Local hop farm

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by EvanAltman36, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    My LHBS was taking pre-orders for hop rhizomes a little while back but I didn't get any due to limited space. Anyone out there had experience growing your own, or have access to local growers for fresh product? I bring this up because I just read a really cool piece about a couple of local guys here in Indianapolis who are working on setting up their own hops farm in a very unlikely spot.

    http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/ ... the-Market
     
  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I went nuts with it and have 12 plants at home... It can be a lot of work to harvest, but they look cool, and people like to ask questions about them. Properly drying and storing the hops is key, our blog has an entire category devoted to hops growing, lots of good articles there.
    http://www.brewersfriend.com/category/hopsgrowing/

    I don't have numbers on the alpha acid levels, so I'm flying blind if using them for a bittering hop. Last year I tried doing as much as possible with home grown hops, but some beers were not as bitter as I would have liked. I end up with a lot of extra Nugget and Chinook.
     
  3. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I think I'll go small if/when I do. I would love to just have them around for the smell of it. I have to think it'd be difficult to go commercial, if only for the extra effort involved in drying and packaging them. Although there are so many craft and micro-breweries popping up, that you could focus on supplying the raw product. I know that 3 Floyd's makes a "wet-hopped" beer that uses only same-day-picked hops. It was pretty good, but didn't blow me away.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,702
    Likes Received:
    7,201
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I know of two hop farmers in Palisade, CO. Last year I got a bunch of Crystal from one of them - it's my "secret weapon" when brewing light ales! The stuff has almost a honey-floral taste, unlike anything I can get in stores. If you can find locally-grown, fresh hops you'll get a beer unlike anyone else's because no two years or farmers get the same product.
     
  5. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    When you use the fresh hops, do you do a hop tea or toss them into the boil?
     
  6. JAMC

    JAMC Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    England
    Going to have to read up on hop drying/handling as I have a second-year Goldings plant in the back garden that I'm hoping to get some cones off this year.
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,702
    Likes Received:
    7,201
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    The hop farm uses a gentle breeze of heated air to dry their hops. Maybe a food dehydrator for small-scale drying or, Redneck-style, use a hot air source like a blow dryer, make a plenum out of sheet metal and blow it through the hops on a grate. I'm imagining this in case I decide to build that pergola and grow hops up over it....
     
  8. Mr. Halpin

    Mr. Halpin New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've grown my own out here in San Diego. The hardest part was building a trellis to sting them up on. Local is always better because the Rihzomes are already used to the climate and soil. I made the mistake and bought mine from a farm in Oregon. I think that was alittle to drastic of a change for them. Make sure they're in full sun. If you have to buy soil for them make sure you get a blend geared towards flowers or roses.
     
  9. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Evan

    Did you plant? I assume they will trail up a brickwall?
     
  10. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I didn't. I missed the pre-order but might get in on it next year. I don't have an ideal location for them, so I thought it best to wait until I have a better spot, and we're planning on moving next year. I'm not sure if they climb more like ivy or like beans; I have been told that they require more of a lattice type of setup, particularly something that goes up and then has a framework on top too. I'd probably do 1 or 2 varieties, probably some fairly versatile strains.
     
  11. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I am sure yours will grow like ivy
     
  12. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I was too dumb to pick up the inference the first time, but if you beat me over the head with it I will eventually get it.
     
  13. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Hops climb like beans. I string twine from the trellis to a small stake in the ground near the crown.
     
  14. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    So the twine runs from the ground straight up to the trellis? If so, do you just have the trellis supported by poles or something? I was wondering if you could use vertical trellises with a horizontal one across the top connecting them.
     
  15. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Insert Cub Fan joke here______________________________________
     
  16. Mr. Halpin

    Mr. Halpin New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Yep, thats how ya do it. My trellis is like a Giant T. You can sting them up then they can grow horizontally or back down like an upside down V like mine (^).
     

Share This Page

arrow_white