Growing Hops

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BigAl

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Thats a very good question.

My hops (Tettnanger and Ellsasser) are into their third year now.
1st year- they grew to about 8 feet tall but with no hop cones
2nd year - they started well but died off due to my neglect, the soil dried out :( . A drenching and soaking brought them back to life which goes to show how tough the little buggers are :rolleyes: .
3rd year - they are about 100mm tall now.

If i get anything at all out of them (cross my fingers) i reckon i will brew a pale ale with 100% home grown hops to see how they taste.

Not sure how to work the IBUs out, but i would aim to make a beer with medium bitterness assuming ~8%AA, if it turns out more or less bitter on tasting make adjustments to the %AA prediction for the next brew.
 

dreamboat

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I have heard of people making hop teas to compare a know AA% hop to the ones that they grow at home. ideally i suppose you compare to an identical variety, and decide if it is more or less bitter than the known... should get you in the ballpark.


dreamboat
 

Kai

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I would imagine that sensory analysis is the only way to do it in a home setting. The way the breweries generally do it is by AA extraction using a non-polar solvent then reading on a UV spec.

As for propagating new rhizomes, I reckon that'd be fairly easy. I'll let you know in another season or so :)
 

MCWB

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Kai said:
The way the breweries generally do it is by AA extraction using a non-polar solvent then reading on a UV spec.
Do you have any more info on this Kai, a procedure for example? I have access to a UV spectrophotometer and quartz cuvettes.

Edit: For those interested, I found one at HBD:

Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2001 02:31:32 +0000
From: "A. J." <ajdel at mindspring.com>
Subject: Alpha/Beta Acids in Hops

As a couple of people have requested it, here's the method for
determination of alpha and beta acids in hops by spectrophotometry as
promulgated by the ASBC in their MOA Hops-6.

Required Reagents
1. Toluene: Reagent or spectrophotometric grade
2. Methanol: Reagent or spectrophotometric grade (A (1 cm) < 0.06 at 275
nm)
3. 6N Sodium hydroxide solution
4. Alkaline methanol. Add 0.2 mL 6N NaOH to 100 mL methanol. Prepare
daily.

Required Equipment
1. 250 mL extraction bottle or equivalent (the thick necked 250 mL
volumetric flasks with 24/40 glass stoppered neck from Lab Glass are
suitable).
2. Mechanical shaker (my interpretation of the words in this and other
MOAs has led me to believe that they favor a Burrell "Wrist Action"
shaker but I could be wrong about this).
3. Centrifuge
4. Pipets (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 mL)
5. Mixing cylinders or volumetric flasks (100 mL, 25 mL)
6. UV capable spectrophotometer
7. Quartz cuvets

Place 5.000 + 0.001 grams of fresly ground hops in extraction bottle
Add 100 mL toluene, stopper tightly and shake vigorously for 30 minutes
(this can be done manually but it's not much fun). At the conclusion of
shaking allow the solids to settle or centrifuge at 2000 rpm for 5
minutes. Don't allow the extract to sit for more than 1 hour. Note: you
can use 2.500 grams of hops and 50 mL toluene if desired.

Dilute 5 mL aliquot of the toluene extract to 100 mL with methanol. Call
this Dilution A. Dilute 2 mL of this to 25 mL with the alkaline methanol
solution. Call this dilution B. Check absorbtions at 325 and 355 nm. If
they do not fall within the accurate part of the instrument's range,
repeat Dilution B using an aliquot of Dilution A of volume greater or
less than 2 mL which results in a Dilution B whose absorbtions do. Make
readings immediately after performing Dilution B.

Make a blank by diluting 5 mL toluene in the same sequence as dilutions
A and B. Measure the absorbtion of Dilution B at 355, 325 and 275 nm
against this blank. Readings should be made immediately after Dilution B
and should be performed as quickly as possible in order to avoid
decomposition of absorbing substances by UV light.

Calculate dilution factor d

d = (mL of Dil. A)*(mL of Dil B) / [ 500*(mL extract)*(mL aliquot Dil
A)]

for example using a 2 mL aliquot of dilution A

d = (100)*(25)/ (500*5*2) = 0.5

alpha acids % = d*(-51.56*A355 + 73.79*A325 - 19.07*A275)
beta acids % = d*(55.57*A355 - 47.59*A325 + 5.10*A275)

A355 = absorbtion per cm at 355 nm
A325 = absorbtion per cm at 325 nm
A275 = absorbtiob per cm at 275 nm
 

Doc

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Goat said:
Are there any known 'backyard' methods of working the bitterness out?
I wouldn't even worry about trying to work it out.
I'd just use them late in the boil as aroma hops, so the AA rating wouldn't really matter.

Beers,
Doc
 

Kai

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Nope, I can't remember the process well enough, and it was for beer rather than hops. From what I remember you extract the alpha-acids using iso-octane, benzene, toluene or something like that, give it a whirly in a centrifuge, give it a jiggy in a shaker, do something else to it then take a sample from the top layer of the tube for a spec reading. Not exactly useful instructions to follow.

I have Lewis & Young's Brewing 2nd edition in front of me, and they say that as well as UV analysis, alpha acids can also be measured by precipitation with lead sulphate or rotation of plane polarised light. Again, not something easy for someone to do at home.
 

GMK

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Trough Lolly said:
I've read somewhere that its possible to obtain rhizome cuttings off the rootstock of hops that have been planted beforehand. Does this mean that I could get more cuttings from the original rhizome, in the second year, assuming that the bloody plant grew enough in the first year of planting? Some folks have suggested that when they relocated their rhizome that it had a decent rootball after twelve months in the ground...

Has anyone harvested their own rootstock?
Cheers,
TL
TL

Note:
Not done this yet - Only been told this is the way...

The way to do cuttings is when u harvest the hops, cut the twines approx 12inch from the base.
Take the twines and stick the them into a small pot with them still attached to the original root stock.
Leave for approx 4 weeks - cut off from th eoriginal plant.
Thpotted stock should have established aits own root stock by then and u have another hop plant.

Hope this is correct - anyone who knows anything different - feel free to post here.
 

jayse

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Here's a idea i got from HBA, what you do is chew up a hop cone and count the seconds it takes before you need to spit it out, from this count that many down from ten and theres your A.A% ie if it takes 3 seconds than that makes the A.A 7%. :eek:

Jayse
 

datfrog

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Anyone grown hops sucessfully in pots in SA ?

Where do you get them from to start with. I dont imagine your local Nursey would stock them no ?
 

ozdevil

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datfrog said:
Anyone grown hops sucessfully in pots in SA ?

Where do you get them from to start with. I dont imagine your local Nursey would stock them no ?
datfrog

you can generally get your hp rhyzomes from ya ya homebrewshops....


Also i am growing my hops in a 43 litre terracotta pot out the Backyard and the hops i am trying to grow is Wuerttemberger and they are growing rather strongly at the moment in the pot

if you want t give them ago just give g-spot,grumpies and jovial monk a call as they may still have some rhyzomes left

cheers and many beers
ozdevil
 

GMK

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Choose a different one from Columbus and Mt Hood...

We can then do a hop swap next year...
 

Trough Lolly

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Doc said:
I wouldn't even worry about trying to work it out. I'd just use them late in the boil as aroma hops, so the AA rating wouldn't really matter.
Me too - I plan on using my Goldings flowers for flavouring and aroma and will leave the bittering to the pellets I have that possess a known A/A%...

Cheers,
TL

P.S. Jayse - I love your non-tech method of determining the bitterness! If I toss it out before putting it in my mouth, does that make it 11%?! :lol: If so, I reckon it would make great hophead beer - perhaps worthy of inclusion in your SF Ale?

P.P.S. Ken - Thanks for the tips - I will have a go a harvesting rootstock, well after the plant goes dormant next year...
 

Hoops

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Here's a few pointers from "The Homebrewers Garden"

-usually grown in small hills about 15-17cm tall and a few feet across. This helps contain the roots and makes pruning above & below ground easy

-a deep heavy loam soil with good drainage is ideal......yield will not be as good in poor soil

-to prepare hop bed it should be deeply dug & improved with compost or well rotted manure

-ph should be aroung 6-7.5

-if soil is sandy, dry, rocky or thick clay use lots of organic matter such as compost or well rotted manure and cover with a thick mulch of shredded leaves,straw or hay

-keep well watered during the growing season. Watering too much will waterlog the roots and kill the plant. The hop hill should be evenly moist without being saturated. In dry weather and during hop cone production new hop vines should be watered every day

-hop plants should be divided or at least severly root-pruned every 3 years. In an established hop yard an annual pruning is a good idea.

-Rhizomes should be pruned before the new shoots are 15cm tall. Cut the roots back to a 1 foot square (30cm) around the crown. Pull up the outer roots and dispose of them

-plants can be divided and should be done as soon as plants show any growth in spring. Use a clean knife and cut the rhizome into several pieces each with some sprouts and roots
 

deebee

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Great stuff hoops. Interesting advice.

Is that a book? I wouldn't mind an ISBN?
 

Hoops

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The Homebrewer's Garden
Joe Fisher & Dennis Fisher
ISBN 1-58017-010-2
 

pint of lager

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www.freshops.com sell the book "Homebrewers Garden" as do many of the other overseas suppliers. One of their t-shirts would be cool too.
 

Jazman

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Goliath sells that book the homebrewers garden so give dave a call
 

Hoops

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I got 5 or 6 books through Amazon.com and they cost about $30ea
 

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