Homebrewing

Elkdog

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
212
Location
Nevada
I started a few years ago. I really enjoy it. I grow hops and like using my own. Last year they all froze before I could get them picked. We had a hard frost the day before I got home from deer season. So I only brewed one batch last year. This year I drew no tags so I'll be ready when they are!
 

BishopB7

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
77
Location
Reno
I started a few years ago. I really enjoy it. I grow hops and like using my own. Last year they all froze before I could get them picked. We had a hard frost the day before I got home from deer season. So I only brewed one batch last year. This year I drew no tags so I'll be ready when they are!
What is that process like? My wife and I grow a lot of vegetables and fruits and I’ve been wondering how easy/difficult it would be to grow hops.
 

birdman27

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
42
Location
North Bay, California
What is the best way to keep your fermentation cool in the summer months?
Agreed! I keep my carboy in my cool crawl space. Stays 62-65 degrees. I use vodka instead of water in my exchanger. What other steps at home can I take to control my fermentation?
As a couple other folks have mentioned, you will probably have to build your own. 62-65 is pretty good, but even more control is better. My favorite builds are old chest freezers with a temperature control device (this website has a good build and links to more on electronics: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/diy-fermentation-chamber.html). What this allows you to do is ferment at the proper temperature, then up it for a couple of days to do what we call a diacetyl rest. The yeast naturally make diacetyl during fermentation, but will clean it up given enough time. The higher temperature makes the conversion easier. Temperature control will also allow you to get the best out of any yeast strain you use. But, in general higher temperature fermentation will give off more flavor (esters, phenolics) and are good for beers like saisons where you want a lot of yeast expression. It will also allow you to make lagers should you choose to go that direction.
 

rideold

Active member
Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Messages
439
Location
Front Range of Colorado
What is that process like? My wife and I grow a lot of vegetables and fruits and I’ve been wondering how easy/difficult it would be to grow hops.
Once they are established it more like growing weeds. Find the right spot in your yard in terms of sun and moisture and it is pretty easy. I grow mine in a large plastic pot sunk into the ground in the corner of my vegetable garden so I can take advantage of the irrigation. The pot is something like a 20 or 30 gallon size. I do that to keep the hops contained otherwise you spend more time eradicating them than growing other things.
 

BishopB7

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
77
Location
Reno
Right on. Yeah I’ve got just the spot for them. Did you have to put in some sort of lattice?
 

BishopB7

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
77
Location
Reno
As a couple other folks have mentioned, you will probably have to build your own. 62-65 is pretty good, but even more control is better. My favorite builds are old chest freezers with a temperature control device (this website has a good build and links to more on electronics: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/diy-fermentation-chamber.html). What this allows you to do is ferment at the proper temperature, then up it for a couple of days to do what we call a diacetyl rest. The yeast naturally make diacetyl during fermentation, but will clean it up given enough time. The higher temperature makes the conversion easier. Temperature control will also allow you to get the best out of any yeast strain you use. But, in general higher temperature fermentation will give off more flavor (esters, phenolics) and are good for beers like saisons where you want a lot of yeast expression. It will also allow you to make lagers should you choose to go that direction.
Thanks for the info birdman! I like the idea of being able to move to lagers if I have the ability to control the fermentation with a dedicated fridge, etc. Might have to go find an old chest freezer. Ive been super surprised by all the brew knowledge and help Ive been receiving! I think we need to have a Hunttalk brewfest!
 

wytex

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
1,721
Location
Wyoming
Not a home brewer here but we grow hops for our local craft brewer. Rideold is right on they grow like weeds. Male bine management is the most tricky part of growing them. We have 2-3 males that come up every year. Ours grow on the fence and luckily our neighbor loves seeing them too.
We too had issues with harvest last year, an early freeze makes it hard to get mature cones.
These are Cascades grown at 7,220 ft.

IMG_9052 (960x640).jpgIMG_9050 (960x640).jpg
 

Elkdog

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
212
Location
Nevada
Yep, they are easy to grow. Too easy at times. Lol. I made frames out of pipe and then some grow over an arbor and more on rope tied to the peak of the 2 nd story roof. I use rope made for hops out of coconut husks. I cant recall the name but you can buy it at homebrew suppliers. The first couple of years they need regular water but after they get established they are pretty care free and I only have to water a couple times a week. Ours also have taken over a fence but our neighbors like them as well. When ripe, I pick them and dry on screen in the garage with fans blowing on them to keep the air moving. Once dry I vacuum seal and freeze them. They keep well that way.
 

BishopB7

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
77
Location
Reno
Wow. That’s a beautiful sight! Wonder how the neighbors would feel if I had a set up like that. Lol. Looks like they do grow super healthy. I have the perfect spot, and you guys have me sold as far as maintenance and upkeep go. The cascades are what I’ll be growing as well.
 

BishopB7

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
77
Location
Reno
Not a home brewer here but we grow hops for our local craft brewer. Rideold is right on they grow like weeds. Male bine management is the most tricky part of growing them. We have 2-3 males that come up every year. Ours grow on the fence and luckily our neighbor loves seeing them too.
We too had issues with harvest last year, an early freeze makes it hard to get mature cones.
These are Cascades grown at 7,220 ft.

View attachment 83313View attachment 83314
Gorgeous.
 

Elkdog

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
212
Location
Nevada
Wow. That’s a beautiful sight! Wonder how the neighbors would feel if I had a set up like that. Lol. Looks like they do grow super healthy. I have the perfect spot, and you guys have me sold as far as maintenance and upkeep go. The cascades are what I’ll be growing as well.
The Reno Homebrew store sells hop rhizomes every spring. They can probably order Cascades if they don't normally. If you want to grow more than 1 kind I have Centennial that does well. Golding that does OK here and Neo1 (a New Mexico native that produces tons of cones). I also have some that I dug off Monitor Pass near a brewery from the late 1800s and some from the town of Jarbidge that are probably from around 1900. Both grow very well in Reno. I'd be happy to give you rhizomes this fall after they die back.
 

wytex

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
1,721
Location
Wyoming
Luckily the fence is ours, there is a rope for the hops to grow along above the fence. Our overhead power won't let us put up a taller system.
There are now hops growing pretty much all around our neighborhood all from our 25 year old rhizomes.

You heritage rhizomes sound very interesting Elkdog.
 

BishopB7

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
77
Location
Reno
The Reno Homebrew store sells hop rhizomes every spring. They can probably order Cascades if they don't normally. If you want to grow more than 1 kind I have Centennial that does well. Golding that does OK here and Neo1 (a New Mexico native that produces tons of cones). I also have some that I dug off Monitor Pass near a brewery from the late 1800s and some from the town of Jarbidge that are probably from around 1900. Both grow very well in Reno. I'd be happy to give you rhizomes this fall after they die back.
Elkdog that would be awesome. Its incredible that you have hops that date back that far and are from a brewery up on monitor. That’s some pretty impressive living history. I’d love to grab those rhizomes this fall and kick back some brews with ya.
 

wytex

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
1,721
Location
Wyoming
Elkdog how are your hops doing?
We need it to stay warm for a few more weeks here. Down into 30's last night.
Was at a brewfest Saturday and some local guys informed me they just picked some local hops as they ready. Green as could be and little lupulin. Don't know what they were thinking but I do know they make not so good beer in Cheyenne.
 

dirtclod Az.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,282
30s ? Cheyenne Alaska?108+today and Upper80s tonight.Deer hunting in my swimsuit and flip flops.:cool:
 

wytex

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
1,721
Location
Wyoming
Actually it was down to 36 last night but here in Laramie, 7220 ft elevation.
20's up in the Snowies though.
 

Elkdog

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
212
Location
Nevada
Wytex, the Centennial and Neo1 have another couple weeks I think. The Monitor and Jarbidge maybe a couple more after that. Just a guess. This is really early for them. So far it’s been the end of September into mid-October before they have been ready. We have been down into the 40’s a couple nights but mainly in the 50’s or higher. We had the hottest July on record this year and will probably end up as the hottest summer on record. The hops seem to like it. I don’t.... we’re about 500ft above Reno and 5 to 10 degrees cooler, but it’s been too hot here too.
 
Top