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Any back yard hop growers out there?

I have been growing hops in my back yard for 2 years now and I really enjoy it.
We have parties to pick the hops now each year.

Year 1: Cascade, Centennial, Willamette
Year 2: Added Columbus, Chinook and more Cascade and Centennial

Lessons learned from 2 years of growing back yard hops

1.) Cut off the Bull Shoots (they grow very fast and big but produce less than 2nd shoots)
2.) Downy Mildew is a killer (for year 3, will cut off early shoots (where they live) and use Neem Oil)

I have my hops separated using wooden boxes (as they are very aggressive plants) and I have them
on auto timers for watering in the morning hours.

I built a hop dryer that works pretty good using a box fan as the base.
I have a FoodSaver vacuum sealer and a beer frig to store them in.

If you are a hop growing expert,
Would love to hear your insight.

Thanks.

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Had some nice Chinook this year. Have a keg going of Chinook IPA w/homegrown going now

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I’ve got enough hops from the past 3-4 years still to last me another dozen batches or more. They are fun and easy to grow.

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Definitely not an expert, but the one major thing I’ve discovered is make sure you keep them well watered. Especially during the fast growth phase when they may be shooting up over a foot per day.

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I have read to water roots but not the leaves (due to Downy Mildew). Morning is best as the dripper hoses may have very hot water in them if watering later.

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I’m considering jumping into the hop-growing game…I recently learned that my uncle (also a homebrewer) has some hops growing in his yard that were from a family farm from at least four generations ago–which is pretty cool in and of itself. Now that I’ve picked up the homebrew habit, I have to put some hops in and see how they do, right?

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You should definitely try to plant some of those hops! If he lives close to you, they’re probably well adapted to the local climate. I found some hops growing wild on a hike a couple of summers ago, and they were the dankest smelling thing I’ve ever come across. They smelled fantastic. I collected some seeds from some nice cones, planted them the following spring, and now they’re growing like weeds in pots. I’ll plant them in the ground this spring.

Hops that escaped from gardens around the 1900’s are probably cluster hops. Not the most popular for late additions, but worth giving them a shot.

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