Homegrown Hop Harvest

It’s harvest time for my 1st year hops…so I think. Based on several readings, my hops may be towards the end of ripeness, but then again, maybe they are juuuust right.

1st year crops are not expected to yield much, if any at all. The main role for that 1st year is to grow a good root structure so it can come back the following year very strong. I picked both Centennial and Chinook hops, and by the looks, I’m thinking maybe I will get a half ounce each once they are dry.

Picking was easy, except I did need a chair to get to the top of my trellis. The Chinook hops were larger cones than the Centennial you see in the photo below.

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Now what? Well you can use them fresh, however I wasn’t ready to brew. So, I have to dry them. It takes about 3 days to dry hops if done properly. Since I had a small harvest, I was able to do the crazy thing you see in the photo below. Next year I will have to figure out how to dry them more in bulk.

I took a large fan and tilted it straight up. Placed a filter pad on top of the fan, then the hops, and the to keep them somewhat contained, I had an old CD rack that I flipped over. It seems to be working well and I hope they turn out good.
Once dry, I will measure them out, seal them up either in a ziplock or seal-a-meal bag, then freeze.
I plan to use them in my next brew, hopefully within the next couple weeks. Can’t wait!

Cheers!

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