Hops are almost ready!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hops are almost ready!

While my brewing has been a little sparse this summer, the hops have been continuing to grow and in only their second year, look to be doing pretty well!

This is the cascade and fuggles vines. The fuggles on the right is not producing anything, but the cascade is looking great!!!

There are quite a few cones on there and they are coming along nicely. There are some hairs on them, but they still seem small compared to some of the hops cones I see in other pictures. I am thinking that next weekend I might pick a few and dry them because some are further along than others.

This is a nice shot of the head to head between the cascade (on the right) and the centennial. I am quite sure the centennial are ready as they are REALLY smelly and look a lot more open than the cascade. The cascade cone pictured on the right is more mature than most of the others on the vine so I am going to give it more time.

As you can see from the pictures above, the centennial hops did not do as well, I only expect to harvest a few ounces at best with this one. Hopefully next year all hops will be putting out a bigger harvest. I am pleased with this year as a whole though.



Anonymous said...

Congrats on the hops success. I have tried to grow hops on two separate occasions in Houston, Texas and the vines get to about 3 feet in height and then give up. I think the weather here is just too warm.

Travis said...

Yea Texas is pretty tough growing area. We've had a CRAZY wet year this year so I am sure on a normal year, I would not have done as well. Supposedly next year they're really going to blow up.

Freak said...

Nice Hops Travis!

I have a few questions though. I have been wanting to grow hops for years and "E" already has Mt. Hoods that he has been growing for about 10 or 12 years. They are all over his back yard and out of control. In addition, I know of several places that I can harvest pounds upon pounds of wild hops. The stuff just grows like crazy in Iowa. The only reason we never use them, or grow more of them, is because we have no way of knowing the alpha acid % of them. Do you have any suggestions on how to measure this?
As for the wild hops, we have no way of knowing what kind they are. Do you know what type would be growing wild in Iowa? Or, do you know of some one that could help me with the answers to my questions? We should probably just use the dang stuff and see what happens. The problem I have is that I would hate to toss out 18 gallons of beer on an experiment. Nor do I want to start messing around with small batches. Just looking for some suggestions.


P.S. You should check out our blog again. We just won "Best of Show" (out of 177 beers), at the Iowa State Fair, last week. The Freak Brothers make the Best Freakin' Beer in Iowa!

Broke But Still Drinking said...

How about some free beer to go with those hops?

Travis said...


With the hops that I am growing, I know what kind they are and that's really all that matters to me. My plan is to make a brew using organic malt and my homegrown hops. Maybe I'll call it hippy juice or something, who knows. Anyway, I am certainly throwing caution into the wind on the IBUs, but I figure that it should be close enough.

With the wild hops, I just found out that the land where my parents live used to be a hops field way back when in the middle of hops farms everywhere (CNY Rules!). My dad claims that there everywhere so I am planning a pilgrimage back home to harvest. Now my plan with these was to make a little hop tea and maybe a 5 gallon batch that I can split into a series of 1 gallon experiments.

Nick says that he will find a way to get the Alpha Acids for them. I am not sure how, but in his mad scientist way, he thinks he can.

All that said, I think the great thing about this if you experiment with them one year, you are likely to be able to know what you are getting into on the following years. Thats my thought anyway.

Travis said...


Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a life.

There are some pretty good outlines on how to brew on here (and many of the people that comment on this blog), read up and start brewing, it's cheaper than buying beer!

Freak said...






Freak said...

P.S. I just picked up a cool new fermenter. This is a cheap way to make a 15+ gal. conical. Go look at it on our blog. I think it is awesome! About 16.5 gals. for under $200. Everyone needs to look at this thing.