Growing Hops: Dry Hops 2007 Yield

I collected, weighed and packaged the home grown Cascade hops that were drying in the basement. I started with 5.4 lbs green hops from our harvest the other day. So that's 86.4 oz of green hops. Once dried the yield is 20.9 oz of dry hops. This is approximately a 4 to 1 ratio. I'm a little curious as to why it wasn't more like a 6 to 1 ratio. Maybe its because some of the hops were already somewhat dry when I picked them. Oh well, I'm not complaining.

Now, how should I store these? I just happened to have 20 foodsaver bags and a foodsaver machine to vacuum seal the bags. They were given to my wife and I as a gift a while back. About an hour later I ended up with 18 bags of dry hops with a little more than an ounce in each bag. I've heard that freezing them is the best thing to do. For now they are in my fridge.

The question is what should we do with them? Well I know at least two ounces will go to dry hopping a strong ale I just made. I wonder what Bryan will do with his?


Ted Danyluk said...

How do they smell? Are they very fragrant? Classic Cascade aroma?

I will be harvesting some hops from a friend's yard. She's been letting the hop vine run wild on her fence. With it all grown in, her yard isn't visible from the alley. She believes they are Nugget hops.

What should I be looking for as in freshness/ripeness? I remember last year they ranged from very small to almost 3 inches in length. I would think some varieties are larger than others.

I may try the "late-hop" strategy with a hop harvest ale for my friend who's growing them.

Adam said...

Hi Ted,

They smell faintly like cascade and fresh cut grass until you smash up the lupilin sacks alont the stem of the flower. That's when they explode with that classic cascade aroma. Mmmm...

Ripeness...hmmm...I'm still learning here, but, I hear that they are at or near peak when you squeeze one and it rebounds. If it kinda squishes and stays squished then they are still young. Since I wanted to get it all done at once I waited until most of them seemed papery.

We found some that were close to three inches and some that were less than an inch. We picked them all. I would imagine that some parts of the plant get more sun than others and that's the difference.

I almost always add hops late in the boil if that's what you mean. Some hops go in with about 5 minutes left in the boil with most of my brews.

I've never actually used the hops we picked for anything, but, dry hopping. I could brew an entire batch with the hops we harvested this year. It would be the ultimate experiment, because I don't know what the alpha acid content is.