picking hops

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I planted a hops plant last fall, and now it's got real nice flowers on it.
do you know the best time to pick it. the flowers are about the size of my
thumb.
                                       thank you



Re: picking hops


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Here's a pretty good site for hops:
    http://www.freshops.com/gardening.html
To summarize the part about harvesting from there:

    At maturity, the hop aroma is at its strongest and is measured
    by crushing a cone and smelling it. The yellow lupulin glands in
    the cone become much more evident and plump looking when
    magnified.

    The cone will develop a drier, papery feel and in some varieties
    a lighter color as it matures. Some browning of the lower bracts
    is a good sign of ripeness. Squeeze the cones as they develop
    and you will notice they become more light and resilient rather
    than green and hard. The actual picking is self-explanatory and
    this is where you want the flower cones, not the leaves.

They also talk about drying them, etc.

Derric


Re: picking hops


Stephanie Davis wrote:

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I picked a couple of plants yesterday and a couple today; takes awhile,
so I have six more to do.  My cones are all different sizes, and some
are just barely beyond the burr stage, but it has been so hot and dry
here in Arkansas (in the 100's and a drought, and even my frequent
watering isn't enough) ... that my plants are drying out.  My largest
cones turned brown and are completely dry.  This is probably early, but
I'm harvesting before I lose everything.

There are a lot of more experienced growers in my Yahoo group that is
exclusively about growing hops, barley, and herbs for brewing beer; we
have over 300 members now.  Come visit: http://www.tinyurl.com/3au2uv
Cheers.

Bill Velek

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