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Thursday, July 5, 2012

SNB Brewing: HopFarms

Rhizome in the pot
One of the things I regretted not doing last year was planting hops so I could do some wet hop beers in the fall.  It was fun watching everybody who did grow them post up pictures as they grew. While I never got to try any of their creations I knew next year I would make growing them a priority.

The thing about growing hops is that for the first two years they are really trying to establish their root system.  This generally leads to lower yields for the first couple of years.  I've heard tails from people saying that they were lucky to get 2-8oz total from multiple plants.

When it came time to plant I sourced from two locations.  The first was Northwest Hops which I had learned about via thread on BA talking about the success and the pricing people had had from them  I ended up ordering two Hop Rhizome Starter Kits, one cascade and one centennial.  The nice thing about the start kit was that each came with 5 Rhizomes, 60 feet of coir hop twine and free shipping.  I gave one of each to Daniel to plant as I didn't think I needed 5 of each.  To round out my hop varieties I also order 3 from Addison Homebrew Provisions; a nugget, a glacier and apparently another centennial (I'd thought I'd ordered cascade and columbus from Northwest Hops when I placed my order)

some of the cascades and centennials
After doing some research online I decide for the first year or so to plant in containers.  I split it up with 2 in 3 containers and 1 in another 3 containers in the back with one planted up front.  I'm pretty sure I also planted a centennial in the garden but can't remember.

Two of my centennials were the first to take off and required building the rope system to the back of the house within a month of planting. The rest have taken much longer with very little growth from the nugget or glacier.

Over the last weekend I got around to building the rope system for that rest of the growing ones. To anchor the rope to the ground I made some stakes by taking some 1.5" x 0.5" wood I had lying around and cut it up at a 60 degree angle, then I took a half inch boring bit and drilled a hole in the top for the rope.  I attached the rope to the house using eye hooks.  I'll build more if and when the remaining rhizomes warrant it.  

Currently they are on a drip system that had been on a timer until it died.  Now I just water them while I water the back yard.  The next step will be to provide them with some nutrients and more time.

Hopefully this will allow me enough wet hops this fall to do the most insane wet hop IPA I can think of...

Till then, cheers



The Bennett Girls prepping the pots
More soil prep

A month in
Boring the hole
Finished stakes
The "Welcoming" Centennials
Close up on the growth so far
The main HopFarm


  1. Very cool, Scott. I keep telling myself I should get some Rhizomes. I always talk myself out of it or just plain forget to order them. It is probably just as well. When we have a garden, it never does that well.

  2. Thanks Eric, hops are one of those do now for the future things seeing as how the first year or so is about root generation.


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