CNYBrew.com: How do I know when my hops are ready?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How do I know when my hops are ready?

Well the short answer is like that. But what are we looking at? (click on the picture above for a good look)

First, you will note the yellow lupulin glands are spilling out onto the leaves near the stem. This is the yellow dust you see in the pictures.



Second is papery to the touch. They should be dry and papery, but not brittle.

Third, the cone should be beginning to open up. When touched, your hands should smell like hops (yea, it's awesome to rub a plant and have your hands smell like hops).




The cones will ripen at different times. There will be some that are ready before others. In some cases, homebrewers wait and let them all ripen and sacrifice a few for the ease of getting it all done at once, but I am going to pick these ones that are ready now.

Cheers!

53 comments:

lottery winners said...

This topic have a tendency to become boring but with your creativeness its great.

Ted Danyluk said...

Your hops are looking great! I'd love to hear about how they add to your upcoming beers.

You brew such large batches, will you have enough, or will you brew a smaller batch?

I'll be harvesting a bunch of Nugget hops from a friend's MASSIVE hop vine on the South side of Chicago. I'll post photos of it. Also, will be making a fresh hop harvest ale with them.

Jonathan said...

I TOTALLY agree with 'lottery winner.' I also like to rub the hops together in my hand and pretend I'm Jim Koch, even though I don't like him.

Travis said...

Yea I am not going to lie, sniffing hops is a rather wonderful hobby. To Ted, I am on a "wait and see" with how much I wind up with. I would like to do a 10 gallon batch with the homegrown hops and some organic malt.

I figure if worse comes to worse I'll just use some other stuff for bittering and use all my stuff for the flavor.

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