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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: pyrite on July 05, 2010, 05:06:33 PM

Title: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
Post by: pyrite on July 05, 2010, 05:06:33 PM
I’m a first year hop grower and had a couple questions.  Each hop plant has many spurs on them which are developing into nice looking hop cones, soon they will be ready for harvest.  When I harvest am I cutting each vine off, or picking each individual hop cone?  Once I pick the hop cones from the vine does the plant produce a second batch of cones?
Title: Re: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
Post by: BrewArk on July 05, 2010, 06:42:30 PM
Mine don't all ripen at the same time.  I pick by hand, that's largely because I enjoy standing on a ladder, doing it.  It couldn't be done on a large scale that way.  But the advantage is that I can dry/use some while the others are still developing.
Title: Re: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
Post by: jeffy on July 05, 2010, 07:02:42 PM
I went to a hop farm once, part of a conference trip at the NHC in Portland.  They cut all the vines down at the same time and lay them into a truck bed, then stripped all the leaves and stems off using a wire thresher looking thing (mostly home-made), then dried the hops on a mesh screen in a big barn with blowers underneath.
As a home grower, I plan to pick off the cones when enough are ready to brew a fresh hop beer.  Hopefully I'll be able to do this for two batches, but so far I haven't seen any cones.  I really want a fresh hop beer......
Title: Re: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
Post by: bfogt on July 06, 2010, 12:43:54 AM
For your first year you don't want to cut the vine until frost kills it.  You want the plant to build a healthy crown to make it through winter more than you want the hops.  But pick them by hand from a ladder or by lowering the bine if you can put it back up.  Mine are on pulleys so I can pull them down once or twice a week to take the ripe ones.