Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hops Update - August 22

Here in Oklahoma, we're still trying to get through the hottest days of the year, and yes, they have not been kind to my hops. My plants are still healthy and producing cones, but man they don't look too pretty anymore! As you will see from some of the pictures in this post, some of my hop cones and leaves are significantly brown and wilting. The interesting thing is that this is happening while new growth is showing within inches of what looks to be almost dead!

I've been watering the hops each day when the temperature is over 90F and so far, they are surviving. They soak up the moisture (along with the hot day) and are ready for more the next day. I'm trying to decide whether or not to trim some of the bines back where I have already harvested cones, so that the plant can focus energy on new growth.

My Goldings plant is producing more and more cones, although they are all very small. I've heard others haven't had the best of luck with goldings in the lower latitudes, so maybe this just isn't the right climate. I'm not giving up though, hopefully I'll be able to at least harvest enough to brew one batch of my brown ale that uses goldings.

And lastly, is a picture of the whole hop garden. It's hard to believe that just 5 months ago, this area of the back yard was basically weeds that was a pain to mow! Now it is helping in my quest to brew good beer.....well, as soon as I get the ingredients pulled together to do a batch and start using some of the harvested hops!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Second Hop Cone Harvest!

This week I when I checked the Centennial and Cascade plants, I noticed I had a lot of cones browning (some significant). Also, the majority of the cones had that papery feeling so I decided to do another harvest. Below are pictures of the harvested cones. If you look closely, you can see some cones almost completely brown, with others while still mostly green have browning of the tips.

I also took one of the larger cascade hop cones and split it down the middle. If you look real close, you can see the yellow substance among the leaves which is lupin.

In total, I harvested 6.65 oz of Centennial and 12.95 oz of Cascade this time (wet). After drying, I ended up with 1.7 oz of Centennial and 3.5 oz of Cascade.

Here are my totals for the year so far:

Wet Harvest:
17.45 oz Cascade
8.15 oz Centennial

Dry Packaged:
4.55 oz Cascade
2.05 oz Centennial

Hops Update - July 31 Growth

It's been a few weeks since I posted an update. Not a lot to discuss in this post but I've included a few pictures I took the end of July. I was finally able to get a few good close up pictures of the cascade hop cones still on the bine. I also took a picture of the 2 cascade plants together that show a lot of cones, and the last picture shows the base of the OK goldings plant. On all of my plants I stripped the bottom 2 feet of vegetation to minimize the possibility of mildew and insect problems.