Archive for September, 2010
Hop harvest 2010 – mostly second year hops, with the addition of a first year Fuggle container hop plant (from rhizome). We harvested Sunday September 5th (Labor Day weekend). The above picture is half a grocery bag full of Cascade hop cones. We did not weigh them wet (freshly picked) but I will update the post with the dry weight. A friend of mine is drying them and going to use them in his home brews. I donated them to him as he has far surpassed my brewing abilities.
Above are, left to right: second year Nugget, Magnum and Cascade hops. I have not harvested the Nugget hops yet, they were not quite ready. People keep asking when to harvest so here is the general rule: when they feel papery and squeeze easily and bounce back – they are ready. If they feel moist and do not squeeze easily, they are not ready. You will often see some brown edges on the hops when they are ready to pick also. You may find that not all of the hops seem ready even on the same bine. Up to you if you leave them for later or pick them all. I have my bines on pulleys so I hoist them back up and have a second, smaller harvest a week or 2 later.
Above are the three hop cone varieties we picked in a side by side picture. The Magnum is noticeably lighter in color. They are hard to distinguish apart as most of the cones are fairly round. The Cascade pictured above is one of the longer cones, but all 3 varieties are mostly round with some longer than others. When they are in the bags, they are tough to tell apart. Each of the 3 hop varieties has it’s own aroma. Similar, but distinct per variety. The Fuggle and Cascade hops are aroma varieties and the Magnum is a bittering hop.
Here is a pic of a conjoined hop cone. I have only seen 2 of these in a couple of years growing hops.
I will add the Nugget harvest pictures and hopefully all the dried hop weights when I finish harvesting. First year hops are amazing to watch grow, but second year hops are over the top. If you are not growing hops, you should be. Whether for brewing beers and ales, privacy, covering arbors, fences or pergolas, calming teas or sleep pillows – there are many uses for hops (and excuses for growing them).
Until the next update, grow hops – cheers!