
    UK hop harvest usually starts around August bank holiday weekend.
    Starting with early choice (Golding) through Golding (other forms, there are a few inc EKG) then Fuggle, onto WGV & Challenger, then finally the Targets, Admiral and Pilgrim, which are harvested at the end of September/a few days into October. A good guide is the expected alpha levels. Does vary by a few days each year though, depending on growing conditions and weather.
    I see a few US varieties mentioned above. When grown in the UK, even though some of these are lower in alpha, ie Cascade (@5-7%), they need to be harvested last week September to fully ripen. Commercially, UK grown Cascade has replaced Target 'picking window', which is at the very end of September.
    This may be even later further north, but if there is going to be frosts, get em in!
     
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  7. Jan 9, 2020 #467

    the_quick

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    I left my hops plants in the ground, but not sure they will survive all the wet weather we had since September, we lost already few plants in the garden. This is second year for them, so was hoping for good harvest.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2020 #468

    terrym

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    The method I use for deciding on when to harvest is to first keep an eye on the cone colour. When they turn from bright green to a very slightly beige green they may be ready. But if the cone petals are papery, there are a few cone petals that have slightly brown tips and the lupulin has darkened they are OK to harvest. And you don't get very many days from being too early to too late.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2020 #469

    Hoppy

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    Terrym, that is also a good indicator, but even commercial growers rub them to see if they are ready. That said, you could think they are ready and pick them, but they may have developed more intensity!
    Cone colour can be an good indicator. Dont worry if there is superficial browning on the very outside of the cone. This would be a little wind bruising.
    Hops sometimes develop a little more intensity in aroma if a little bruised, the plant thinks it is being attacked, so develops more aroma to fend of pests. Remember the aroma of hops is not to attract pollinators, this has already been done, by male plant pollen and wind.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2020 #470

    Alex.mc

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    I planted my two last winter/early spring, and the Magnum did pretty well giving 120 grammes of dried weight hops, which I have used in brews.
    The Fuggles not so well, but I think I just chose a bad place for it. I bought 3 more bare root rhizomes recently and they have gone in next to the magnum, and the Fuggles moved over too. I now have Centennial, Cascade and Chinook to join them. I don't expect to have any major harvest, but I love watching them grow.
     
  11. Jan 9, 2020 #471

    Hoppy

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    Alex.mc, don't expect too much for the first two years.
    After the first year, any cones that do appear, by all means pick the cones from the plant, same for second year, only on the third year 'harvest' the plant, ie cut it down and pick.
    Not cutting the plant down in the 1st couple of years enables the root stock to recover by absorbing the nutrients back from the plant, giving stronger yield following year.
    Commercially they leave the first year only, but the roots have the opportunity to drive deep.
    So, if growing in pots, don't cut down for two years.
    BR
    H
     
  12. Jan 9, 2020 #472

    Alex.mc

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    Hi Hoppy, I didn't cut mine down at all whilst it still had leaf, and all the way through to about 2 weeks back. I'm fortunate in having an instagram advisor in a lady down in Kent who is running a small section of her family farm growing old English varieties of hops. She's trying to save and expand the older varieties, and sells a small volume each year. She's a mine of information and freely and happily gives it out. On her advice I did exactly as you mention.
    The magnum did very well last year for it's first year, and I think the position was very good, hence me moving the Fuggles and putting in the others.
     
  13. Jan 9, 2020 #473

    terrym

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    That's interesting.
    I have two Prima Donna dwarf plants in large pots and cut them both down at the end of year one 2018, but only when they had completely died back and then some. At the beginning of 2019 I had to eliminate lots of healthy shoots to pick the best for the year, and still managed to get over 200g of dried hops from them, even though they had really suffered from lack of water on one hot day at the end of June (my fault), and at the time I thought I had lost them and their potential crop.
    I cut them back again in late autumn last year, but only when they had completely died back and then some as before.
    I shall have to see what 2020 brings, since this is their 3rd season and that's when they are supposed to be fully productive as I understand it.
     
  14. Jan 10, 2020 #474

    Hoppy

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    Hi Alex,
    To expand on info/advice.
    Magnum, generally not grown in the UK commercially is a very hardy hop, it was relatively recently bred to tolerate local swings in climate (Hallertau region).
    Hence Magnum will yield in the region of 40-60% more than 160 year old Fuggle, to manage expectation.

    Terrym, prima Donna, First Gold, is different.
    Only bines that are travelling out from the root stock along the ground are cut back commercially. The rest grow up trellis work. These hops aren't harvested in their entirety, as the bines are intertwined with the trellis, only the lateral and leaf material are removed, during harvest, the bine is then removed from the root stock a few weeks later.
    The yield can be explained by the plant being stressed a little. If it was all plain sailing, the hop wouldn't feel the need to reproduce.
     

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