Magnum Hop Harvest 2013By
Time to harvest the Magnum hops. I would have done it last weekend but I went fishing instead – fishing takes priority. Anyway I had today off work and it was a perfect day, mid seventies and sunny – the first day of fall. This bine (actually 3 bines on one rope) took me about an hour. About half the time it took to harvest the Cascade hops. The Magnum hop cones are bigger than the Cascade and not as many cones. Much easier picking and not as much foliage to search through.
The bees are busy this time of year so I smoked a cigar to help keep them away. I would have smoked a cigar anyway but just letting you know it helps keep the bees away while you’re harvesting.
If you are unfamiliar with my setup, I have pulleys mounted underneath my garage overhang and I have enough slack to lower the bines for picking hops at ground level.
When I am done harvesting, I raise the bines back up for the leaves to gather energy for next year’s growth – they are perennials, come back each year . Once they die off, I cut them off just above ground level and pull the dead bines off the ropes. I leave the ropes up over the winter to save time and effort of restringing them the next season. I am using nylon rope so there is no rotting. I have used the same rope for 5 years now and it shows no wear.
Picked close to 2 pounds of wet hop cones. They should come out to 6 to 8 ounces when dried. I have them in my basement on a screen held up by 2 chair backs under a ceiling fan to dry out. It takes 2 to 4 days to dry usually. I then tightly pack them into ziplock freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible and seal them and put them in the freezer. Unless I have a friend that wants to use them right away.