Author Topic: 2014 Harvest  (Read 5030 times)

S. cerevisiae

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2014 Harvest
« on: August 17, 2014, 04:58:53 PM »
I harvested my first-year Wye Challenger and Cascade hills earlier this week.   I planted two hills of each cultivar in my hop yard.  My Wye Challenger hills yielded 13.4 ounces of dried cones.  My Cascade hills yielded 5.3 ounces of dried cones.  I will be lucky to see a total of an ounce of dried cones out of my other hills.

Dried and Packaged Wye Challenger Cones



Dried and Packaged Cascade Cones


Offline 69franx

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2014, 06:16:21 PM »
You said these are both first year harvests. As someone interested in planting in the next year or two, I have a couple questions.
First, what are your expectations from these hills in the future as far as weight produced?
Second, how much did you plant, and how much space were they given?
If and when I do this, I would like to know what to expect out of 1 rhizome, or 5, etc.


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S. cerevisiae

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 08:22:12 PM »
This hop yard is not my first rodeo.  I planted two other hop yards with varying success.  I planted my first hop yard in 1994.  It was a dismal failure because I did not understand the importance of photoperiod.  Hop cultivar (a.k.a. variety) performance has a lot do with where one lives.  Hops generally perform better as the peak photoperiod (day length on the summer solstice) nears or exceeds 16 hours.  The peak photoperiod at the 48th parallel is slightly more than 16 hours (the 48th parallel is the Goldilocks zone for growing hops).  The peak photoperiod in the Yakima Valley is just about ten minutes shy of 16 hours.  The peak photoperiod in both of the locations where I have planted hop yards is just shy of fifteen hours.   That hour makes a difference when it comes to cone production.

Climate is important as well.  I lived in hardiness zone 7 when I planted my first hop yard. Aroma hop cultivars generally perform better in cooler climates, especially the prized continental and English landrace cultivars.  The summers in hardiness zone 7 on the East Coast are too hot and humid for these cultivars.  The heat and humidity coupled with the short peak photoperiod pretty much makes growing these cultivars an exercise in frustration.

I now live in hardiness zone 6, which is the same hardiness zone as the Willamette Valley and the Yakima Valley.  You would not believe the difference that an average daily temperature reduction in the 5 to 10 degree range makes when it comes to growing hops.  The humidity where I live now is also lower than the humidity where I used to live.  The non-amended quality of soil is higher.  Plus, my plants do have to fight trees and structures for sunlight because they are planted out in the open.

With that said, I planted six cultivars, and two hills per cultivar for a total of twelve plants.  The cultivars are planted in two north/south rows, with like cultivars running east/west.  The spacing between like cultivars is roughly 42 inches.  The spacing between different cultivars is six feet.

« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 07:41:25 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline pete b

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 06:52:14 AM »
I need to train my eyes to check this "child board", I seem to see it 1 in 20 times.
S. cerevisiae thanks for this excellent info. I didn't know about the other options, I always thought rhizomes were just how hops are cultivated period. I have a couple of very nice plants that produce well ( cascade and galena). It seems if I can get a rhizome to come up and thrive the first year all is well but I would say 2 in 3 don't. Overall the climate here in Massachusetts is pretty good for hops.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2014, 09:31:12 AM »
You mean 45th

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 09:40:57 AM »
I may not even harvest mine this year.  Each year I pick, dry and package many lb. of Cascade hops.  When the next year's harvest hits, I throw out several lb. from the year before and do it all again.  I may break that cycle this year.
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Offline Octabird

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 09:50:54 AM »
How long do you get before the dried hops start to diminish. My local hop yard is holding a pound of Columbus for me and I wanted to have an idea of how long I had before I needed to use them up.
Or would holding them in the freezer make them last longer?

With that said I would like to try my hand at planting a few next year. I am in zone 5 here in SE Ohio. Any places better than others to get rhysomes from?


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Offline mabrungard

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2014, 10:13:20 AM »
I now pound my dried hops into plugs before sealing and freezing. It certainly reduces the bulk and I'm guessing that the action of a 1" wood dowel driven by a 3 lb sledge probably helps rupture some lupulin glands.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 10:19:05 AM »
I now pound my dried hops into plugs before sealing and freezing. It certainly reduces the bulk and I'm guessing that the action of a 1" wood dowel driven by a 3 lb sledge probably helps rupture some lupulin glands.

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2014, 10:56:45 AM »
You mean 45th

No, I meant the 48th parallel. There's a reason why the Boston Beer Company chose to use the name "Latitude 48" for one of their beers.  The area between the 48th and 50th parallels is the Goldilocks zone for growing aroma hops.   It's where all of the continental landrace hops grow the best.  Anheusher-Bush (AB) established Elk Mountain Farms in Bonners Ferry, Idaho because it is located at the 48th parallel. The peak photoperiod is too short below the 48th parallel for the nobles to be agronomically sound, especially Saaz. Elk Mountain Farms is AB's major domestic source of noble hops.

Hallertau, Germany - 48.6347° N, 11.7747° E
Hersbruck, Germany - 49.5081° N, 11.4328°
Tettnang, Germany - 47.6708° N, 9.5875° E
Spalt, Germany - 49.1739° N, 10.9275° E
Zatec (Saaz), Czech Republic - 50.3300° N, 13.5444° E

Bonners Ferry, Idaho - 48.6922° N, 116.3175° W

Elk Mountain Farms is the the largest aroma hop farm in the world.

http://www.upstatechunk.com/beer/photos/a-bfarm.htm

An Elk Mountain Farms video that was created by a former migrant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq9glWxlyq8

The same problem exists with Goldings and Fuggle to an extent.  Kent, UK is located at 51.1900° N, 0.7300° E. 

There's an upside to being located below the 48th parallel.  Cultivars such as Cascade like it warm.  If you have never seen a photo of a Cascade bine grown in the UK, well, let's say that Cascade grows about as well in the UK as Goldings grows in the U.S.

With that said, it appears that my Wye Challenger plants are not Wye Challenger.  I suspected that something was wrong when my Wye Challenger hills threw sterile male flowers in addition to cones.  However, the sizable first-year harvest was another a clue that the hills may not be Wye Challenger.  I contacted a hop grower that I know who lives in Kent.  He said that Wye Challenger is easy to spot in a hop yard. It has a unique dark reddish purple bine (described as dark violet in literature).  The bines on my plants are green with red stripes.  The only hop cultivar that I have seen with same bine color, growth habit, cone shape, and cone set is Columbus.  Guess what?  Columbus is known for throwing sterile male flowers. 






« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 07:43:02 AM by S. cerevisiae »

S. cerevisiae

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2014, 11:02:08 AM »
I may not even harvest mine this year.  Each year I pick, dry and package many lb. of Cascade hops.  When the next year's harvest hits, I throw out several lb. from the year before and do it all again.  I may break that cycle this year.

I fixed that problem by giving my 2013 Cascade to a friend.   I store all of my hops vacuum sealed in a freezer.

I plan to barter my surplus production next year.   I use less than half a pound of any given hop variety per year.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2014, 11:11:46 AM »
Right on. I guess I was confused when you mentioned yakima.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2014, 12:52:06 PM »
Yeah, around the 48th parallel is great for hops. There are other areas that are know fro hops out of the 48 - 50 range. Soil and climate have an influence. Just saying.

Poperinge Belgium 50.856131, 2.724574
Worcestershire, UK 52.188203, -2.236402 Over half of the British hops come from the West Midlands.
Elbe-Saale DE 51.965237, 11.874112 Where the East Germans grew hops.
Riwaka NZ -41.079932, 172.996874
Crosby hop farm in OR 45.166756, -122.885460 Willamette Valley has a climate similar to the Hallertau
Bushy Park Tasmania AU -42.692972, 146.884307
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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2014, 02:33:10 PM »
Soil and climate matter when growing hops, but not as much photoperiod.  All of the areas that you mentioned except for the United States, New Zealand, and Australia are located above the 48th parallel, which affords growers even longer peak photoperiods.  The United States, New Zealand, and Australia all had to develop their own agronomically feasible aroma cultivars due to having shorter photoperiods.

Photoperiod determines if and how profusely a hop cultivar will flower.  If photoperiod did not matter, hops could be grown below the 35th parallel without reduced production.   South Africa developed Southern Brewer as a less photoperiod sensitive Fuggle, but they still had to use supplemental lighting.  They have since developed cultivars that will grow without supplemental lighting.

The reason why I know what I know about photoperiod sensitivity is because I attempted to grow landrace hops in my first hop yard, which I planted in 1994. The bines grew well, but there was little in the way of cone production.  In fact, Saaz barely flowered at 39 ° N.

I decided to plant cultivars that were from areas of the world where the peak photoperiod was close to that of 39 ° N (15 hours) when I planted my second hop yard in 2001.   I obtained AlphAroma and Pacific Gem directly from HortResearch in New Zealand because the Nelson region has a peak day length of 15 hours.  I obtained Kirin II, Shinshuwase, and Golden Star from OSU-USDA (it was much easier to request rootstock back in 2001 than it is today).  Kirin II, Shinshuwase, and Golden Star were developed as Saaz replacements that were agronomically feasible when grown in the Iwate Prefecture in Japan, which is located at 39 ° N.   All of these cultivars grew like weeds and produced nice cone sets at 39 ° N.  I would still have that hop yard today if I had not left the hobby for an extended period of time.

As an aside, California Cluster served as the foundation hop for New Zealand’s hop research program.  Almost every New Zealand bred cultivar has California Cluster genetic admixture.  The first two successful hybrids were Smoothcone and Calicross, which are California Cluster x open pollination and California Cluster x Fuggle respectively.  One of the major hop growing areas in California was Wheaton, California (home of the Wheaton Hop Riot), which is located at 39 ° N.



Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 2014 Harvest
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2014, 06:37:25 PM »
Soil and climate matter when growing hops, but not as much photoperiod.  All of the areas that you mentioned except for the United States, New Zealand, and Australia are located above the 48th parallel, which affords growers even longer peak photoperiods.  The United States, New Zealand, and Australia all had to develop their own agronomically feasible aroma cultivars due to having shorter photoperiods.

Photoperiod determines if and how profusely a hop cultivar will flower.  If photoperiod did not matter, hops could be grown below the 35th parallel without reduced production.   South Africa developed Southern Brewer as a less photoperiod sensitive Fuggle, but they still had to use supplemental lighting.  They have since developed cultivars that will grow without supplemental lighting.

The reason why I know what I know about photoperiod sensitivity is because I attempted to grow landrace hops in my first hop yard, which I planted in 1994. The bines grew well, but there was little in the way of cone production.  In fact, Saaz barely flowered at 39 ° N.

I decided to plant cultivars that were from areas of the world where the peak photoperiod was close to that of 39 ° N (15 hours) when I planted my second hop yard in 2001.   I obtained AlphAroma and Pacific Gem directly from HortResearch in New Zealand because the Nelson region has a peak day length of 15 hours.  I obtained Kirin II, Shinshuwase, and Golden Star from OSU-USDA (it was much easier to request rootstock back in 2001 than it is today).  Kirin II, Shinshuwase, and Golden Star were developed as Saaz replacements that were agronomically feasible when grown in the Iwate Prefecture in Japan, which is located at 39 ° N.   All of these cultivars grew like weeds and produced nice cone sets at 39 ° N.  I would still have that hop yard today if I had not left the hobby for an extended period of time.

As an aside, California Cluster served as the foundation hop for New Zealand’s hop research program.  Almost every New Zealand bred cultivar has California Cluster genetic admixture.  The first two successful hybrids were Smoothcone and Calicross, which are California Cluster x open pollination and California Cluster x Fuggle respectively.  One of the major hop growing areas in California was Wheaton, California (home of the Wheaton Hop Riot), which is located at 39 ° N.

Yes, it depends.

Have you ever read the "Hop Atlas" from Barth-Haas? The wife got it for me through the interloan program through Michigan State, had to read it in 2 weeks and return. At $200+ it was a little spendy for me. It was pointed out that there were large hop growing areas south of San Francisco, around Sacramento, and in Sonoma County (the town of Hopland got it name form hop growing). Those went away when the land was more valuable for housing, or grape production.

This is in Sonoma County. Some pictures of the Kilns, the tasting is in a former kiln.
http://www.hkgwines.com/estate/

So from your post, get the right variety for you latitude and climate. Correct?

I know guys who grew hops fairly successfully in SC. I have talked to ones who said their hops died in Florida. The latitude can't be ignored, for sure - none are grown in the tropics.


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