Cascade Hop Cone Harvest 2015


    A large Cascade hop cone.

    Cascade Hop Cone

    I actually harvested about half of the Cascade hops last weekend with the Magnum harvest and re-raised the bines. Many of the hop cones were small so I left them on the bines and gave them another week to grow. Unfortunatly it was rainy, cloudy and 20 degrees below normal for 4 of those days in between. The cones did grow some so it was worth it.

    I harvested 1.4 pounds of Cascade hops last week and another .8 pounds today for a total of 2.2 pounds (a kilo). I apparently damaged some branches and a bunch turned brown (maybe 10%). The majority continued to grow.

    I did not see any infestations of bugs, just a couple small spiders and a tree frog. I always find at least one frog hanging out in the bines. Hopefully eating any insects they find.

    I still have my Nugget hops to harvest. They will take one or two more weeks until they will be ready to pick. The Nugget bines are the fullest vegetation wise. They should provide at least as many hops as the Cascade bines have.

    I have used the same rope for the last 7 years and leave it up year round. The ropes are starting to show wear but I should be able to use them a couple more years. I used 1/4 diameter nylon rope with a pulley mounted under the roof and a tie cleat mounted to the side of my garage for each rope so I can lower and raise the bines for harvesting.

    A bag full of Cascade hop cones.

    Cascade Hop Cone Harvest

    Categories : 7th Year Hops


    1. Randie,
      That’s interesting. One would believe the heights commercial growers use would be the most efficient. The north/south running fence with each side getting half the days light seems to work well. A six foot height is convenient. I could see two posts with a cable running between them at 6 foot high and then ropes or a mesh for the bines to cling to.

      I’ll run this by some hop growing friends as I don’t have any more area I can dedicate to hops. If at least one of them try it, I’ll report on how it works for them.
      Thanks for the info!

    2. Randie says:


      As in previous years, my hops grew to the top of the lines strung up to the eave of my two story house. The majority of the hops cones were at the top. Since my pulley system was abandoned a few years ago, I had to pick them all perched on a 32′ ladder – not ideal.

      I just happened to look at the free stuff on our local Craigslist and saw an entry for free Cascade hops. I made an appointment and managed to pick about 5.5 lbs in an hour. There were 3 others picking also. When I left, there were probably 30% still unpicked. There was probably about 25 lbs (green) on the entire patch. The point being that these bines were highly productive.

      The owner said he planted them 4 years ago after he received rhizomes from his friend, the author of The Joy of Brewing (Charlie Papazian). They were planted in a 10’x2′ bed, against a 6′ wooden fence with some wires strung behind for the bines to climb. The mature bines covered both sides of the fence with hundreds of 1″ to 1 3/4″ cones. I have pictures I can send you if you’d like to see them.

      There was no comparison between his hops and mine. My hops cones grew on just the sunny side of my lines (south facing), but his hops cones grew on both sides of the fence, as his fence went north-south. My meager harvest (just 9oz dried) was all at the top, while his was everywhere.

      I started to think that maybe it was not a good idea to let them climb so high. Maybe it would be better if only let them grow 6′ tall. They could spend their time and energy developing cones instead of climbing ever higher and just making leaves. I know that commercially, they grow them tall. But there was just no comparison between his hops and mine.

      What do you think about limiting the height to maximize the number and size of the cones? An added plus would be not picking from a ladder!


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