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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: waltsmalt on September 05, 2015, 02:57:43 PM

Title: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: waltsmalt on September 05, 2015, 02:57:43 PM
After checking the moisture content on my hops (elementary method), I decided to harvest my Sterling last night.  Picked all the hops, put them in a dehydrator at 100, and let them go overnight.  When I went to check on their progress this morning I noticed a lot of small bugs which I suspect to be aphids.  My question is whether or not the hops will be OK to continue drying and package?  The hops look consistent with past years, just that there is a number of bugs coming out of the dehydrator. 

Thoughts?

Edit:  This should have been placed in Hop Growing.  Can someone move this?
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 05, 2015, 03:15:45 PM
Those aphids are probably dead after getting blown with hot air for hours. If not, I wouldn't be too worried. They slurp up the sap of the plant and have no interest in the lupulin. Now that the hops have been dried out they will likely move on to look for a new plant to attack.

If you have an aphid problem at harvest then you've probably had a problem all season. That's something to look out for next year.
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: waltsmalt on September 05, 2015, 05:10:31 PM
They are still living.  Just checked again and I have a ton crawling out of the dehydrator trying to escape the heat.  This would be the first year I've noticed them.  I guess I'll have to look into treating my bines next year. 

I'm going to seal them, knowing they will all die in the freezer and can't imagine they would have any flavor effect if used in the boil, or even dry hopping for that matter.
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: BrewArk on September 05, 2015, 05:15:33 PM
Next year watch for ants around the base of the plants.  They nurse the aphids and keep the lady-bugs from controlling the population.  When I did that (put some granules of the lawn type ant control), there were significantly fewer aphids to the point of not having to spray the plants.
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: Philbrew on September 06, 2015, 08:34:25 PM
I learn something new on this forum every day.   APA stands for Aphid Pale Ale.

Obviously a subset of Insect Pale Ale.  :)
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: Philbrew on September 06, 2015, 08:53:08 PM
They are still living.  Just checked again and I have a ton crawling out of the dehydrator trying to escape the heat.  This would be the first year I've noticed them.  I guess I'll have to look into treating my bines next year. 

I'm going to seal them, knowing they will all die in the freezer and can't imagine they would have any flavor effect if used in the boil, or even dry hopping for that matter.
OK, a serious comment this time.
To me, bugs carry bacteria.  Should be no problem in the boil but I dunno about dry hopping.  Is there enough alcohol at that point to kill the possible bacteria?  If so, why bother to sanitize bottles and kegs?
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: waltsmalt on September 06, 2015, 09:25:51 PM
Good point.  At this point, only found in my Sterlings.  I'm going to harvest my Centennials tonight, so we'll see what we have in those.  I can't imagine that I won't find aphids there as well. 
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: stpug on September 10, 2015, 11:37:58 PM
I've used aphid hops in a few beers but always during the boil. Never a problem. I would probably opt to not use them for dry hopping purposes.
Title: Re: Harvest Hops & Aphids
Post by: b-hoppy on September 11, 2015, 04:45:03 AM
Many, if not most, of the bugs will leave during the drying process.  As long as the cones don't look too bad, you should be fine using them.  One way to determine if it was aphids doing the deed, just peel back some of the bracts and take a peek in towards the strig and you'll usually find some tiny  black dots on them.  That's a sure sign that it was aphids.  If they look like the ones here: http://pesticideguy.org/2014/05/08/no-pesticidesno-hopsno-beer/, I'd probably get rid of them.  A little more info: http://hopmintstress.wsu.edu/entom/HopAphids.html