Hop plants/rhizomes - growing report

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I'm holding out picking mine, they are usually ready 2nd week of Sept, the Cascade a week later - watching them like a hawk each day, sampled one today and whilst the aroma is still developing, feels like there's a bit more to go.
That's some growth rate.
Looking at commercial gardens they take a little while to get going but from early May to mid June they must be doing close to 5 metres in 6 weeks, there must be a week in early June where they do a metre in a week in good conditions.

No wonder that before they were included in English ale (and even banned in some localities), they were dubbed "That wicked weed" long before tobacco or cannabis came along.
The wicked weed thing is because hops were thought to be an aphrodisiac and the 6-time married Henry VIII was worried about his subjects getting more nooky than he did.

The whole banning thing has been rather misunderstood and is mostly a trades description issue. New-fangled beer used hops, whereas traditional British ale was what we would call a gruit, it either had no hops or at most had a small %age as part of a blend of other herbs. In general historians have mistaken rules saying that anything labelled as an ale must be a gruit without hops, as a more general ban on hops in fermented drinks. There were a handful of local outright bans, but it wasn't a general thing. But you can see parallels with CAMRA in the resistance to newfangled styles coming from the Continent.
My Fuggles and Centennial have gone mad this year. This is their third year. I trained them well last year and got a great harvest but this year have been less bothered so they have all but overtaken my poor Hazelnut tree. I hope they last another couple of weeks as is. I won’t get a chance to harvest them until at lease 20th September 🤞

My hops are abundant with flowers this year.
Challenger and cascade, they have a bit of overlap where thy have grown together, but should separate okay when I cut the remaining stings that are still managing to hold the vines up
I’m not going to lie I am not looking forward to picking this lot


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I take back my previous local observation about lower than usual quantities seen.
I passed by another old hop garden gateway and it's hedges today, where there have been a smatter of hops these last few years.
This year a total coverage and abundance of large healthy cones observed.
Still wet in the hand rub test, with some but not great lupulin stickiness.
They'll need this fine weather period to dry out. I'll keep a hopeful eye on them too, as the nearby one seems a little bit poor this year.
My hops are abundant with flowers this year.
Challenger and cascade, they have a bit of overlap where thy have grown together, but should separate okay when I cut the remaining stings that are still managing to hold the vines up
I’m not going to lie I am not looking forward to picking this lot

My wife and I have shared this task the past two years. Both times have been on 26th September which just so happens to be her birthday. Yeah, I know, I’m such a romantic 😜
Terrible year, worst ever. Not sure how long I've been growing hops, 7 or 8 years. With that hot spell in June all the beasties came out early before the predators and ate the plants, I've never seen that before, nothing has attacked my hops in previous years. Thankfully they have recovered with new growth and plenty of cones have developed, still a little way off from picking. About 30% of last year's crop, which was a bumper year.
Exactly the same for me, too many greenfly and not enough ladybird larvae. I have nothing on my prima Dona, tradition crop is greatly reduced, chinook hardly any on and my cascade is rather late, though more of a crop developing.
I know size is not everything but just look at these lanky hop plants i spotted yesterday at RHS Whisley


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Well I've done the deed, and harvested the few hops from my 3 first-year Prima Donna bines as they were rustly and ready.
They went in as a 75c whirlpool hop in an Exmoor Gold clone brew, recipe courtesy of @Cheshire Cat
I multiplied up the recipe 20g (dry) to 140g of the straight-off-the-bine within minutes of harvesting.
The Aroma!
I do have 65g left frozen.
Oh, what to do - dry (wet) hop or add to another brew?
A question about Prima Donna aka First Gold.
Does the name imply it's an early harvesting hop?
The local hedgerow ones I pick are still a little wet on the between the palms squish and rub test.


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2nd week of Sept and still holding out picking.

This sunshine & heat has really accelerated the Cascade, suddenly I have a bumper crop, whilst the Challenger are poor this year: the exact opposite of last year. The Styrian Goldings just plod on and remain the most consistent in all weathers. Here's the Cascade...


Watching them day-by-day now.
About half of last years Prima Donna harvest, here on the south west face of the Pennines. Partly by design, of changing how I selected and strung the bines. And probably due to it raining nearly every day in July. Enough for the fresh hop brew currently on the boil and to top up remaining stock from last year. I'll take that.
Well mine got totally decimated and so have ended up with 67g of Cascade, they do smell lovely though, the other two not worth picking.

As it’s year one I was expecting much. I’m guessing they’ll weigh in hat about 10g when dried 🤣

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If you a few grammes of sugar on the scale at the same time.