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When to harvest hops

Submitted by: Rob (gleaned from various sources) on August 23rd, 2002

Hops are ready to pick when the bracteole (leafs) of the hop cone starts to turn papery and brown around the edges. When the hop cone is broken open, the lupulin gland should be yellow and sticky.

General guidelines for picking are as follows:
When just a couple of the hop cones have their bracteole tips just turning brown, pick about a third of the hops. Then, a few days later go back and do the same. Don't wait until the hops turn brown before you pick them... Use the bracteole tip color as a guide.

Make sure the hop cones are ripe before picking many. Check for the brown leaf tips, the lupulin glands, and even taste a hop yourself to make sure you've got a hop flavor. If you harvest too soon, your hops won't have the potency you would expect and might impart a chlorophyll flavor to your beer.


4 Comments Posted
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Re: When to harvest hops Jun 24th 2004, 03:26 pm
I've only ever used hops bought in a pack, ready dried/pressed/whatever.

What should I do with the hops once I've picked them, so that they are ready to use or store?
Comment by: Robson reply to comment
Re: When to harvest hops Sep 5th 2005, 02:07 am
Do I spread them out to dry? or are they used green?
Comment by: Mary Jane Eichler reply to comment
Re: When to harvest hops Sep 11th 2005, 06:30 pm
check out http://www.realbeer.com/library/authors/moen-a/hgrown3.php for drying tips
Comment by: Anonymous Brewer reply to comment
Re: When to harvest hops May 9th 2006, 12:35 am
Another thing to consider is using a food dehydrator. I am using a regular one without a temp controll or anything fancy. It's also possible to do something that the big guys can't. As a homegrower, you can make a REAL wet-hopped beer. There are recipies at the beer recipator. If you can't find a recipe there, try looking for one in the site for www.thebrewingnetwork.com . They have a forum that has some in there. Good luck.
Comment by: beer_bear reply to comment