Hops gone wild

by Homebrewing

Like many other homebrewers, I planted a ton of hops around my house in hopes to ease the hop crisis.  The first year, 2007, I planted several hop varieties in planters.  These died quicker than fresh yeast poured into boiling wort.  The following year I planted several varieties around my house.  The plants limped along, and by the end of the summer they looked marginally ok.

Last year my Spalt hops were the only hops which produced cones.  They produced quite a bit, so it seemed, and I had somewhere between 1 and 2 pounds of cones.  The leaves were thick on the Spalt and came just short of reaching the roof in September.  The Mount Hood, Kent Golding, and Willamette never got taller than me.

This year my Mount Hood are now at the same point they were at the end of last year.  The Kent Goldings and Willamette are both over 10 feet, and I will need to find a way to extend their climbing rope to 20 or more feet.  The Spalt are scaring me.

The Spalt have already reached the roof.  They are spidering all over the deck.  I’ve added new twine in an attempt to build a canopy.  They are already half way across from the garage to the house.

My Spalt hops 2009

In all cases, my hops are already doing better than they were at the end of September.

Here are pictures from last year, and some from this year.  You can see how they started as small twigs, to the jungle they have grown to.  I’ll continue to post hops photos on Flickr if you want to follow their progress.  If the hops do not choke me in my sleep, I will have tons of hops this fall!

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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!