Homegrown Hops

Discussion in 'Beer & Ale' started by uechikid, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. uechikid

    uechikid Fire Starter

    Any one here grow their own hops?  I have two four year plants (Chinook and cascade) and two three year plants one of each of the above.  I have been getting about 24oz of each the last two years.
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can control what nutrients they get that way too!
  3. I have wanted to grow hops for a long time now .. they are tough to locate in my area tho and any of the mail order plants I have gotten were worth much more than the postage [​IMG]
    I am sure you have a lot better luck in your area tho ..
  4. Chinook and Cascades are what I use in my IPA. Love em. I have friends that grow them but I haven't yet. Got to many other projects. Got some pics of your vines?
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  5. I have  Chinook, nugget and cascade, I have yet to use or even harvest any of my hops, I have not brewed in a while, and I keep telling homebrewers I know to come and get the hops, but they never show,  we grow ours on the sun side of our deck and make a shade wall with them.

    we bought ours through mail order and they have taken off ever since, the first yearr they seem to be a little stunned , but grow like wild fire every year since

    this is them already this year and we have cut them back once

  6. Wow they look healthy .. do you remember where you ordered from ? My husband does a lot of brewing and its quite a hike to get hops and supplies
  7. Thanks I will check it out ...
  8. They usually don't do much the first year but once they take hold they go very well. Cascades seem to grow the best around here.
  9. my cascade is the smallest of my 3 plants, she stays smaller, the leaves are smaller, and the hop cones are smaller too, the Chinook seems to be the exact opppsite of the 3
  10. uechikid

    uechikid Fire Starter

  11. Lookin good.
  12. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    Ya.. looks good. I have four first year plants.  Can't wait.
  13. mrh

    mrh Meat Mopper

    I have cascades that I planted several years ago and they seem to do real well. You can almost see them grow in the spring after they get started!

  14. Yes during the peak of it's growing season it can grow as much as a foot a day, makes it fun to watch
  15. uechikid

    uechikid Fire Starter

    Here are a couple of pics just 5 weeks from when I posted the first ones.  If all goes well, it's going to be a good harvest this year.

  16. smokinnh

    smokinnh Fire Starter

    It may be a stupid question, but how much sun should you give them. I have a space on the back of my garage that would be perfect, but it faces east.
  17. Any info on timelines for harvest? If I plant mail order plants this spring can I expect anything useable? I love the idea of growing my own and using them in my home brews.

    One other question, is there anything to worried about with my dogs? I think I remember reading that hops are poisonous to dogs. She doesn't really get into much anymore but I'd rather be safe.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  18. bdawg

    bdawg Smoke Blower

    They are typically ready to harvest around Labor Day.

    Hops can give a dog a heart attack if they get into them.  This is usually when the dog gets into them when you dump your trub after the boil, or if you use a hop sack.

    When growing them, its best to clip the bottom few feet's worth of leaves leaving only a bare bine close to the ground.  This will help keep insects as well as mold/fungus off the plants as they grow, and it will also keep the flowers out of the dog's reach. If your dog likes to chew on plants, you may want to put a chicken wire fence around them just to be sure.

    First year they usually don't produce a lot.  2nd year they'll produce a lot more.

    It's fun to brew with them, but the big issue is you really don't know what the %AA they are.  You could end up with a beer that is over or under bittered if you try to use the as the only bittering hops in your beer.  You will be more consistent if you bitter with a commercial hop and use the homegrown as flavor and aroma additions.

    Also, if you fresh hop with them (ie, throw them in directly, without drying them out), they are approximately 5 times heavier than dried hops, so you have to mulitply your weight by 5.  1 oz of dried hops = 5 oz of fresh.

  19. bdawg

    bdawg Smoke Blower

    The more sun they get the better, especially the hot afternoon sun.  They probably won't do all that well if they can only get morning sun.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    Yakima is on the 48th parallel, so in the summer time the days get incredibly long (and winter days incredibly short).

    The sun will come up at 4am and not set until 9:30pm, and the hops absolutely love it -- sunny, hot and dry.

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