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Messages - b-hoppy

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Hop Growing / Re: Crown removal
« on: October 07, 2014, 10:11:22 AM »

Interesting.  We have four hills going, and all are in half wine barrels.  two will need some work, and I had intended to clean them up in January or so.  Are you saying it's better to "harvest some rhizomes" now?  I've done this type of thing with rhubarb for years, and had planned the same M.O.
I was mostly talking about crowns, but I think just cutting and moving rhizomes might be a little more dicey due to rhizomes having less energy stored up than crowns.  Actually, that's how I obtained my first cuttings.  I spotted a wild one about this time of the year and took the chance of yanking up a chunk of rhizome and planting it in a cornfield close to where I lived.  The following spring I dug it up and moved it to a permanent location with great results.  They're really durable plants and have a great desire to live so I'm sure you'll have success with whatever you plan.

Hop Growing / Re: Crown removal
« on: October 07, 2014, 06:55:30 AM »
el_capitan,  it's a great time to do that sort of thing.  One big benefit is that the soil is usually easier to work with at this time of the year, as many times you're dealing with a bunch of mud in the Spring.  Not only is it messy, but you can harm your soil structure when it's wet. 

The other huge benefit is that those cuttings that are moved will be able to begin developing new roots until the soil freezes.  When you do this in the spring, root growth/development is very slow until the soil warms enough to get them going.  Try one crown this fall and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Hop Growing / Re: Crown removal
« on: October 06, 2014, 07:49:54 PM »

I may replant it in a different location....or I may just blast!

Here's your best friend (borrowed from another hop grower)!

Hop Growing / Re: Moisture percentage in dried hops
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:09:06 PM »
If they were 'ripe' you should end up with about .25oz.

Ingredients / Re: Preparing Hops
« on: July 25, 2014, 12:47:40 AM »
I don't have a whole lot of time to listen to podcasts but I remember reading, don't remember where, but a few years ago an article Gerard Lemmens mentioned that hops that were destined for dry hopping should be taken out of the fridge and allowed to warm up a day (I think) before being used.  Pretty sure this was published before the "More Myrcene!!" movement occurred here in the US as myrcene used to be considered undesirable when it came to hop aroma. 

Hop Growing / Re: Hermaphrodite hops
« on: July 23, 2014, 08:13:18 PM »
What do you do in this situation? Let it be?

I've had small amounts of male bloom on a few hops over the years and never had any problems with seeded hops.  One year my Zeus was about half male and still didn't have any seeds.  I've seen this situation explained two ways: 1) Any pollen produced will most likely not produce seeds on nearby females, and 2) If viable pollen is produced and nearby females are pollinated, the resulting seeds will not be viable.  Take it for what it's worth.  Mine should all be viable though, now that there's a male in my yard again!

Hop Growing / Re: Second Year Hops!
« on: July 15, 2014, 10:33:24 PM »
My second year hops are doing very well this year even after a very harsh winter. Like last year, we've had a lot of rain in northeast Ohio in April, May, June, and into July.

If you're in NEO, are you going to the hop seminar in Wooster?

Ingredients / Re: Iodophor
« on: June 29, 2014, 08:19:53 PM »
I started using it in the early 90's and have ever since.  One reason may be that I found a gallon that was discounted ($5.99 or $6.99) at a farm supply store in about '92 and just ran out a year or so ago.  A little goes a long way when used right!

Going Pro / Run your own train!
« on: June 09, 2014, 10:10:00 AM »
The locomotives are all fueled up and you got a green light, so get behind the throttle and rock down the track!

A friend of mine is looking to move in a different direction after operating his brewery for the past 20 or so years.  Check it out here:

Hop Growing / Re: Hop disease
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:12:01 AM »
If it's only occurring on the leaves lower on the plant, it's most likely just old age.  That type of ugliness (and severe bleaching) has been taking place on on every variety I've tried growing since the late '80's.  I wouldn't really worry about it.

Hop Growing / Re: What eats Hops?
« on: May 05, 2014, 06:09:50 PM »
Thanks..being lazy and not googling, can you share how to train them? Simply wind the vines clockwise and let the barbs stick into the twine? How many twists?

They'll naturally climb clockwise on whatever you give them to climb on, which can be anything from a small limb that fell off of a nearby tree, a pitchfork handle, telephone pole etc.  The main concern is that it has a rough/porous surface that the climbing hooks can sink into. 

Hop Growing / Re: What eats Hops?
« on: May 05, 2014, 08:16:52 AM »
Just checking back in as I've got a couple of shoots approaching a foot in one bucket. It sounds like I don't have to train any of them to climb this year, is that correct? Since they won't product any cones and I won't be snipping any, is there any point other than aesthetics?

If this is their first year you should let everything grow.  Hops are near the top of the heap when it comes to being able to produce more photosynthate (energy) than is needed to sustain above-ground growth.  The additional energy not utilized by the vines will be directed back down into the crown for use by the rhizome/crown as it develops roots.  Any excess will be stored in the crown to be used in the future. 

You should train them on something as opposed to letting them crawl all over the ground as this can create an excess of moisture/dampness near the base of the plant that can lead to conditions that favor disease development. 

Hop Growing / Re: Aphid Problem
« on: April 28, 2014, 09:24:34 AM »
But something, I think aphids, are eating through them. Any tried and true solutions to this?

When you say "eating through", are there actually holes in the leaves?  The reason I ask is that aphids do their damage by piercing the leaf surface with their mouthparts and suck out the fluids, so you won't see a whole lot of damage unless you look very closely, maybe with a hand lens.  It's really important to identify the the pest you're trying to control before you take action to control it as your control measures may not work against the pest that's actually creating the problem.  Kinda like a golden rule we were taught in Ag school. 

Ingredients / Re: Dry hops Prior to Finished Fermentation
« on: April 15, 2014, 10:25:14 AM »
After seeing the Brynildson article, I began dumping an ounce into the primary right as it's nearing (or has hit) it's ending gravity.  Usually stays in for 5-6 days and then it's kegged.  Wonderful results in the last 4-5 batches!  Hop On~

Hop Growing / Re: Recommended Hop growing medium
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:27:23 PM »
Jeff, when I first started growing them back in the late 80's/early 90's I was living in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and they grew like weeds!  Most growing instructions for hops suggest that they like "deep, well drained soils".  What that statement is getting at is beyond most folks comprehension in that the soil you see when you start digging your planting hole will continue down at least a few feet.  These regions have usually been created by some sort of glacial activity and many times are associated with areas of grape production (they also like deep well drained soils)

A few years later I moved back to Ohio and the hops came with me.  They still grew like weeds but not like they did in the 'real' soil.  We're lucky to have 8 inches of heavy-textured soil above really heavy clay here in NE Ohio.  I generally try to dig as big a hole as I can, maybe 3 feet into the clay, and then backfill with blend of the native soil and amend that with as much organic matter as I can.  During rainy years you can encounter the 'teacup effect' where the water follows the path of least resistance and fills your original hole creating a soggy condition for your roots, but it's the best I can come up with.  The additional digging/excavating will allow some monster roots to make their way deeper into the soil which in turn lessens the amount of additional water you have to supply. 

Some additional points that were touched on are also correct.  When you provide a good soil environment you can encourage mycorrhizae to inhabit your roots which will keep the microbes happy and in return, they'll help to keep the roots happy.  Lively, happy soil makes all parties involved happy!

One other point that some folks overlook, and can sometimes get them in the jackpot, is that you should have at least a 4 foot periphery around each crown so you can keep the rhizomes in check.  Usually, at the beginning of your third growing season, you're gonna want to start pruning the crown.  Basically you're just digging about an 8-10 inch deep trench/moat all the way around each crown.  By doing this, you'll find any rhizomes that are creeping away from the crown as they'll grow outward from the center like the spokes on a bicycle wheel.  I've seen situations where they've been grown right up next to a stone wall, railroad tie wall and many other types of fixed obstructions, and that's not good because once a rhizome finds a nook or cranny . . . it's off to the races.  This also happens when growers try to contain them with a 4x4 or some other type of border as when they hit the obstruction they end up growing along it due to not having to grow through soil.

Once the trench is dug and rhizomes cut, it's a really good idea to backfill with some nice compost and then throw the soil you excavated back on top.  Doing this on a yearly basis makes digging the rhizomes easier and easier each season. 

Sorry for the blather but it's worked for me for many years.  Hoppy Trails~

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