Denny is right, you don't really have to trim anything on the hop plant,
as long as you don't mind it spreading. Because it will.
one reason why you might want to trim,
.....is to control how far the plant can expand.
If you have another variety planted nearby,
you may want to trim those shoots that are headed toward the other plant
to prevent intermingling. I hear that is bad.
...or if you have lots of friends that you want to infect with some rhizomes.
....or if you want to control where the plant is concentrating it's upward energy
....or if they are taking over the potato patch
Early spring, as soon as you can work the soil is the time.
You are right, overkill on taking the whole ball. Just sink your sharp spade down around the perimeter and rip up the shallow rhizomes that are extending away from the plant. Roots are deeper, leave those alone if possible.
Cheers to self-sustainable brews....my favorite is a classic recipe using all homegrown Mt Hood and Zeus.
On that note, Denny, is the deer fence up? Cause I am going to send you some rhizomes this year. Haha.