At least in my backyard, it’s about two thirds of the way through the hops growing season. Not sure if that is true of all hops growing in New England but around the middle of August, sometimes late August, my hop cones will be ready to be picked and dried.
This year, I have a Magnum hop plant that is in its fourth year of growth and I also have a Cascade hops plant in its second year of growth. This morning, I took a few photos, mainly to show how I was growing Cascade hops at home.
The first photo is to show how tall the bines grew this year. I haven’t measured them but I think eighteen feet is a good guess at their height.
I put up strings up the side of my house and the bines grew right up them. Much to my
chagrin surprise were all the shoots that came along in the middle of June with all the little, spiny hop flowers. These are still pretty immature at this point. In about a month, these flowers should turn into cones. I am not sure how big the cones will be. The Magnum cones are pretty big; some are two inches long. The Cascade cones look to be half the size at this point.
Here’s a close up of some of the flowers and the start of a few cones.
If I am lucky to have a good harvest from the Cascade plant, it will be an experiment to brew with them to see if their signature flavor and aroma will be present from this homegrown version. Depending on how much I have will dictate what beer I brew. I made an award winning blonde with homegrown hops a few years ago so as long as they don’t taste bad, I think I can replicate that beer.
In the fourth year, the Magnum hops are as strong as ever and the yield should be sufficient for a beer recipe. I brewed an Alt last year with them and my brother’s Mt. Hood hops. He looks like he is going to have a great harvest so we’ll just have to make sure we dry them well.
If you look closely, you can see the large Magnum cones hanging out waiting to be picked next month.
These hops don’t grow in the bunches that the Cascade hops do. I guess it more of a size thing than a quantity thing. I will post something once I harvest them.