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Messages - b-hoppy

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Ingredients / Re: Iodophor
« on: June 30, 2014, 03:19:53 AM »
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, 05:10:00 PM »
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, 02:12:01 PM »
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 06, 2014, 01:09:50 AM »
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, 03:16:52 PM »
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, 04:24:34 PM »
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, 05:25:14 PM »
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 09, 2014, 03:27:23 AM »
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~

Ingredients / Re: Hop Flavor Database
« on: March 15, 2014, 03:28:11 PM »
My bad.  By the time I had a chance to scroll through the whole thing I forgot that they didn't list the individual varieties.  I'm sure that if you started searching the references you'd begin to find some stats on the varieties.  I can't remember hearing anywhere that being hop lovers would be an easy thing, ha!

I did find this though:
Only a handful of varieties but probably more of what you're looking for.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Flavor Database
« on: March 15, 2014, 05:02:18 AM »

 What I'm interested in is some of the oils that seem to be popping up in the hop literature in recent years like 4MMP, geraniol, linalool, citronellol, etc.

All that stuff that you're looking for and more are listed in the original link.  The way that page is set up you'd need a 72 inch monitor to see it all without scrolling, ha!  I saw that a while back but it blew my mind trying to remember what the headings were so I went back to shoveling snow. 

Hop Growing / Re: 2014 Planting?
« on: February 28, 2014, 06:01:10 AM »
Think about it this way.  Someone who digs and sells rhizomes usually gets out and digs before the soils get warm enough to initiate growth so the buds are nice and compact and haven't started to elongate.  Once they're cleaned and graded, they immediately put them in the fridge to help keep them in a dormant state until they're sold and shipped.  I'm very familiar with Freshops and know that Dave usually stops shipments sometime in June.  He's been digging rhizomes for a few weeks now, so you know they'll store for at least a few months in the fridge which will give you plenty of time not to worry and drink plenty of beer!

Ingredients / Re: corn or rice
« on: February 02, 2014, 03:13:20 PM »
You have to cook the unmalted grains to gelatinize the starch prior to adding it to your mash.

edit: oops!  All good~

Ingredients / Re: malting
« on: January 24, 2014, 06:38:02 PM »
Tonight I've got "good chit":

Nice job!  Whatever variety of barley that is, the husk is almost transparent.  This makes it very easy to monitor the process and know when to begin kilning.  Like was said, cooler temps will buy you some time by slowing the germination process if you're not yet ready to dry them down.  If you observe a few random kernels on a daily basis for the next few days,  you'll know then the majority are at about 3/4 the way to the tip.  That's generally the time suggested to begin halting the process.  Remember your temps!

Hop Growing / Re: Anyone seen hops like these?
« on: December 23, 2013, 03:08:16 PM »

I'm sure if you contacted these folks: ,  they'd take a few cuttings off your hands and be able to let you know what you have as that's what they're looking for.  Merry Christmas!

Hop Growing / Re: Anyone seen hops like these?
« on: December 14, 2013, 06:21:20 AM »

Get in touch with Greatlakeshops & send some pics and descriptions.  I know they're growing some of the neomexicanus and should be able to help narrow it down for you.  The dude that bred the Multihead, Neo 1 and Amalia told me that they produce really, really scrawny rhizomes so that's another possible identifier.  Without spending a bunch of $$ to have an oil profile or DNA done . . . it's up to you.  I pretty much had to give up on that kinda stuff, other priorities.  Hopefully Zeus or CTZ candy next?  Good luck!

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