Milo Mitchel

Science Education and Gardening

Hop Harvest

The hop harvest is approaching, so Dale and I have been thinking up the best way to harvest and dry the hops at Rancho Pillow. We plan on building a rack in the greenhouse and covering it with canvas so that the UV won’t degrade the hops. After the first year, hops don’t require much care, though I have read that it’s good to prune the roots from time to time.

At Pillow we grow 4 varieties of hops on bamboo poles that are strapped to fence posts with pipe tape. Cascade is for pale ale, Golding is for English style ale, Halertau is for pilsner, and Nugget is for IPA.

Cascade hops with a native sunflower (helianthus).

1 Comment

  1. A rack of screened shelved in a warm barn will dry the hops beautifully in a couple days. After that, vacuum-sealing and freezing can keep them good for at least a year or two. Even after they lose their aroma or develop the ‘cheesy’ smell, they can still be used for certain beer styles (lambic, geuze, & c.) where the goal is to use the hops as a preservative while contributing as little bitterness and aroma as possible.

    Beautiful flowers, Milo; Let’s make some beer!

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