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From NB Blog - To Harvest, Or Not To Harvest?

To Harvest, or Not To Harvest?

Counting down to hop harvest season? Step away from those cones, hop-head! Harvesting at the very peak of perfection is crucial, and we have your must-read guide to gauging hoptimum readiness right here. “Look, Listen, Learn” and click here to read more from our green-thumbed Brewmaster, Ian Campbell.

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You didn’t explain to which side of the ideal dry matter reading of 23 would mean wait longer to harvest. If my calculations come up with 26, does that mean wait longer or would a reading of 21 mean wait longer?

From the Author:

The dry matter must be less than 23%, as the percent dry matter decreases with time. Therefore, a reading of 21% would mean they are ready for harvest, whereas a reading of 26% would tell you to wait longer.

The UVM Hop Harvest Fact Sheet is also a great resource!
Thank you, and good luck with your harvest.

Thanks but I gotta laugh. I asked the same question via reply to the short pour email and received this response… The exact opposite of what you just said.

Charles S. (Northern Brewer)
Aug 24, 17:24 CDT

Hi Nick,

As the hops ripen, the dry matter content increases. Typically, dry matter content will increase by 1% every 4-7 days, depending on the hop variety and the growing conditions. So if your dry matter was 25%, then you should harvest. If you get 21%, then you should wait a few days til you reach 23%. Hope that helps!
Cheers, Charles

Oh, Math… if this is the formula:

Hop percent dry matter = 100 x (Dry cone weight ÷ Green cone weight)

then the number rises as the green cones weight diminishes. So a low number=too wet, a high number= dryer.

From the Author:

Alright, folks. Upon a closer reading of the UVM resource, I’ve come to the conclusion that my initial response to this forum post was incorrect.​ Thank you ​@NickelAnte and @uberculture for the catch.

A low reading (say, 21%) means that one should ​wait to harvest, and a high reading (say, 26%) means you should harvest now.
So, while you are ​decreasing​ the weight of your sample, you are looking for an ​increase in your percent dry matter. This is where my own brain tripped over itself.

Please accept my apologies for this mixup.

A consensus. Sweet! :relaxed:

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