Hop Burrs August 2012 Update

    Hops are forming on the bines.

    Hop Burr Explosion


    Hop burrs are taking over the hop bines again.  The Hot weather had produced some early hop cones (far too early in the season), but the bines are now showing a normal hop burr explosion for this time of year.  I was worried about this years hop harvest as I have not experienced such early hop cone production before.

    Nature has a way of correcting or adapting itself for survival and has done it again.  It is looking like another banner year for hops production. This is year 4 and other than another touch of a boron deficiency, the hops are healthy and trying to take over the side of my garage.

    I have had to trim the hop rhizomes as hop sprouts were popping up 2 to 4 feet away from the crown.  I have been constantly cutting new hop shoots and bines as I have all my 3 ropes can support (I over spected the ropes with nylon – they ropes can handle the weight, just not support healthy growth as 5 bines per rope is already pushing it – normally 3 bines per rope is optimal).

    The weather here has cooled down and the hops seem to like it.  Let’s see how this hot summer affects the hop harvest this year.


    Pic of hop burrs.

    Nugget Hop Burrs, Soon to be Hop Cones.


    Categories : Forth Year Hops


    1. My hops dry in 2 to 3 days on a screen, under a ceiling fan in my air conditioned house (low humidity). When dry, you can easily squeeze the hop cones almost flat and they will spring back when released. If they are somewhat solid or feel cool or damp, they are not quite dry yet. You can also bend them in the middle and should feel the strig or stem that runs the length of the center of the cone snap. Hope this helps.

    2. Andy says:

      Question… when harvesting and air-drying the hops. How long do you let them air-dry? I harvested a batch of nugget and teamaker last night, and the cone petals are nice and somewhat dry, with the papery consistancy I am told you look for… I am thinking a day or two air-drying on a screen in the low-humidity of my home should work, prior to the freezing.. what is your procedure?

    3. Hunter,
      I don’t know if I am lucky or if going organic with healthy soil helps. I saw my first Asian beetle last week munching on a leaf – I sent him sailing with a flick of my finger.

    4. Hunter says:

      How did you keep the beetles away this year!?!? I am new to this and also in MN

    5. Jack,
      Yes, I planted on the south side of my garage. They get early morning till about 7:00pm direct sunlight – varies per month but a good 12 hours direct sun. Hops love the sun (unless you are far south, then they can use a break from the sunlight). Altitude, micro-climates, soil, shade… they all play a factor in hop growth.

    6. Andy,
      Thanks. Yep, Nugget is a late bloomer from my experience. My hops are actually about on track now. It was the cones I had a month or 2 ago that were way early and had me concerned (not many, but never seen cones that early in my experience). I am zone 4, so I have a later start than higher numbered zones – they do fine, just a later timeframe it seems. I have had years the ground was frozen and snow in April… Congrats on your first year crop. Sounds like they are doing well. Just wait til next year, you will be amazed.

    7. Andy says:

      Interesting.. I was waiting to see an update, What you show in the photo is what I currently have on my first year Nugget plant, or at least it’s progress as of last weekend.

      But, I have four other varieties with fully developed or almost fully developed cones; Teamaker, Santiam, Newport, and Magnum. All are first year and I am located in central Pennsylvania.

      The Teamaker seems to have cones that are getting close to being ‘ripe’ on the bine.

      From your comments this seems too early.. but like I said, they seem healthy to me, being a new hops grower and all.
      Any thoughts? with you being north of me, I would assume your would be 2 to 4 weeks behind what I would see.

      Just thought I would ask… as I have said before, I really enjoy your blog.


    8. Jack says:

      Plants look amazing. Are these planted on the south face of your garage? How many hours of sun per day do they get? At my old place I planted them on the east face of my shed and they only got morning-to-early-afternoon sun. It wasn’t enough for them to really prosper. I’m searching for the best spot at my new house…

    Leave a Reply