Author Topic: Hop varieties for a warmer world  (Read 962 times)

Offline corkybstewart

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Hop varieties for a warmer world
« on: July 29, 2013, 07:12:21 PM »
Without getting political I wonder if hop cultivators are developing any hop varieties that will still produce  tasty cones as the world warms up a few degrees.  It seems that most hops are best suited in very moist areas with moderate temps, but I wonder how well these plants will do if the climate gets a little drier and warmer.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline redbeerman

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 04:28:11 AM »
They may just move up to the Yukon. :o
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 05:45:59 AM »
+1 on migration
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 07:10:09 AM »
Not sure if you have been to Yakima in the summer time, but moist is definitely not a word I would use to describe it. It is a very hot and dry desert. Lucky for the rest of use there are a couple of rivers there that help irrigate the plants.

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 07:54:54 AM »
it's going to be more a question of manipulating at what # hours of light vs. dark the plant will start flowering. Hops are photosensitive which is why the don't grow well in the tropics and grow best around the 40's in latitude. the day/night length is just right for them because they evolved around those latitudes (probably 40 north). but it should be possible to select for longer/shorter day length requirements and grow at other latitudes.

Hot and moist would be a problem actually as they tend to be susceptible to mold and mildew.
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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 08:49:05 AM »
Not sure if you have been to Yakima in the summer time, but moist is definitely not a word I would use to describe it. It is a very hot and dry desert. Lucky for the rest of use there are a couple of rivers there that help irrigate the plants.

+1

I'm in Yakima most summers on other business, and it sure isn't moist or temperate.

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 10:26:46 AM »
Actually I was thinking more of European hop growing areas, plus my mental picture of Oregon is a cooler version of a rain forest, but I guess the hops grow better in the eastern half of the state.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2013, 12:53:38 PM »
Actually I was thinking more of European hop growing areas, plus my mental picture of Oregon is a cooler version of a rain forest, but I guess the hops grow better in the eastern half of the state.
Just got back from visiting (the OBF &) Rogue's hop farm just outside Salem, OR.  It was in the 90's.  Perhaps back in May they might be damp but right now warm & dry.  That's in the Willamette valley.  At one time, just after the war, there were 1100 acres growing hops there.  Rogue is leasing 40 acres. 

Made for a really fun picnic.  Would love to go back in a month during harvest.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 03:04:25 PM »
Without getting political I wonder if hop cultivators are developing any hop varieties that will still produce  tasty cones as the world warms up a few degrees.  It seems that most hops are best suited in very moist areas with moderate temps, but I wonder how well these plants will do if the climate gets a little drier and warmer.

Actually, most hop varieties are best suited to a wet winter followed by a dry, warm summer. That's why Yakima and Willamette are so well-suited for growing hops. As the weather warms up the winters are tending to get even wetter. Who knows, maybe global warming will actually be a boon to hop production.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 06:01:42 AM »
It is more or less a weed after all in the areas in grows in.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 06:09:57 AM »
The Willamette valley is said to be similar to the Hallertau, so it is a little more moderate than the Yakima valley. They use drip irrigation on the hops in Yakima, don't know about the Willamette. Somewhere I read that in general, lower AA aroma hops do well in the Willamette, and high AA hops in Yakima.

A few years back there was a study that correlated lower AA in Saaz hops to hotter summers. They are having a very hot summer in the hop growing areas of Europe this year. Wonder if I will be getting 3% or less Saaz in the next order?
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 08:09:03 AM »


A few years back there was a study that correlated lower AA in Saaz hops to hotter summers. They are having a very hot summer in the hop growing areas of Europe this year. Wonder if I will be getting 3% or less Saaz in the next order?
The last Saaz I bought were 2.7% AA. 
I've never seen American hop fields, but I have driven through miles of hop farms in the Hallertau area and hot/dry is one thing it isn't.
Another issue that may come up is vernalization.  We've been lucky down here that our winter lows are still in the 20's most days so my hops do OK.  I don't know how many hours below freezing hops require but that could become a problem.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline yso191

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 08:14:20 AM »
Hmm.  1,122 record cold temperatures in the US last week.  We might be facing the opposite problem.  Or maybe weather just changes - like it always has.  I think I'll save my hand-wringing for something else.

Without getting political...
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 08:32:21 AM »
Actually I was thinking more of European hop growing areas, plus my mental picture of Oregon is a cooler version of a rain forest, but I guess the hops grow better in the eastern half of the state.

The Willamette valley is in western Oregon.  Plenty of water supply whether directly from rain or indirectly by irrigation from the Willamette and its tributaries.

The Willamette valley is said to be similar to the Hallertau, so it is a little more moderate than the Yakima valley. They use drip irrigation on the hops in Yakima, don't know about the Willamette. Somewhere I read that in general, lower AA aroma hops do well in the Willamette, and high AA hops in Yakima.


I've heard that Oregon claims to grow hops with better aroma (low and high alphas) than Washington/Yakima, but Yakima has higher hop productivity per acre.
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Re: Hop varieties for a warmer world
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 11:35:37 AM »
They use drip irrigation on the hops in Yakima, don't know about the Willamette.

I can't recall ever seeing any irrigation in the hop fields around here.  I know the one that's a few miles from my house doesn't irrigate.
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