Hops Growth ProgressSunday, August 8th, 2010
Judging by my amateur hop yard (out front of the house) different types of hops grow at different speeds. This makes sense based on how many varieties of apples or tomatoes there are, but the variation in my hops was more than I expected. Harvesting everything at once does not appear to be the plan according to the vines. This will make it easier to keep the different varieties organized during harvest.
I am amazed at the sheer number and size of the cones on this plant. It is going to be a great harvest. I have told my brew neighbors to come by with a bucket and grab some when they are ready.
This vine has probably 30 small cones the size of acorns. Not much aroma to the cones yet, they are very moist.
Nuggest was early to sprout and grows vigorously but is nowhere near the cone production of Cascade or Hallertau.
Still not quite up to the top of the rope yet. Plant looks healthy.
#5 Kent Goldings
This plant was the last to sprout. Last year it was the last to be harvested. Kent Goldings is on the far left in first image. It has not yet reached the top of the rope either. It seems Kent Goldings is just naturally a few weeks behind the other varieties.
When the cones just start to turn yellow I will begin harvesting. This will probably happen about a month from now. The first step is to pick the cones and dry them. I use an old window screen. That process takes 3-4 days in my brewing room. By the end of the process the room smells like hops – delicious. Then I vacuum seal and freeze the hops. I will probably prepackage some for trading with my friends, in 4 oz bags. I’m pretty sure I won’t be spending very much on hops for brewing in the future.
Brewer’s Friend has another good article on harvesting hops here.