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My 2nd year Cascade

I’m excited, this vid is of my second year cascade. I was wondering when the hops would start to grow as they were little balls for ages. Now it seems like they have finally taken off. To the hop veterans out there, how much bigger will these cones get?

Also, apparently i sound like some sorta hippie, i never knew i sounded like this!

I have a 15yr old Cascade bine and every year I get hops that vary from 3/4" to some over 2 " , just depends

Please remind me, when can i tell when they are done?

darker green- from light green before the edges start to curl

Spunky, correct me if i’m wrong, but I should also be able to give a gentle squeeze and they will sound papery and stay compressed as compared to a fresh hop that will bounce back when squeezed?


It’s a pretty subtle change that occurs over time as they come to their peak ripeness. One of the best things to do to learn and see the progression is to go out and pick a ‘typical’ looking cone from a particular part of the vine (usually the upper cones ripen a little quicker than the lower ones). Give it a little squeeze and observe how the bracts are very soft/pliable and generally stay compressed. Now peel a few of the bracts (petals) back to reveal the lupulin. In under ripe cones, the bracts will usually not easily detach from the strig and will usually rip it a little bit. Rub and sniff to smell the lupulin for aroma and remember what you sensed. Do this every couple days and watch the progression which will include the lupulin getting more fragrant and sometimes becoming a little darker along with the bracts much more easily dislodging from the strig. If you let them go beyond ripeness, the aroma is usually the best indicator for me. I’m not good at describing what it actually smells like, so I won’t try, but I know that the aroma tells me they’re beginning to go down hill. As the cones come to ripeness they will begin to lose a little moisture which makes them feel a little more ‘papery’ and less pliable. It’s not a black and white concept and may take a few harvests for you to get the hang of it. Again, make sure your samples are taken from the same general area of the vine and hoppy harvesting!

Hoppy, thanks for the input. I figure it will take a little bit of experience like you have said. I was looking at my hops today and I noticed that squeezing lightly on my centennial has a bit more of a papery sound though other than that, they don’t show the others signs that you have talked about.


Those are beauties, are you going to try and wet hop with them?

I hope to, but I have a final paper to write for my last masters class, which i will not finish until september 13th. I assume this means that I will be forced to dry them and then brew with them after my class ends. Regardless, I can’t wait to brew with them. I haven’t brewed with cascade much so was thinking of maybe doing something along the lines of a single hop beer, but i don’t know. I have a centenniall next to it, but i’m thinking i may get an oz or two tops.

I like to harvest when they all turn a little brown & crispy.

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