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Growing Hops In The Hunter Valley

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Drewgong

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G'day fellas just wondering if anyone on here has had any success growing hops in the Hunter? If so what varieties? very interested in trying to grow some this year.
 

fungrel

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The general advice I was given is to start with a few varieties in a few locations, and by the end of the second year you'll know which ones grow best where. Certain varieties are easier to grow than others.
 

pist

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Drewgong, I highly recommend joining the Aussie Hop Head Chat facebook group. Stuart and Brad that admin the group are commercial growers/horticulturists and have a wealth of information and assistance to offer. I live in the Hunter Valley and had a good first year. I've got chinook and cascade which seem to love it here, especially the chinook went nuts. Got about 400g off it this season, I even took a green cutting off it just because I could which has established itself well. Seems to be the right climate here for them
 

hoppy2B

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I've tried growing quite a few different varieties and only 2 are worth recommending to anyone who is serious about growing hops and achieving a good yield. The 2 varieties I recommend are ''Victoria'' and ''Cascade''. Interestingly with these 2 varieties the cones look very similar.
A special note on the variety Victoria, it needs to be dried really well before using or the flavour can be a bit funny.
 

Drewgong

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thanks Hoppy are you in the Hunter?
Cascade is definitely on my wishlist with galaxy simcoe centennial Amarillo el Dorado por so long as I'm able to buy them of course . i don't think I've ever tried chinook. Is there any I've listed you have tried that did not do well up here?
 

hoppy2B

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Hi Drewgong,
I'm in South Australia near a place called Strathalbyn, which is not that far from Adelaide. There wouldn't be much difference in number of daylight hours between where I am and your location. You should be fine to grow hops where you are.
The main things to attend to in order to ensure a good yield are:
  • Good drainage;
  • Keeping the plants well watered; and
  • Having a sufficient structure for the hops to climb up.
There is some evidence that hops may favour an alkaline soil. East Kent in England has a soil that is derived from chalk. You may have heard of the white cliffs of Dover. My soil is alkaline and the hops seem to like it. That said, most soils should give you a good yield if you water your plants well. Fertiliser/manure is probably a good idea.

Like a lot of hop varieties, Chinook has cones that are a bit small and light and it is quite a harsh tasting hop for me. Cascade and Victoria have good size cones that are quite solid. Victoria has quite a lot of flavour. It reminds me a lot of Torpedo IPA. Just don't get the same yield or flavour from any other hops. Victoria is a good hop but must be dried thoroughly.

As you have said, you are not likely to get most of the hops on your list. Most would be covered by patents.
 

shuesmek

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Hey Drewgong, I am fairly new to brewing and just made a spot in my yard (Living in Sydney west) to try my lack at growing my hops but having abit of trouble locating where to buy the Cascade Hop Rhizomes (Mainly brewing ales). Would love to hear if you have any info on where i could order some from,
Cheers
 

fungrel

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Drewgong, I highly recommend joining the Aussie Hop Head Chat facebook group. Stuart and Brad that admin the group are commercial growers/horticulturists and have a wealth of information and assistance to offer. I live in the Hunter Valley and had a good first year. I've got chinook and cascade which seem to love it here, especially the chinook went nuts. Got about 400g off it this season, I even took a green cutting off it just because I could which has established itself well. Seems to be the right climate here for them
I live on Central Coast and also recommend Chinook, as well as Cluster.
 
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You can grow anything as long as you look after the soil, plenty of compost to FEED and help the soil retain the moisture and mulch to prevent evaporation, best one to start off with would be Cascade, easy to grow and cut your teeth on.
 

Ben Thompson

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thanks Hoppy are you in the Hunter?
Cascade is definitely on my wishlist with galaxy simcoe centennial Amarillo el Dorado por so long as I'm able to buy them of course . i don't think I've ever tried chinook. Is there any I've listed you have tried that did not do well up here?
A few of those varieties are proprietary, which means no chance getting them for us backyardies,
 

Vazerhino

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Cascade took off first year in ground and pots in Newcastle. Had crowns from Sydney and rhizome from hunter valley. Looking to add to my garden with other varieties... can’t wait.
 

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