Author Topic: Indoor Hops?  (Read 2411 times)

Offline a10t2

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Indoor Hops?
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:46:56 AM »
Never grown any hops before, but I thought it would be fun to get a few rhizomes started indoors this spring and transplant them to the outdoor seating area at the pub once it's warm enough. I'm not altogether optimistic that I'll find a variety that does well at 10k ft, so I'll try a few and maybe get lucky. That got me thinking about putting them in large planters and pulling them in for the winter, and then I thought… We have a nice vaulted ceiling with skylights and existing beamwork to train them on, so could I just grow them indoors year-round? It would be a mess come harvest time, but it could also be a pretty fun event. Thoughts?
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 12:17:33 PM »
I knew a guy who was growing indoors, in a sunroom in his house. He had pretty good success, they were on their third year, and starting to produce. It can work, and we're at 6,200 ft altitude.

(Edit) He was growing Cascade and Centennial...
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Offline gmwren

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 12:24:58 PM »
I grew Cascade at 7200'. They did very well even when they would get a frequent pruning from hail storms. I  think they need a chill period and die back to produce well. They also have a large root structure if you are thinking of pots. Those pots will need winter watering to keep from drying out that those in the ground won't need.

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 12:31:54 PM »
Unless you use an enormous pot, the mount of growth will likely be limited somewhat.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 12:33:00 PM »
Hops are perennials, so I'm pretty sure that they will need to have a dormant period. Though they might grow indoors all year round, I'm not sure if they'll produce cones.

Second of all... If you do plan on planting outside, I recommend starting them outside. The first year I tried growing hops, I started with 10 rhizomes in pots indoors, they all sprouted but they were very fragile. Only three made it through the first year. Last year I bought 8 rhizomes (8 different varieties). I planted on a nice day in early March and all 8 grew very hardy. We had a handful of freezes afterwards too. Just put a heavy coat of mulch over them. I'm going to have to wait a couple weeks to get the two planted this year because the ground is still frozen.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 01:33:08 PM »
Might be a fun/interesting experiment but I wouldn't expect much reward for the effort. Also, if it were successful I would think that as the cones mature you might grow a bit tired of the inescapable aroma.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 11:10:57 AM »
Unless you use an enormous pot, the mount of growth will likely be limited somewhat.

+1 - I have mine in 27" pots, and mine don't grow anywhere near as much as those planted in the ground. I haven't checked how badly rootbound they are, but I'm sure that's the issue. Still, if its more for decoration than yield you can do fine in a container.

A half-barrel would probably work pretty well. It may be a nice way to tie-in to the the brewery theme if you're doing any barrel-aged brews.

And you have to be very diligent about watering when growing hops in a container - even more so than traditional planting. Growing hops are super thirsty plants, but you can still over-water in a pot if you're not careful. I have been guilty about both over- and under-watering with mine.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 12:30:53 PM »
Also, if it were successful I would think that as the cones mature you might grow a bit tired of the inescapable aroma.

That's something I hadn't considered, and probably a deal-breaker. People complain about the smell of mashing as it is.

I guess I'll just be lazy about it and wait another month or two to plant the rhizomes. Getting great yields isn't really important - I don't expect enough flowers to brew even a one-off batch for years, if ever. Hopefully they'll do well enough to provide some decoration and a little shade as a nice bonus though.
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 03:01:18 PM »
I think that indoors isn't such a good idea.  I have some in a 55 gallon poly drum cut in half.  I made a cage of 6' welded fabric fence with wire going between the two halves at the top.

Last year, I only filled the drums about half way and the plants were very unhappy (they barely grew to the top of the fencing and didn't produce many cones).  This year I filled the pots w/soil.  With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Don't know what I'll do if we get a late frost.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 03:20:43 PM »
I think that indoors isn't such a good idea.  I have some in a 55 gallon poly drum cut in half.  I made a cage of 6' welded fabric fence with wire going between the two halves at the top.

Last year, I only filled the drums about half way and the plants were very unhappy (they barely grew to the top of the fencing and didn't produce many cones).  This year I filled the pots w/soil.  With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Don't know what I'll do if we get a late frost.

If it's just a night of frost, I think you'll be ok. Plus, since it is early, you'll get more shooters and not lose much time with growth if your main bines die off in a frost. I had solid growth last year in early April on some second year hops. We had a frost in late April. It didn't affect the hops at all. It killed all of the peach buds though. Hops are pretty hardy. What doesn't kill them, makes them stronger.
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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 08:54:21 PM »
I think that indoors isn't such a good idea.  I have some in a 55 gallon poly drum cut in half.  I made a cage of 6' welded fabric fence with wire going between the two halves at the top.

Last year, I only filled the drums about half way and the plants were very unhappy (they barely grew to the top of the fencing and didn't produce many cones).  This year I filled the pots w/soil.  With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Don't know what I'll do if we get a late frost.

Last year in half wine barrels my centennial cascade and Willamette grew about 8' vertical then another 8' horizontal. Off three barrels, each with four ryzomes, I picked about ten gallons. Dried on a window screen on a box fan laid flat. I brewed two pale ales and had about 8 oz left over. About a pound total. When you run them horizontally they need help wrapping around the twine. I bought some 12' cedar and building trellis this year.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 08:07:06 AM »
I think that indoors isn't such a good idea.  I have some in a 55 gallon poly drum cut in half.  I made a cage of 6' welded fabric fence with wire going between the two halves at the top.

Last year, I only filled the drums about half way and the plants were very unhappy (they barely grew to the top of the fencing and didn't produce many cones).  This year I filled the pots w/soil.  With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Don't know what I'll do if we get a late frost.

Last year in half wine barrels my centennial cascade and Willamette grew about 8' vertical then another 8' horizontal. Off three barrels, each with four ryzomes, I picked about ten gallons. Dried on a window screen on a box fan laid flat. I brewed two pale ales and had about 8 oz left over. About a pound total. When you run them horizontally they need help wrapping around the twine. I bought some 12' cedar and building trellis this year.

Even in my 27" pots my hops make the ~14ft run up to my deck railing without a problem (and would probably keep going if they could). The issue is keeping up on the water and nutrient needs for such a fast-growing plant in a container.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2014, 05:51:04 AM »
With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Damn mine just broke ground and are three inches tall at best.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2014, 07:04:32 AM »
With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Damn mine just broke ground and are three inches tall at best.

2nd year Sterling, Galena and Columbus are about 6-9" already in Oregon. The older stock are taking their time.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Indoor Hops?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2014, 07:07:01 AM »
With the rain & sun we've had here in the bay area, my Magnums are about 3' tall.  I hope to get them trained to go horizontal when they get to the top.

Damn mine just broke ground and are three inches tall at best.

2nd year Sterling, Galena and Columbus are about 6-9" already in Oregon. The older stock are taking their time.

They must be getting wiser in their old age
Frank