Due to the growing environmental changes and the desire to feature “farm to table” edibles and drinks today, more and more farmers and beer breweries are looking into growing their own hops. These farmers aren’t only selling their hops but they are also doing their own home beer brewing.
Interested in growing your own hops and brewing your own beer? Here is a complete guide to everything you will need to know about growing your own hops, so start your planning now!
A hop plant is a perennial that will flower during the summer months. Hop cones will begin to grow from the sidearms of the plant causing the flowering process to occur. In order for the flowering process to occur properly there needs to be at least 120 days which are frost free, there must be ample moisture and there must be plenty of lengthy sunny days.
First, you will need to order your own Rhizomes (a piece of root taken from a larger hop plant), which are only available about once a year, typically in March or April. Next you will want to decide where to plant your own Rhizome. The best place to plant will be in a southern light exposure area with well-drained soil. Make sure to plant your root about a foot deep and begin to think about what you will use to help strengthen the plant as it grows.
Typically, late August or September is when you will want to harvest your hops. Once you begin harvesting make sure to lay everything down flat so it can dry and you can begin to pick off your hop cones for further drying. Don’t forget to research the general alpha acid range of the hops you grew to determine how much to use in your own brew.
Remember that hops have a minimal root system so the production will only get better and better as the years go on! And, don’t forget you’ll need a beer brewing kit to actually brew your creation!