Archive for 8th Year Hops


    Nugget Hops Harvest 2016

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    I actually harvested last weekend on 9/18. I am just getting around to

    Nugget hop bines pre-harvest.

    Nugget Hop Cones on the Bine

    posting about it. This is year 8 for these hops and I ended up with a couple pounds of “wet” cones. They were fairly dry, squeezed easily, were papery dry and bounced back – passed the time to harvest test.

    This was an ok year for the hops harvest, but not the best. Each year has it’s challenges, this year was lots of rain.

    I re-raised the bines after the harvest as I always do so they can store the sun’s energy in the root stock / crown for next years growth.

    In a month or so, the bines will die off.  At that time I will cut them off just above ground level and cover the crowns with compost, leaves and grass clippings.  This will help protect them from 20 below zero temps (and colder) this winter.  Hops are pretty hardy, but I have lost some to extreme cold temps (A large potted Fuggle) that the wind blew away my insulating leaves and snow.

    The compost, leaves and grass clippings will help feed the bines next year as well as protect over the winter.  The hops are planted in mounds to keep standing water from rotting the roots.  The mounds do get washed away a bit during rain downpours so it helps to build them back up with organic materials.

    That’s it for this season.  Leave a comment about how your hops fared this year.  Hopefully it was a good growing season for everyone.  Till next year, Hop On!

    Half a grocery bag full of Nugget hops.

    Nugget Hop Cones

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    Nugget, Magnum and Cascade hop bines pre-harvest.

    Left to Right – Nugget, Magnum and Cascade

    August 28th I harvested my Magnum and Cascade hops. The Magnum could have been harvested last week but I didn’t have time, so I picked them both today. It took 1  7×52 cigar (Gran Habano 2002 Reserve) to pick both – about an hour and 20 minutes. Yesterday was raining, today it was humid, 88 degrees and sunny. A bit hot for my taste, but you take what you get for weather.

    The Magnum take was only 14 ounces (wet).  The Cascade provided 2 pounds (wet) – close to normal for the Cascades, the Magnum were light this year.  I did have the Magnum bines break off the top 2 feet and that part of the bines was stuck at the top of the rope – they did not lower with the rest of the bines.  This is the first time this has happened – so I missed some cones.  I didn’t want to break out my tall ladder for the cones stuck up top of the ropes.

    I have a pulley at the top and lower the bines to harvest from ground level.  Harvesting on a ladder is hard on the legs and back, not to mention a bit more dangerous.  Generally the pulley system has been flawless.  You have to tug on the ropes as the hop bine laterals wind around the up rope and the lowering rope (opposite sides of the pulley).

    Close up of Cascade cones in a bag.

    Cascade Hop Cones in a Bag

    I still have the Nugget hops to harvest.  They won’t be ready for a week or 2.  They usually ripen 2 weeks after the Cascade hops.  That will be my next update.

    Well I hope everyone that is growing hops has a good year.  Leave a comment how your hop growing season went.  If you are thinking about growing hops, go for it,  they are easy to grow.  Prepare the area now for next year.  Add compost, leaves and or grass clippings to the dirt for some organic food and soil structure (don’t use grass clippings if it has fertilizer and/or weed killer applied to the grass).

    Cascade hop cones drying (2 pounds)

    2 pounds of Cascade Hop Cones Drying on a Screen Under a Fan

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    Almost Hops Harvest Time!

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    This is year number 8 for these hop bines – Nugget, Magnum and Cascades.  The Magnum Hops are almost ready to harvest!  Soon to be followed by the Cascade hops and Nugget hops are just forming hop cones!

    Magnum and Cascade hop cones

    Magnum Cones on the Left – Cascade to the Right

    My Magnums are large and ready to harvest.  I will harvest next weekend.  They do not show off their cones as they are draped by the foliage.  It protects the hop cones from the sun – it is the nature of the Magnum hops variety.  My Cascades are proudly showing off their cones.  As always, the Nugget hops are weeks behind.  I like the fact they mature at different times so I don’t have to harvest them all at the same time as I pick them by hand.

    I will spread the harvests out over several weeks.  Magnum first, followed by the Cascades the next week and the Nugget hops will be 2 to 3 weeks later.  It works for me as it takes between one to two hours per bine(s) to harvest.  I only have to pick and dry one variety per week or so.  I don’t have the facilities to do more than one variety at a time so it works out perfect for me and my time.


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