Is growing hops difficult?
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    I want to grow some hops. What are some pointers? Is there anything goofy about them or just plant, water, and keep the dogs away?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    not necessarily, but different varieties grow better in certain areas. like here in MO, cascade grows better than most other things. the nugget and northern brewer i have falls victim to mold every year.
    i would ask around and see what hops peeps are successfully growing in your area.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454
    You also need to set up a trellis of some sort that goes up about 14 feet as the hop vine tends to grow up. You'll want to set up some sort of a pull system so when time to harvest you can easily lower to the ground.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454
    There are a lot of growing guides on-line I'm sure a google search would turn up a lot of materials.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I just bought chinook and wilamette in Mo, so let's hope they work out. I am prepared for the mildew, mites and aphids. I am really just hoping for something to cover and arbor, if I get a few cones, even better.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Benvarine said:

    I just bought chinook and wilamette in Mo, so let's hope they work out. I am prepared for the mildew, mites and aphids. I am really just hoping for something to cover and arbor, if I get a few cones, even better.


    both grow decently here. willamete can be really finicky if we have a hot summer (like last year) but it can pull through
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    I'm going to order some cascades this spring..... my Willamettes do just fine until the first 90 degree day..... then they just stop growing, and never produce any cones..... last year they put off some side arms.... about 3"-long, before they quit. Looks perfectly healthy, just no growth......
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    Here is my design for growing hops.....
    Hop Pergola revised.pdf
    7K
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 49,693
    ceannt said:

    I'm going to order some cascades this spring..... my Willamettes do just fine until the first 90 degree day..... then they just stop growing, and never produce any cones..... last year they put off some side arms.... about 3"-long, before they quit. Looks perfectly healthy, just no growth......



    mine got chewed at some point. all the tips were gone, so no cones. i expect to have them in better shape this year.
    The pinnacle of lame and awesome in one singular moment. -Lake
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    cascade grows like a damn weed in the midwest, its great! and nearly bulletproof.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828

    cascade grows like a damn weed in the midwest, its great! and nearly bulletproof.



    Hence why I'm going with them.... I'll leave the others in, but have little hope....
    Biggest problem I have had is the damn squrriels eat the shoots.... chicken wire is your friend....
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • PK1PK1
    Posts: 14
    Benvarine said:

    I just bought chinook and wilamette in Mo, so let's hope they work out. I am prepared for the mildew, mites and aphids. I am really just hoping for something to cover and arbor, if I get a few cones, even better.


    that's what we were after, put up some hog wire and the cascades went nuts. good cover from the neighbors and we had enough harvest to brew with. they will grow sideways when they reach the top but harvest is not as easy as if you grow them up some twine. Keep them fertilized and watered.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    What about use on homegrown hops? How do I figure AA%? Is that based on anything other than the variety?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    this is an excellent question and one that every hop grower should be asking.
    AA% is simply a chemical created by the plant, so it is hugely variable. the strain might be for 5.5%, but because of your growing conditions, your aa's might be much lower or a little higher.

    most people take the avg. for the strain and run with that, but that's for chumps.

    easiest way to get a decent estimate, if this:
    once dry, make a several teas with several different hops of varying aa's
    compare bitterness and put your homegrown hop tea where it should be in terms of bitterness.

    something as easy as 2 hours of shade late in the day will throw your aa's off by a great deal, so it is most accurate to do it this way rather than assume.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967

    this is an excellent question and one that every hop grower should be asking.
    AA% is simply a chemical created by the plant, so it is hugely variable. the strain might be for 5.5%, but because of your growing conditions, your aa's might be much lower or a little higher.

    most people take the avg. for the strain and run with that, but that's for chumps.

    easiest way to get a decent estimate, if this:
    once dry, make a several teas with several different hops of varying aa's
    compare bitterness and put your homegrown hop tea where it should be in terms of bitterness.

    something as easy as 2 hours of shade late in the day will throw your aa's off by a great deal, so it is most accurate to do it this way rather than assume.



    is there a more analytic approach that can be done at home? i would think the taste comparison would be pretty subjective, since the other flavors in the hop could add or detract from perceived bitterness.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Lakewood said:


    is there a more analytic approach that can be done at home? i would think the taste comparison would be pretty subjective, since the other flavors in the hop could add or detract from perceived bitterness.



    not that i have ever heard of that is actually real. i have heard of several methods that involve decanting it and cutting it with measured amounts of water until you taste no bitterness, but that is highly variable due to how sensitive you are to the bitter.
    at least with the comparing technique, you get a pretty good idea where it stands with other hops you like.
    there is some lab that you could ship it off to and they will test the bitterness, costs 40 bucks or something though.
    with a little research, i would bet @fromzwolle and i have what it takes to actually test bitterness in a lab setting, but i would need to look into that more.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 49,693

    Lakewood said:


    is there a more analytic approach that can be done at home? i would think the taste comparison would be pretty subjective, since the other flavors in the hop could add or detract from perceived bitterness.



    not that i have ever heard of that is actually real. i have heard of several methods that involve decanting it and cutting it with measured amounts of water until you taste no bitterness, but that is highly variable due to how sensitive you are to the bitter.
    at least with the comparing technique, you get a pretty good idea where it stands with other hops you like.
    there is some lab that you could ship it off to and they will test the bitterness, costs 40 bucks or something though.
    with a little research, i would bet @fromzwolle and i have what it takes to actually test bitterness in a lab setting, but i would need to look into that more.


    the stuff i have access (not very often, mind you) to at work might do it, but i'd need to look into how it's tested by the labs.
    The pinnacle of lame and awesome in one singular moment. -Lake
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967
    my very brief research pointed to spectrophotometry as the cheap/easy way. not sure the recommended solvent for extraction, but seems simple to get an absorption rate at 275nm if you have a spectrophotometer laying around somewhere.

    John Palmer did a nice writeup with references in BYO back in 08. http://www.byo.com/stories/article/indices/37-hops/200-behind-the-ibu-advanced-brewing
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    I read something about how to test with solvents. I have it book-marked on the other computer. It was a bit out of my means as far as equipment. But I think many solvents work, I've successfully made an extract with butane (though not much).
    I think a more complicated taste method similar to what Fry speaks of is more what I'd do, though I don't really care what the IBU's in my beer are, as long as it tastes good.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    I'm digging into this a little deeper. I have a place that faces south that I can put twine up to the eaves of my old garage. That would get me about 12' high. Not ideal from what I'm reading, but if this goes well I'll construct an actual arbor somewhere else. I'm thinking Cascade, Mt. Hood and a third. Maybe Columbus. I haven't designed any of my own recipes yet but i think these will go well with most of what I brew (hefe, not too dry stouts, just now getting into IIPAs).

    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454

    I'm digging into this a little deeper. I have a place that faces south that I can put twine up to the eaves of my old garage. That would get me about 12' high. Not ideal from what I'm reading, but if this goes well I'll construct an actual arbor somewhere else. I'm thinking Cascade, Mt. Hood and a third. Maybe Columbus. I haven't designed any of my own recipes yet but i think these will go well with most of what I brew (hefe, not too dry stouts, just now getting into IIPAs).



    I have an all columbus ipa recipe that turned out well.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    The wiki is VERY helpful.

    I'm thinking Cascade, Columbus and Magnum or Nugget. Thoughts?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    @Lakewood the wiki is wikiawesome.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454

    The wiki is VERY helpful.

    I'm thinking Cascade, Columbus and Magnum or Nugget. Thoughts?



    If you have the room grow them all. Those varieties are great for IPA's
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    I have room for three for sure. Maybe four but I doubt it. Nugget is a decent bittering hop for stouts, right?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    Cascade, Centinnial and Nugget. If I have room for four I'll slide in Columbus. This should give me something for everything. Cool.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454

    Cascade, Centinnial and Nugget. If I have room for four I'll slide in Columbus. This should give me something for everything. Cool.



    I should do this. I keep saying I am going to start growing and never get around to it.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 49,693

    I have room for three for sure. Maybe four but I doubt it. Nugget is a decent bittering hop for stouts, right?



    nugget is a great bittering for stouts, pale ales, ipas, ect.
    The pinnacle of lame and awesome in one singular moment. -Lake
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Nugget.

    ORDERED.

    Done.

    The purchase has been made.

    The football has been handed off.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967
    Dont fumble
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    Lakewood said:

    Dont fumble


    So. Much. Pressure.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    Received, YAY!
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    Going to plant this weekend. Super excited.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967
    Did you get in on the members only rhizome exchange?
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    Lakewood said:

    Did you get in on the members only rhizome exchange?


    No. I ordered from AHS a couple days before the members only exchange came up.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967

    Lakewood said:

    Did you get in on the members only rhizome exchange?


    No. I ordered from AHS a couple days before the members only exchange came up.


    hope yours grow like crazy.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    Just now got 'em planted. Hopefully they are still alive...
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 49,693

    Just now got 'em planted. Hopefully they are still alive...



    they should be fine. hardy little suckers.


    if you have rhizomes and don't have the time to plant, throw em in the fridge until you do. it puts them to sleep.
    The pinnacle of lame and awesome in one singular moment. -Lake
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967
    yeah, very hardy, unless you water them with chloronated spa water they should be cool.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616

    Just now got 'em planted. Hopefully they are still alive...



    they should be fine. hardy little suckers.

    if you have rhizomes and don't have the time to plant, throw em in the fridge until you do. it puts them to sleep.


    That's what i did. Whew.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    Lakewood said:

    yeah, very hardy, unless you water them with chloronated spa water they should be cool.



    Why does that sound like the voice of experience????
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    I want to put a rainbarrel in.... just to water the hops and such..... If I could only figure out a way to do it without running the risk of everybody thinking I was a reformed hippie......
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    all I need is a copy of Mother Earth News sitting on my porch......

    Jayrizzle
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454
    ceannt said:

    I want to put a rainbarrel in.... just to water the hops and such..... If I could only figure out a way to do it without running the risk of everybody thinking I was a reformed hippie......



    I've been thinking about putting a rain barrel to drain my shed. I've though maybe I could water the garden. I'm not sure about using roof drained water for vegetables though.
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    ceannt said:

    I want to put a rainbarrel in.... just to water the hops and such..... If I could only figure out a way to do it without running the risk of everybody thinking I was a reformed hippie......



    that's quite the pickle. maybe if you use a trash can people won't know it's for rain. Or put a sticker on it that says "Rendered Whale Oil, product of Japan" Even if it is a rain barrel what hippie would have that around?
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    jlw said:

    ceannt said:

    I want to put a rainbarrel in.... just to water the hops and such..... If I could only figure out a way to do it without running the risk of everybody thinking I was a reformed hippie......



    I've been thinking about putting a rain barrel to drain my shed. I've though maybe I could water the garden. I'm not sure about using roof drained water for vegetables though.


    I'm planning on using roof drained water for my veggies this year (if it ever rains). The way I see it; it's an old roof, so most things that will leach out have already, and it's better than chlorinated city water.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828

    ceannt said:

    I want to put a rainbarrel in.... just to water the hops and such..... If I could only figure out a way to do it without running the risk of everybody thinking I was a reformed hippie......



    that's quite the pickle. maybe if you use a trash can people won't know it's for rain. Or put a sticker on it that says "Rendered Whale Oil, product of Japan" Even if it is a rain barrel what hippie would have that around?


    Hah... I was thinking a "possum, it's what's for dinner " bumper sticker
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    jlw said:

    ceannt said:

    I want to put a rainbarrel in.... just to water the hops and such..... If I could only figure out a way to do it without running the risk of everybody thinking I was a reformed hippie......



    I've been thinking about putting a rain barrel to drain my shed. I've though maybe I could water the garden. I'm not sure about using roof drained water for vegetables though.


    Don't worry about it, much worse stuff is coming down with the rain before it hits your roof if you live in an urban environment. It is a great way to reduce the use of clean drinking water, mitigate stormwater runoff and save a little cash. People have been doing this for centuries before we decided it was a novel idea.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Benvarine said:

    People have been doing this for centuries before we decided it was a novel idea.



    most of those people didn't have tar shingles though!
    but really, roof water is generally fine, and rainwater has craploads of nitrogen in it, so it is great to not let it go to waste.

    and ceannt.....just run the gutter into some old, rusted out chevy and nobody will think twice about it. no problemo.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    all naturale pine tar, at least that is what you should think about when you are eating your petroleum ridden lettuce.
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298


    and ceannt.....just run the gutter into some old, rusted out chevy and nobody will think twice about it. no problemo.


    Chevy runs deep.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • LothosLothos
    Posts: 2,146
    that reminds me i need to set up my trellis this weekend and get them strung up there crawling on the ground allready
    Ain't that a Bitch
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    I need to get some twine up......
    Cascades haven't sprouted yet, but the Willamettes are getting close to needing support
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    oh yeah, that's on my to do list. I need to cut down some young pines for poles. I just recounted and it's 24 plants if everything comes up (many first years in there)
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    To answer the title of the thread. Apparently it is difficult. Of the four rhizomes I planted exactly zero are doing anything, or at least anything above ground. One is probably getting shaded out too much. The other three have no excuse except to smite me. I suspect this to be the reason.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    how deep did you pant them?

    Thym
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967

    how deep did you pant them?



    4' down
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616

    how deep did you plant them?


    Fixed. And just deep enough to cover them with soil. But the rain off the roof may have partially uncovered two of them. Not bad, just exposed the to 1/2 inch or so.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967
    Mine shot up a few feet really fast. Then stopped. They haven't grown an inch in 3 weeks.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298

    how deep did you plant them?


    Fixed. And just deep enough to cover them with soil. But the rain off the roof may have partially uncovered two of them. Not bad, just exposed the to 1/2 inch or so.


    deeper may have been better. You might want to lay a few inches of soil on top of them if you haven't already.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    Lakewood said:

    Mine shot up a few feet really fast. Then stopped. They haven't grown an inch in 3 weeks.



    Must be those growth regulators I sprayed on them before sending them out


    My biggest plant is at about 10feet now. Some leaves are bigger than my hand (pencil like, but long).
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616


    how deep did you plant them?


    Fixed. And just deep enough to cover them with soil. But the rain off the roof may have partially uncovered two of them. Not bad, just exposed the to 1/2 inch or so.


    deeper may have been better. You might want to lay a few inches of soil on top of them if you haven't already.

    I did a little, but i may add some more.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    I added some soil and watered. We'll see.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298

    I added some soil and watered. We'll see.



    Don't drown them. The biggest advantage to having them deeper is that the soil moisture doesn't change so much down there; making watering a very rare thing.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616

    I added some soil and watered. We'll see.



    Don't drown them. The biggest advantage to having them deeper is that the soil moisture doesn't change so much down there; making watering a very rare thing.

    Maybe this was the problem. Crossing my fingers.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    Just forget about them for a few week. The'll be fine (well maybe water them once if you don't get any rain). Don't pet your puppy to death.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I planted four rhizomes, two sprouted to about 2", then died back, the other two never came up. I am a plant guy, I have never had such poor success planting anything. These damn things must have been DOA.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,967
    Benvarine said:

    I planted four rhizomes, two sprouted to about 2", then died back, the other two never came up. I am a plant guy, I have never had such poor success planting anything. These damn things must have been DOA.



    What the hell. Hops, the impossible plant.


    I think its one of those plants where once it takes off its impossible to get rid of but its finicky at first... either that or its just impossible.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,616
    I'm just going to keep watering occasionally and hope for the best.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,298
    you're doing it wrong. Plant them and walk away. They take care of themselves for the most part.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio