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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: beerocd on September 12, 2010, 06:27:18 pm

Title: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: beerocd on September 12, 2010, 06:27:18 pm
I just spent 2.5 to 3 hours picking one set of hops.  :(
Five more varieties to go - I'm starting to think the prices out there aren't that bad.

I guess if the others harvest about the same, I will get about a 5 gallon bucket full of hops in total.
No clue what the weight of that comes out to.

Am I slow, too thorough, or is that about right?
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: rabid_dingo on September 12, 2010, 06:30:54 pm
Sounds about right. At least for me. And I only have 3 vines. Skiping it this year. They got cut in half by hail.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: tubercle on September 12, 2010, 06:39:20 pm
Remember the prices a few years ago?


If they were still that high, and may be again, a little labor would be worth it. If its not worth picking them now at least keep them alive for the tough times.

 I got this idea from The Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: chezteth on September 12, 2010, 08:48:30 pm
I guess it really depends on how much time you want to put toward your brewing hobby.  For me I don't mind picking the hops even though it is a fair amount of work.  Fortunately, my wife and kids help out which makes it go a bit quicker.  We just harvested a paper grocery bag, stuffed, full of Nugget hops.  Hopefully, I should get about a pound, or so, dried.  I still have 6 cascade plants to harvest yet.  That is the one I am fretting the most.  One idea for hop picking day would be to invite a few friends over then provide them with some beer in exchange for their help.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: denny on September 13, 2010, 10:18:56 am
I had a similar thought as I was on the 5th day of harvest of my hops.  I used to really obsess about them.  These days, whatever I get from them is good enough for me, and I'll just buy the rest!
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: bluesman on September 13, 2010, 10:26:34 am
Plain and simly put...Harvesting hops is alot of work on the homegrown scale.  I don't look forward to the tedious work involved with separating the cones from the vines not to mention the quality control that is involved with it.  I usually have mites that reach the lower portions of my bines.  They are dreaded little devils that I despise but it's the nature of the beast.

But in the end I usually smile when I look at the dried vacuum sealed harvest.  8)
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: akr71 on September 13, 2010, 11:22:40 am
I only have 3 first year plants, and only 2 of them produced any cones.  I only harvested ~6 ounces (fresh, undried), but I can already can see how it will be tedious when the plants mature.  However, I enjoy gardening and I'll try to keep in mind the end product.

On a positive note, a co-worker just handed me a bag of hop she harvested from her plant (unknown variety, but it certainly has a good citrusy aroma).  She only grows it for decoration, so the fact that she harvested them and gave them to me is pretty cool!  I didn't dare ask when she harvested them, how long have they just been sitting around in a plastic bag or why she only gave them to me after lunch.  I shoved them in the freezer at work and will deal with them when I get home, but they still have a good deal of aroma coming off them and should still be ok for bittering.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: euge on September 13, 2010, 11:24:34 am
Is there any appreciable difference between hops ordered from say... Freshhops and ones you picked out of the backyard? With tomatoes or peaches it does. However, I can't see it being the same with hops.

Then again you can't tell your friends "I grew the hops in this beer."
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: denny on September 13, 2010, 11:40:28 am
Is there any appreciable difference between hops ordered from say... Freshhops and ones you picked out of the backyard? With tomatoes or peaches it does. However, I can't see it being the same with hops.

Honestly, I'd have to say the hops I get from Freshops are at least as good as the ones I grow.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: kramerog on September 13, 2010, 11:43:01 am
Is there any appreciable difference between hops ordered from say... Freshhops and ones you picked out of the backyard? With tomatoes or peaches it does. However, I can't see it being the same with hops.

I picked over 4 lbs of hops with help from others and ended up with more a pound dry.  I also left hops on the bine b/c i got tired of picking.

I've read that commercial hops have less aroma and flavor because the hops are dried at 140 F.  Hopefully, my american pale ale and IPA will demonstrate that it was worth the effort.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: saintpierre on September 13, 2010, 12:11:06 pm
After spending 7 hours cutting and harvesting a mature, overgrown cascade vine that was allowed to weave and grown over itself I find that harvesting my nicely pruned and trellised plants to be a cake walk in comparison... Maybe that is just me  ???

But when I look in the freezer, I just grin a little and look forward to brewing.

Maybe a Denny RIPA...
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: skyler on September 13, 2010, 11:37:06 pm
Is there any appreciable difference between hops ordered from say... Freshhops and ones you picked out of the backyard? With tomatoes or peaches it does. However, I can't see it being the same with hops.

Honestly, I'd have to say the hops I get from Freshops are at least as good as the ones I grow.

I have found the same to be true, but I have never lived far from rural Oregon - I imagine the shipping process may be more damaging for some people in different geographies than my Portland/Northern California locations.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: denny on September 14, 2010, 09:32:22 am
I have found the same to be true, but I have never lived far from rural Oregon - I imagine the shipping process may be more damaging for some people in different geographies than my Portland/Northern California locations.

That may very well be true.  I live only about an hour from Freshops, so there's not much involved in shipping.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: euge on September 14, 2010, 10:49:30 am
I'm willing to bet that even in Summer the shipping process has little affect on the hops.
Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: micsager on September 16, 2010, 11:20:00 am
I just spent 2.5 to 3 hours picking one set of hops.  :(
Five more varieties to go - I'm starting to think the prices out there aren't that bad.

I guess if the others harvest about the same, I will get about a 5 gallon bucket full of hops in total.
No clue what the weight of that comes out to.

Am I slow, too thorough, or is that about right?

That's why I had kids.  Of course I had to feed and house them for 10 years before I would trust them to work the harvest season.  LOL.

Title: Re: Paying for hops is worth it !!!
Post by: adrie on September 17, 2010, 01:40:19 am
It is a lot of work, but also a joy to pick the cones off my four hop plants. Smelling the wonderful hop aroma's, hmmmm. And afterwards a freezer full of hops. It makes me feel very rich.