Author Topic: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.  (Read 639 times)

Offline pyrite

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 443
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
« on: July 05, 2010, 10:06:33 AM »
I’m a first year hop grower and had a couple questions.  Each hop plant has many spurs on them which are developing into nice looking hop cones, soon they will be ready for harvest.  When I harvest am I cutting each vine off, or picking each individual hop cone?  Once I pick the hop cones from the vine does the plant produce a second batch of cones?
If you don't get in over your head, how are you ever going to know how tall you are.

Offline BrewArk

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 490
  • Rick - Newark, California
    • View Profile
    • BrewArk
Re: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 11:42:30 AM »
Mine don't all ripen at the same time.  I pick by hand, that's largely because I enjoy standing on a ladder, doing it.  It couldn't be done on a large scale that way.  But the advantage is that I can dry/use some while the others are still developing.
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

Na Zdraví

Offline jeffy

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2739
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 12:02:42 PM »
I went to a hop farm once, part of a conference trip at the NHC in Portland.  They cut all the vines down at the same time and lay them into a truck bed, then stripped all the leaves and stems off using a wire thresher looking thing (mostly home-made), then dried the hops on a mesh screen in a big barn with blowers underneath.
As a home grower, I plan to pick off the cones when enough are ready to brew a fresh hop beer.  Hopefully I'll be able to do this for two batches, but so far I haven't seen any cones.  I really want a fresh hop beer......
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline bfogt

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: How do I harvest hops? First time grower.
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 05:43:54 PM »
For your first year you don't want to cut the vine until frost kills it.  You want the plant to build a healthy crown to make it through winter more than you want the hops.  But pick them by hand from a ladder or by lowering the bine if you can put it back up.  Mine are on pulleys so I can pull them down once or twice a week to take the ripe ones.