Author Topic: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!  (Read 12415 times)

Offline cclark970

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Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« on: September 17, 2014, 02:41:14 PM »
Hey fellow brewers so I've seen some threads here and there about the magical existence of hydroponic hops?  I'm here to tell you that hydroponics is not just for your local pot head anymore we've raised the bar and have come up with some pretty impressive hops!  These photos are all first year hops many planted as late as July 10th 2014!  Quality and aroma is amazing!  So YES you can grow hops hydroponically and YES you can get good yields and quality in the first year.

Cheers!








Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 02:43:14 PM »
it's hard to beleive those are first year!

you didn't start small did you?
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 02:48:39 PM »
The hop in the hand looks huge, but for reference what type of hop is that?

Offline cclark970

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 02:50:23 PM »
LOL...Grow Big or Go Home!  8)  We have 750 plants, so in terms of large scale farms it's small, but gives us an idea for expansion.  Planning on adding a few greenhouses every year!

Offline cclark970

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 02:51:59 PM »
That's a Chinook in my hand, so yes they are naturally quite large by variety.  We have some close to 4-5" long though!

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2014, 03:05:18 PM »
Wow!
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Offline denny

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2014, 03:39:23 PM »
I found out something interesting at Hop and Brew school.  we we home growers love to see those huge comes, commercial producers select new varieties to develop based at least partially on cone size.  And those huge cones are what they don't want!  Apparently the picking machines (the machines that strip the cones from the bines after the bines are harvested) don't work as well with large cones.  Not to say that they're breeding for small ones, but if the new variety shows a majority of large cones, the growers pass it over for further development.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2014, 04:15:37 PM »
I found out something interesting at Hop and Brew school.  we we home growers love to see those huge comes, commercial producers select new varieties to develop based at least partially on cone size.  And those huge cones are what they don't want!  Apparently the picking machines (the machines that strip the cones from the bines after the bines are harvested) don't work as well with large cones.  Not to say that they're breeding for small ones, but if the new variety shows a majority of large cones, the growers pass it over for further development.

i understand the economics of it and all but it always galls be a bit when I hear things like this. I imagine with hop breeding it's still not as overwhelming a consideration as it is in, say, potato farming. But to make a selection on ease of mechanical harvesting over flavor/aroma seems so wrong somehow.

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Offline denny

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2014, 05:10:19 PM »
i understand the economics of it and all but it always galls be a bit when I hear things like this. I imagine with hop breeding it's still not as overwhelming a consideration as it is in, say, potato farming. But to make a selection on ease of mechanical harvesting over flavor/aroma seems so wrong somehow.

If they didn't do that, your selection of hops would be severely limited and astronomically expensive.  And just becasue the plant has large cones doesn't automatically eliminate it.  Jason Perrault, who owns the farm where we saw 50K+ experimental varieties, said that if the plant exhibited some outstanding characteristic they'd try to work on cone size.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2014, 05:31:08 PM »
i understand the economics of it and all but it always galls be a bit when I hear things like this. I imagine with hop breeding it's still not as overwhelming a consideration as it is in, say, potato farming. But to make a selection on ease of mechanical harvesting over flavor/aroma seems so wrong somehow.

If they didn't do that, your selection of hops would be severely limited and astronomically expensive.  And just becasue the plant has large cones doesn't automatically eliminate it.  Jason Perrault, who owns the farm where we saw 50K+ experimental varieties, said that if the plant exhibited some outstanding characteristic they'd try to work on cone size.

I totally understand. I'm just of the school that would rather spend the extra to get amazing french fingerling potatoes that had to be harvested with less efficient equipment because they taste better and I'm eating for enjoyment as much as for sustenance. when it comes to beer, I'm drinking purely for enjoyment so really the cost of ingredients doesn't come into the equation for me if the flavor is there.

Likely, given the market for these kinds of hops, hop breeders aren't looking first at ease of harvest. It's just another factor and a factor that could easily be overwhelmed by an outstanding flavor/aroma characteristic.

anyway, thankfully, there will always be at least a few farmers out there willing to charge me lots of money for their 'heirloom', 'craft', or 'artisinal' produce. ;D
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Offline cclark970

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2014, 06:18:34 PM »
i understand the economics of it and all but it always galls be a bit when I hear things like this. I imagine with hop breeding it's still not as overwhelming a consideration as it is in, say, potato farming. But to make a selection on ease of mechanical harvesting over flavor/aroma seems so wrong somehow.

If they didn't do that, your selection of hops would be severely limited and astronomically expensive.  And just becasue the plant has large cones doesn't automatically eliminate it.  Jason Perrault, who owns the farm where we saw 50K+ experimental varieties, said that if the plant exhibited some outstanding characteristic they'd try to work on cone size.

I totally understand. I'm just of the school that would rather spend the extra to get amazing french fingerling potatoes that had to be harvested with less efficient equipment because they taste better and I'm eating for enjoyment as much as for sustenance. when it comes to beer, I'm drinking purely for enjoyment so really the cost of ingredients doesn't come into the equation for me if the flavor is there.

Likely, given the market for these kinds of hops, hop breeders aren't looking first at ease of harvest. It's just another factor and a factor that could easily be overwhelmed by an outstanding flavor/aroma characteristic.

anyway, thankfully, there will always be at least a few farmers out there willing to charge me lots of money for their 'heirloom', 'craft', or 'artisinal' produce. ;D

You are both correct in my opinion.  There are soooo many things that large farms do to hops and require from hops that have nothing to do with the quality in fact most of these methods severely deplete quality.  That is exactly why we have created our farms!  We do all the little things that are not economical on a large scale and the result is a hop cone that can't be paralleled with conventional farming.  Our hops are not for everybody just like an 80" HDTV is not for everybody, but sometimes people just want the best and that is what we are providing!  (With that being said our hops are still within the higher average pricing of what people are paying for what is already on the market) Another good analogy is why do all hop growers harvest bright green cones, when in fact the quality of the hop oils reach their peak when the cone is ripe (turning brown)?  Again its easier to ship, easier to store, easier to harvest (with a machine) so that is why you see green cones not because they  are of high quality...the list goes on...  :-\ 

Offline EHall

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 06:19:59 PM »
what kind of system are you growing in? ebb? water culture? wick? what nutrients are you using? Give some details on the setup please.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2014, 06:35:31 PM »
You can put me down as impressed.

With lighting can you do more than one crop a year? how many?
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Offline cclark970

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2014, 07:49:51 PM »
You can use lighting to extend season however an all blackout greenhouse would be needed to go year round and that's expensive and I don't think people will jump on $20 ounces very soon :) 

We are using perlite and drip irrigation. Our nutrients are something we have created ourselves and we have to keep some secrets, sorry :)

Offline EHall

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Re: Hydroponic Hops Work!! First year growth! PROOF with photos!
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2014, 09:51:32 PM »
cool, sounds like the same setup I use for my pot plants. thanks!
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