Sunday, September 11, 2011

The hops experiment...

I ordered 4 varieties of organically grown hop rhizomes back in March from The Thyme Garnden Herb Company in Alsea, Oregon .  (Cascade, Nugget, Mt Hood & Hallertau)        I didn't know which hops would grow best in New Jersey soil and climate or when exactly to plant. I started all four varieties in large pots in my basement and after signs of growth, I planted in late April.

In late spring the Cascade started to bud and a little Nugget.

I guessed on when to harvest-they seemed fully grown, they were a little drier and starting to brown a bit. I harvested the Cascade over about a two week period in late August.

The My. Hood and Hallertau didn't bud at all and just a little Nugget. (maybe next year)

I dried them out on a window screen set on two 5 gal. buckets with a box fan underneath in my basement.  After about 24 hrs of drying they get very flaky and light. (keep the fan on low or they'll blow everywhere). I put them in zip lock bags (about 3 full) and then the freezer. They should keep in the freezer for a year or so based on what I've read. These lasted about 4 weeks and then they were used in the brew.

Future plans for hop harvesting.... 

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