Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through August 26, 2008 * First attempt at harvesting hops! < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

Michael Boyd
Intermediate Member
Username: Mlboyd

Post Number: 352
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 69.85.158.6
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 08:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So after growing hops for ~10 years, yesterday was my first attempt at a harvest. I filled a grocery bag about ˝ full, brought it in the house and picked the best ones for the dehydrator.

The directions for the dehydrator included times for all manner of veggies, fruits and meats, from okra to chicken jerky, but not hops. The least time of any was at minimum a day and a half.

Well I loaded up the thing, turned it on and let sit overnight. This morning the hops are very, very dry. Beyond papery, to well, dry.

Since what we want from the hops is an oil, they should still be useable, I would guess.
I harvested about 12 ounces, green; I haven’t weighed them dry, yet. I have a ton of hops left so it wouldn’t be huge if I had to toss these.
 

Robert
Member
Username: Okierat

Post Number: 179
Registered: 05-2003
Posted From: 138.32.32.166
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I did a harvest yesterday, ended up with about 3 oz dry. Odd thing in they smell like LME. I kid you not, this morning I took a wif and thought to me self DME. Anyway dried them for 15 min in a 150 degree oven with the door open. Wonder if that had anything to do with it.
 

Steve Pierson
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevepierson

Post Number: 374
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 67.42.164.11
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 12:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I air dry my hops. Takes a few days, but very little risk of overdrying them. Consider that as an alternative to using heat to dry them.

Put the hops on screens if available. I don't have enough screens - so I put them in paper bags or cardboard boxes. Turn them every day - this is important - mold or mildew will grow on them and ruin them if not turned daily. Last year I dried a pound of Nugget in a laundry basket lined with newspaper.

The hops will rustle against the side of the box or bag when they are dry. The hop cones are left whole and store well in the freezer.
 

Michael Boyd
Intermediate Member
Username: Mlboyd

Post Number: 353
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 69.85.158.6
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 02:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I went down to the garden today and picked another bag. I'm going to try the dehydrator again only about 6 hours this time.

Steve, how did using homegrown work for you? My plan is to take the average AA for Cascades and split the difference in my calcs. I'll probably start with a SNPA clone; not much to go wrong there.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1147
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 71.194.189.126
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 03:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This makes me wonder about how dry everyone is drying their hops. Everything I've read says to dry the hops til you can break, rather than bend the strig, which is the stick in the center that all the bracts are attached to. When I dry hops to that point, the bracts just fall off and I usually end up with a pile of bracts only by the time I'm filling the last bag.

I think drying in a 150F oven for 15 min is not nearly enough. I use a home built oast with a blow dryer set on cool (no heat) and it gets to about 110F and takes nearly 24 hrs to dry a lb of hops.

oast
oast
 

Bob D
Junior Member
Username: Fl_bob

Post Number: 38
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 64.12.116.145
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 03:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow that looks like a lot of hops. How long have you been growing hops and how many plants do you have? Looks like I am not getting any hops off my first year plants.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1149
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 71.194.189.126
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob, what you're looking at is probably less than a lb dried. Just looking at the pic, I'd say they were Cascade, I don't remember. There is a 1-2" layer on the top that you can see and another tray with a layer in the bottom section. Each tray is about 6" high.

I've been growing for about 9 yrs and this year I have about 7 plants.

(Message edited by davew on August 01, 2008)
 

Bob D
Junior Member
Username: Fl_bob

Post Number: 39
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 64.12.116.145
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 03:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, I thought the box was full. Of course, it still looks like a lot of hops in these times. Nice box idea. Another DIY homebrew project to tackle in the future. Thanks for posting.
 

Steve Pierson
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevepierson

Post Number: 375
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.162.131.35
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


quote:

Steve, how did using homegrown work for you? My plan is to take the average AA for Cascades and split the difference in my calcs. I'll probably start with a SNPA clone; not much to go wrong there.




That is what I do. I use the AA average for the variety - I shoot for the high end of the IBU range for pale ales and other bitter styles. I like 'em hoppy - so no worries if the beer is overly bitter at first. Works well enough - keep notes on your process and you can adjust the hops as needed for future brews.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 6864
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 140.211.82.4
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 07:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use a food dehydrator set to about 125-135 for maybe 6 hours or so. I've overdried hoips in the past and found that just leaving them out in the open overnight will bring some life back to them. Even overdried ones have worked well for me, though.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1150
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 71.194.189.126
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, even if they're so dry they shatter, they still work fine.
 

Mike Mayer
Advanced Member
Username: Mmayer

Post Number: 823
Registered: 12-2002
Posted From: 68.76.101.69
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2008 - 12:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is my first attempt at growing hops this summer. My Cascades is going crazy, but my Nugget hops seem to have quite a ways to go. So, the question is, how do you know when to pick the hops?? I have a feeling that much of my Cascades might be ready, but I don't know for sure. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9091
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2008 - 01:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, here's an excerpt from an article I wrote a few years back:

Typically by August or early September the first cones will be ready for harvesting. It’s a little tricky to determine when they are ready, but here are a few tips. The color of a mature cone should be a light yellowish-green and the individual “leaves” (technically known as bracts and bracteoles) should be starting to separate. There should be dots of powdery yellow lupulin glands on the bracts toward the stem. When you squeeze a cone it should feel slightly dry and papery and spring back a little after you release it. If it is somewhat moist, dense and unyielding, it is not ready. After touching a ripe cone your fingers should have a little lupulin and a resiny, flowery, citrusy or piney smell typical of hops.
 

Dan Grady
Member
Username: Bierboy

Post Number: 124
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 24.163.142.163
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2008 - 01:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't even have cones on my plant. But, I live in a northern climate and it is a first year plant.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1151
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 71.194.189.126
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2008 - 03:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I usually wait til the most mature (first ones to form) hops have a brown bract or two near the top of the cone. Then you know that those are nearing past due and other younger cones will be ripe enough to pick. Then again, at that point there will sometimes be newer cones that are not ready yet. You'll learn with experience.
 

Mike Mayer
Advanced Member
Username: Mmayer

Post Number: 824
Registered: 12-2002
Posted From: 67.39.201.62
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2008 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Bill, that helps. I think I am only a few days from starting to pick them. I didn't expect to really get anything in the first year, so I kind of ignored the plants. They got to the top of the rope tied to my soffit (about 8' high) and I just let them go anywhere they wanted. So now I have a giant ball of leaves and quite a few cones throughout. No Nugget cones yet, but it looks like their trying!
 

Colby Enck
Advanced Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 548
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 24.229.200.120
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2008 - 07:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's a pic of a few of my Cascades. I had no idea they would get so big! There's a little bit of yellow spots near the stems. Think they're ready to harvest?

big Cascades
 

jeff wright
Member
Username: Barly

Post Number: 221
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 24.131.110.190
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2008 - 08:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Colby,
Can't give you a definitive answer, but I've been picking mine (Cascades)at that size. Actually have a few where the top bracts actually look like leaves. Yeah, kind of amazing...

Brew on,
jeff
 

Brewzz
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewzz

Post Number: 491
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.112.116.217
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 03:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Those look ready to me.YMMV
cheers, brewzz
 

Colby Enck
Advanced Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 549
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 24.229.200.120
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 06:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So they should actually smell like hops when they are ready? I muddled one up in my hands and smelled it a la Jim Koch, but it doesn't smell like Cascades, just kind of grassy.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3319
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.7.7.66
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did it leave sticky on your hands? If not I'd say it's not ready. And yes it should have a pungent odor when it's squeezed.
 

Michael Boyd
Intermediate Member
Username: Mlboyd

Post Number: 354
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 69.85.158.6
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 11:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks guys. I think I'm on the right track.

My hops smell like, well, hops. Everybody that comes to my house has the same reaction. "What the heck is that?"

I gave a hop cone to the telephone repair man and he said, "Smells like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale". "Good nose" I told him.