Growing hops is easy. Anyway in Ohio it is.
I happened to look out my window and saw hop buds already growing.
Hops are easy in my climate to grow. Hops requires warm days, but not to hot. Too hot of temperatures will kill the roots, the problem many hop growers have in the deep south. Hops drink a lot of water. For hops to do well in your area either live somewhere with a lot of moisture or plan on watering your plants a lot. The only thing I have to do is spray some kind of plant fertilizer once a summer on my plants.
This is the forth summer I think I’ve grown hops. The first summer your grow hop do not expect to get any hop cones. If you get a vine as tall as you, that’s doing good. Hops need to grow straight up, some guys use twine, or rope. I built a 10 foot high trellis. My hops have already overtaken the whole trellis.
Another thing to keep in mind is hops likes to spread, very aggressively. Hops needs to be contained. I put my hops in a garden box, it’s work until this year. My hops is trying to escape.
As you can see my hops has grown out of the bottom of the garden box and up the fence.
I will have to trim that vine back. Speaking of trimming, it’s best to lets the vines grow up and keep the best and strongest vines. Hops will require trimming several times a season. I just use regular scissors to cut unwanted vines.
When you do harvest your hops in fall you can either brew with them right away (wet hopping) or dry them. Some guys left the hops sit in their garage on a window screen for a few days to let them dry out. I put the hops in my food dehydrator on the herb setting. It’s below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve had good luck with this.
Last thing is do not expect home grown hops to be what you buy. Home grown hops have no where near the hop oils and as strong as flavors. I use my home grown hops as flavor hops in the last 5 minutes of a boil.
I’ll do another post when I pick some hops.
I keep some hops in my freezer all winter from my vines last summer and i used them in my Blonde ale last 5 minutes.