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Messages - b-hoppy

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Hop Growing / Re: Thinking about growing hops
« on: May 15, 2015, 04:54:23 PM »
Thanks Jeff.  Gardening is such a ubiquitous hobby that many folks overlook the fact that people (myself included) actually earn degrees in plant related fields, haha!  And Denny, it's really a treat to be able to talk to like folks like Jason who are working off of 4-5 generations of experience.  It's all good~

Hop Growing / Re: Thinking about growing hops
« on: May 15, 2015, 02:43:21 PM »
 I was fortunate to enough to meet and pick the brains of lots of hop folks over the years, and one of the first was Al Haunold back in the early 90's. He was the head of the breeding program down in Corvallis for about 30 years until he retired in the late 90's and is responsible for many of the public varieties being grown today. Here's a really good article that explains what hops are, how they grow and a bit about breeding: From what I've learned from growers and merchants in Oregon and Washington, this transcript from a presentation from Jason Perrault of Select Botanicals is spot on (and a little more): There's tons of really high quality info out there but you have to do a little searching. Hoppy Trails~

Ingredients / Re: Using your back yard creek
« on: April 19, 2015, 02:29:45 PM »
I'm sure the brewers in California are looking at ways to become more creative with their available water and may even be looking at cleaning up and reusing their waste water like this:

Hop Growing / Re: Container hop growing
« on: April 07, 2015, 05:40:25 AM »
So after a couple years, what the best thing to do? Dig them out, cut the rhizomes back and replant a small rhizome?

Pretty much if they're grown in the earth, after about 3 years it's time to start doing some serious pruning.  Certain varieties are much more vigorous than others, but it's always a good idea to dig a trench around them in the third year.  You can trim back any rhizomes that are making their way away from the crown and you can keep them in check. 

Containers are a different story.  I've started a few rhizomes in 5 gal buckets and the roots pretty much destroyed the drain holes after their first growing season (as I found out when I went to move them).  In a bigger container like a half whiskey bbl, I'd say dig the whole crown out at the beginning of the third year and trim it back hard.  You'll know how much to trim once you get it out of the soil and see what you're dealing with.  For the most part, they don't care and will continue to grow no matter how much you abuse them.

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: April 04, 2015, 05:08:01 PM »
I just saw a post from HopUnion (I think) on their Facebook page that shows a tractor traveling along the rows with a gas flame unit that burns off the new growth from each crown. No cutting for them.

Right on!  The organic growers sometimes utilize 'fire' as a non-chemical way to control weeds, so if they have the equipment, why not utilize it?  Everyone has their own way to accomplish this task so it's all good! :

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: April 04, 2015, 03:41:37 PM »
Just a follow-up about removing the early shoots from a disease prevention angle.  For those of you on facebook, here's a page that deals with hop growing in the PNW:  For those who aren't, the following was taken from their page recently.

"Thorough removal of surface crown buds and shoots in spring is of utmost importance in the PNW for delaying both mildews. Many reports coming in of unusually high levels of powdery in Washington for early April, which emphasizes the need for aggressive pruning to eliminate overwintered mildew. Above is a yard in Oregon that was crowned very well--powdery mildew will not survive here and must blow in to get started"

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: April 01, 2015, 04:38:56 PM »
The closer you can get them back to the crown the better.  If you end up leaving a little 'nub', additional buds will form near it's base and you'll end up having a crown that looks like a chia, ha!  This is another good reason to shave the top buds off of the crown once it's pretty well established.   

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: April 01, 2015, 06:25:51 AM »
In the first year, especially if you started with rhizomes, you're better to just let everything grow.  The only energy that rhizome has is what's stored inside of itself and it has to use that limited amount of energy to do two things, grow roots and also grow shoots.  The roots will enable it to draw nourishment from the soil in the future and the shoots will enable it to produce additional energy to help sustain growth.  Hops are very very efficient at being able to produce way more energy than what they need to sustain their top growth, so any that's left over ends up being sent back to the crown to be stored and used the following season.  After harvest, being that the plants are still alive but really aren't making any new growth, any photosynthesis that's occurring will be used to allow them to blast off the following year.  When the plant first takes off, those simple sugars can produce some really wild and uneven first growth (bull shoots included) which can lead to a lot of variability when harvest time comes as some will climb faster than others.  Removing the first surge of growth at this time and training the shoots that come later will help with more uniformity at harvest.  Home growers don't really have to be too concerned with this issue.

One other reason for cutting back the first growth is to help with disease control.  I guess the overwintering spores of downy mildew will kind of hibernate in the fall buds that form (near the surface of the crown) and those are the first to blast off in the spring.  If left to grow, the resting spores will begin the disease cycle all over again and provide inoculum for further infection as the season progresses.

There have been years that I didn't have time to deal with mine early on and I ended up removing the first two (sometimes three) flushes of growth of growth and still had good crops.  Have fun and don't forget to beat 'em back into submission about every 3 years, they kinda like it!

Hop Growing / Re: UK Hops at 42.42N
« on: March 20, 2015, 03:10:13 PM »
I had to look up the zone where I live, it is 5b. . . .

There were a few mornings back in the college days when that happened to me, been pretty good lately though, haha!

Ingredients / Re: "Hop My Beer" hop oil
« on: March 06, 2015, 06:18:01 PM »
Well done Eric!  It might be that the oils used were taken directly from the pellets or whole cones without any further processing.  I was able to sample a straight steam distilled oil from a friend and it did seem to have that 'everything' taste rather than just straight oil. Great for something like the new SN product out now.   

Hop Growing / Re: New and unusual rhizomes
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:19:29 AM »
Not saying that the hops you rubbed didn't have seeds in them, but a lot of it has to do with how much of what is available at any given time.  The cream of the crop goes to the guys with the most pull, but being that there's not enough of certain varieties (like Mosaic) planted, even the big players have to take what they can get until acreage can keep up with demand.  Most of what I dry-hop with are varieties like Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe etc. so I'm pretty excited the following spring to see what comes up as those seedlings will be carrying some of those genes with them.  It's a long shot but you can't win if you don't play!

Hop Growing / Re: New and unusual rhizomes
« on: March 04, 2015, 06:37:43 PM »
You'd be surprised at how many lots of hops I've used over the last 25 years were seeded, some were actually loaded.  Homebrewers are pretty low on the feeding chain so I'm guessing we get the 'less than premium' hops when all is said and done.  All it takes is one boy in the hood.

The other surprise is how seeds are built, not just hops but most all are designed to weather harsh environments.  The first one popped up in the mid-90's and she's still going. 

Hop Growing / Re: New and unusual rhizomes
« on: March 04, 2015, 04:10:08 PM »
Great Lakes has a bunch of high quality/unique stuff.  I don't have any experience with High Hops so can't say about quality, but they list quite a few:

Using whole hops in your brews is another way to increase variety.  Every spring, the compost used on my garlic patch yields a good number of seedlings.  I don't know if they've survived the late-hop/knockout additions, but am sure those used as dry-hops are most likely the ones that germinate.  It's really cool to witness the genetic diversity that's out there!  Hop On~

Ingredients / Re: Hop Oil
« on: February 27, 2015, 06:17:28 PM »
I think this is pretty much sold as 'singles':  Never tried it but it seems to get good reviews?

edit: I literally just saw this one:

Ingredients / Re: Hop Oil
« on: February 26, 2015, 06:52:14 AM »
And to take things to the next level, there's this:  I've actually used the Freshops product to flavor water before and it was a pleasant surprise while out riding my bike to reach down and take a hit of hop flavored water!  The candy will also achieve a similar result and works well in hot tea and coffee. 

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