Posts Tagged ‘hop drying’

beginning the 2010 hop harvest

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

aside from sampling a few draft homebrews (and discovering that the local elks lodge has quite a few beers on tap, including SN pale ale), the weekend went by without incident. on monday, however, the hop harvest began.

  • after doing some research regarding optimal hop picking indicators, I determined the following: wait until the cones are light and papery, and you can smell significant hop aroma, then wait a week or more for the cones to fully develop before picking.
  • last year, I picked my cones when they felt papery (and when I saw significant lupulin in the cones), but I didn’t really get any significant aroma from them, so I think I picked too early.
  • this time around, my cascade cones were light, papery, and smelled great, and my I ended up with tacky fingers after handling the cones.  I cut down the cascade vine and picked approximately a little less than a pound of wet hops, which will likely result in 4oz. of dried cones.  not bad for first year growth!
  • I spread the hops out in the basement on some mesh and put a fan on them to dry them out.  I plan on stuffing them in a ziploc in a day or two, when they fully dry out.
  • in the future, I plan on planting my rhizomes in the ground to increase output, as the time and effort put in for a 4oz. harvest could get a little frustrating over time.  I will definitely plant the cascade, which showed the best growth potential by far, but other varieties are still up in the air (columbus? amarillo?)

potted zeus hop “harvest”

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

zeus on the vine

a couple days ago my potted zeus hop plant seemed to be ready for harvest.

  • the cones on the plant looked like they were ready to go.  like the vojvodina cones, they were light to the touch and contained some lupulin:

zeus cone profile

  • the hop vine was nowhere as prolific as the vojvodina, but it still reached my second story window.  after cutting down the vine, I brought it inside to do some picking.

cutting the zeus

zeus doubled up

zeus vine inside

  • when all was said and done, I had a little over 4 ounces of wet hops (vs. over 12oz for the vojvodina!).  not amazing, but not bad for a little late hop addition.

4oz of zeus

  • instead of using these wet/fresh, I laid them out on a screen where they have been drying for the last couple of days with a small fan on them.  since they have been drying in a somewhat cool environment inside, I am going to let them go for another couple days before bagging and freezing them.

zeus drying on screen

  • I planted the zeus for their very high alpha acid (AA) content, and I can already tell the difference between this batch and my last harvest.  I had to wash my hands multiple times while picking because they kept sticking together from all the lupulin!

zeus vine