Author Topic: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel  (Read 6310 times)

Offline powellavenuebrew

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Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« on: April 19, 2012, 09:20:42 PM »
We just built a couple half barrel hop growing systems. Do you have any tips for a new hop grower? Does anyone have any great hop growing setups for folks that can't/don't want to plant them in their yard? Here's a link to our setup: 2012 Hop Planting

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Offline EHall

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 09:23:19 PM »
half barrel will work, however in several years you may need to dig it up and divide it up a bit. Their root systems can get quite big. Make sure you mulch it very well and water it well too... potted plants tend to dry out a lot quicker.
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Offline powellavenuebrew

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 09:26:07 PM »
half barrel will work, however in several years you may need to dig it up and divide it up a bit. Their root systems can get quite big. Make sure you mulch it very well and water it well too... potted plants tend to dry out a lot quicker.

Thanks! Yeah these are hopefully temporary for the next year until we have an actual place to put them in the ground. I'm excited to experiment with growing them. The mulch is a good idea. Have you grown hops?
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Offline powellavenuebrew

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 10:07:32 PM »


I got my first shoot that pushed up! So excited.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 11:00:47 PM »
isn't that exciting? I planted 12 rhyzomes in the last month and of the first 5 I planted 4 had come up but I was starting to worry about number 5, last night I noticed a little shoot.

so 5 centenial, growing well. 6 cascade, in, up still looking for a real burst of growth on those though. and 1 sterling of which there is no sign  :-[ it's only been 2 weeks though so I am crossing my fingers still (makes it really hard to type!)
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Offline powellavenuebrew

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 03:04:58 PM »
isn't that exciting? I planted 12 rhyzomes in the last month and of the first 5 I planted 4 had come up but I was starting to worry about number 5, last night I noticed a little shoot.

so 5 centenial, growing well. 6 cascade, in, up still looking for a real burst of growth on those though. and 1 sterling of which there is no sign  :-[ it's only been 2 weeks though so I am crossing my fingers still (makes it really hard to type!)

It's SO exciting! That is a lot of hops, where do you have them all planted? We just have the Willamette which is rocketing up, and a cascade that hasn't shown itself yet.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 04:48:19 PM »
isn't that exciting? I planted 12 rhyzomes in the last month and of the first 5 I planted 4 had come up but I was starting to worry about number 5, last night I noticed a little shoot.

so 5 centenial, growing well. 6 cascade, in, up still looking for a real burst of growth on those though. and 1 sterling of which there is no sign  :-[ it's only been 2 weeks though so I am crossing my fingers still (makes it really hard to type!)

It's SO exciting! That is a lot of hops, where do you have them all planted? We just have the Willamette which is rocketing up, and a cascade that hasn't shown itself yet.

I have the centenials against the south facing side of the garage, the cascade on the south facing side of the house and the sterling (which popped up this weekend, yea!) on the west facing side of the house in front of the bedroom window. with luck and some time I hope the cascade and centenials will shade the house a bit and cut down on thermal gain while the sterling will provide a lovely restful aroma coming in through the bedroom window. With even more luck the hops aroma won't drug us into lethargy.  ::)
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Offline nateo

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 04:51:45 PM »
You really should've used an old bourbon barrel. I'm afraid the terroir won't pair well with your beer.
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Offline EHall

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 05:58:12 PM »
funny nateo... I beg to differ though... use those willamettes in a stout... bourbon barrel stout?!
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 04:20:11 AM »
I grew hops out of a plastic planter about the size of your barrel.  I got 2 OZ the first year and 2.8 oz the second year.  I had one bine the first year and 2 the second year.  Last Fall, I planted them in the ground, and got 12 shoots this spring!  I have a feeling you'll get better results than I did, as you seem to have planned better, but I really don't think you'll ever get much more than a small fraction of the yield you would get if you planted the in the ground.  But hey, you have to use what you have!
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Offline powellavenuebrew

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 05:55:10 AM »
You really should've used an old bourbon barrel. I'm afraid the terroir won't pair well with your beer.

Actually we are here in Sonoma Wine Country so a little terroir in our beer goes a long way with those winemakers. We even make a great Chardonnay/Blonde ale when we can get them to give us a couple gallons of fresh crushed juice.
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Offline powellavenuebrew

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 06:06:54 AM »
I grew hops out of a plastic planter about the size of your barrel.  I got 2 OZ the first year and 2.8 oz the second year.  I had one bine the first year and 2 the second year.  Last Fall, I planted them in the ground, and got 12 shoots this spring!  I have a feeling you'll get better results than I did, as you seem to have planned better, but I really don't think you'll ever get much more than a small fraction of the yield you would get if you planted the in the ground.  But hey, you have to use what you have!



A little out of focus but we've got about 7 shoots coming up on our Willamette right now. We are going to let them grow a bit more then trim them back to three bines. The main bine is already about 8 inches tall. I have no idea what it will mean for yields later but for now they are growing like crazy.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2012, 06:10:05 AM »
You could trim them back to three if you like, but I'd be tempted to let them all grow this year.  You shouldn't expect much yield anyway, and it will strengthen the plant to improve the yield next year.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline powellavenuebrew

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 06:13:16 AM »
You could trim them back to three if you like, but I'd be tempted to let them all grow this year.  You shouldn't expect much yield anyway, and it will strengthen the plant to improve the yield next year.

Yeah, we are going to cut it back the rest once we have three that are running up the threads. We aren't planning on getting any particular amount from the plants, more just doing it to see what its like, how they grow and to just better understand hops. How long have you been growing hops for?
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Growing Hops in a Half Wine Barrel
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2012, 07:16:10 AM »
You could trim them back to three if you like, but I'd be tempted to let them all grow this year.  You shouldn't expect much yield anyway, and it will strengthen the plant to improve the yield next year.

Yeah, we are going to cut it back the rest once we have three that are running up the threads. We aren't planning on getting any particular amount from the plants, more just doing it to see what its like, how they grow and to just better understand hops. How long have you been growing hops for?
I grew them for about 10 years, but gave up at the new house because I didn't want to dedicate a prime growing spot to them.  But I've learned a lot from James Altwies of Gorst Valley Hops, and if i remember right that's usually his recommendation.  It might not hold in potted plants though.
Tom Schmidlin