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Hydroponic hops

Discussion in 'Hops' started by hidara, 20/9/16.

 

  1. hidara

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    Posted 20/9/16
    Hey there,
    After weeks of research I decided to grow my hops hydroponically. Found good technical info hard to find as commercial growers are understandability tight lipped and most home growers didn't go into much detail other than supplying photos of the hops and their setups. Has anyone here had any luck with a hydroponics system? Id love some tips.

    I finally settled on a hybrid top drip DWC system using crates from Bunnings with the plants supported by expanded clay balls.

    It waters every hr for 15 minutes during the day and every 1.5hrs at night (just enough to keep the roots from drying out).
    The nutrient is nitrogen rich with about 1050ppm and a PH of 6.2

    As this is the first time I've played with hydroponics I'm pretty green and would appreciate any advice.
     
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  2. hidara

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  3. owenn

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    Posted 22/9/16
    Very Interesting, i hear yields can be very good even in the first year. I'll be following this post and maybe have a crack next year. Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. DJR

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    Posted 22/9/16
    Sounds pretty good to me, i just let mine grow like a weed in the backyard where it gets just enough daylight hours to work. Are you planning to illuminate as well with LED or similar?
     
  5. Danscraftbeer

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    Posted 22/9/16
    I planted a cutting in my Aquaponics system and its a freak. Aquaponics is Hydropnics as a constant circulating Organic eco system.

    I could go on for hours but It does work incredible for anything and hops take on a lot of lateral spread growth not like when they're grown in the ground for some reason. I don't use the clay balls I find them too light and far far too expensive for what I've done.

    Simple river gravel sized at 20-25mm (3/4 inch) is a more solid foundation but when hops grab on to climbing structure it shouldn't be a problem. Plant with stems can fall over in clay balls because its so light.



    A couple of pics. I have seen other brewers here who dabble in the Aquaponics as well. Hope they post some pics some time.



    Its oxygenated water that's the accelerator. Organics does magic as well.

    This tiny cutting planted late season for an experiment.
    [​IMG]

    Anything propagates in days
    [​IMG]

    after 4 months
    [​IMG]

    This is its cut down. Taken a week ago.
    [​IMG]

    and this is what drives the nutrients B)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA2GQWB7ldw
     
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  6. hidara

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    Posted 22/9/16
    No lights. These are sitting outside on a north facing balcony with a gap on the west for the setting sun. The electrics are undercover and in ip65ish " :) " boxes. I'm hoping the sunlight will be fine but a wee bit worried about height :) If I get a couple of brews worth I'll be happy.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4k5p56qjnbzzl75/IMG_20160919_143150.jpg?dl=0
     
  7. hidara

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    Posted 22/9/16
    WOW!!!! that's incredible. Funny, I just spoke to my wife about aquaponics last night. It's something I'm going to setup when we finally get our own place. It just makes so much sense. I might pick your brains at a later stage if thats ok? If you get a chance and if its ok I'd love to see a wide angle shot of the whole system!
    I do have an aeration stone and a cheap air pump. I might fire that into the system at the weekend, going by your advice re: oxygenation
     
  8. Danscraftbeer

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    Posted 22/9/16
    No worries. That set up should do well too I'll be keen to see how it goes. It will go berserk haha.
     
  9. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 22/9/16
    I tried it once with a couple of plants the idea was for them to grow out of the greenhouse and up a large conifer, I was sure they would reach the top of the tree as I had a Passion Fruit reach the top.
    Trouble was as it went out the greenhouse the Possums knocked them off, and the bines that stayed inside the greenhouse made it to dark for the other plants, your pH is right but drop the N and lift the K when they start to bud.
    Passport 218.jpg
    Passport 232.jpg
    Picture 139.jpg
    Picture 138.jpg
     
  10. Stu Brew

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    Posted 23/9/16
    Shoot Colin an email mate. We're going to be breeding with hydroponics due to the fact we can do 3-5 lifecycles a year not only 1. Theyre good guys. He is actualy buying root stock from the legal cannabis growers in his state and grafting hops onto them too. Very on the ball with this and obviously they are world leaders in Hydro Hops!

    http://www.hydrohopfarms.com/
     
  11. Stu Brew

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    Posted 23/9/16
    I would up your water flow, probably to half half in an hour. I have a root in NFT atm just keeping an eye on what its going to do. that runs 24/7.

    What is the start off PPM of your water too? Id be aiming more at 1200-1800 for hops maybe even more....they will keep growing with as much as you can give them and im kind of interested to find out what level they will get nutrient burn at. Seems pretty uncommon in hops grown in the ground!

    Great idea anyways, I use an aeroponic cloner to clone early season shoots too, I'll keep an eye on this PM me if you want any more info. Im really busy for the next few days!!

    Good luck!
     
  12. hidara

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    Posted 5/10/16
  13. hidara

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    Posted 5/10/16
    Cheers for the advice partial man. I'll up the ppm over the next few days. My ph meter fell into wort a few days ago I have to wait until it's replacement arrives.
    ppm of the water is 57. I'm using the same .5micron filtered water that I use for brewing. for some reason my ph had risen to over 8 over the last three weeks. I'll have to be more diligent and check the water every few days from now on :)
     
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  14. hidara

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    Posted 6/10/16
    I also waited too long to start training my bines around the twine. It snapped and died but after trimming it back to the node a new shoot is starting to grow.

    Damaged Bine.jpg
     
  15. wynnum1

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    Posted 6/10/16
    You could try Mittleider gardening method where grown in raised beds of sand and sawdust and water each day and fertilized each week and build T frames and use bailing twine to train the plants on seems to work well for tomatoes and eggplants but hops would need higher frames.
     
  16. hidara

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    Posted 6/10/16
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  17. hidara

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    Posted 6/10/16
    Just watched a few youtube videos. It's a very interesting system!! will research more :)
     
  18. hidara

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    Posted 6/10/16
    For those who are interested the system is made up of the following

    3 tubs from Bunnings

    Expanded clay rocks (hydroton)

    3 hydroponic pots 5", I think

    Two 25mm hoses joining the buckets at the bottom

    1 outdoor water feature pump from Bunnings

    19mm hose and joiners coming up from the pump and feeding each pot through 6mm feeders

    I filled the tubs up to within 15-20mm of the bottom of the pots approx 80-85 litres. The idea of the system is that as the pump waters the plants the large hose at the bottom allows circulation of the nutrients at the bottom. The pump is on a timer so that the rhizome is not always wet with the watering more frequent between 11am and 3pm and only on once every 2hrs at night. Im still playing with this schedule.
    If the plants need more water or of there is a power outage I'm hoping that the little roots that have formed, and are now poking through the pots will be able to draw from the reservoir below. The circulating nutrient should oxygenate enough as it drops through the hydroton back to the reservoir.

    I had called into a few hydroponic stores around Melbourne looking for advice and ended up using http://www.justhydroponics.com.au in Hoppers, as the guy there was the most knowledgeable and helpful.
     
  19. RelaxedBrewer

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    Posted 8/10/16
    After your inspiration, I got mine up and running. Took me some of last night and most of the day to build it.

    After a fair bit of research I decided to go with a recirculating dutch/bato bucket setup that I built my self. This seems to be similar to what the commercial growers are using (I was super impressed with how much of a yield some of the commercial hydro setups were able to get in their first year). Good thing about this setup is it is easy to expand if it works well and is pretty cheap.

    I still need to figure out the watering schedule and best nutrient regulation.

    What nutrient and EC level are you currently using?

    On another note: Hydro nutrients seem to be pretty damn expensive. I think pot heads are getting ripped off. I think I am going to have to work out how to make my own (can't be harder than working out brewing water can it?).

    hydrohop1.jpg

    hydrohop2.jpg

    hydrohop3.jpg

    hydrohop4.jpg
     
  20. hidara

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    Posted 12/10/16
    Haha you beaut!!! well done and it looks great! Below is what I'm doing with regards feeding. I will update it this weekend with the latest info.
    https://www.dropbox.... Hops.xlsx?dl=0
     

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