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What's Hoppening: Musings from the Hopyard!

2013 Rhizomes

Posted: February 25th, 2013 by hoppenin

For those of you who missed the Northeast Hop Alliance bulk rhizome purchase, there are still quite a few options available. Our website maintains a list of sources from where you can purchase hop rhizomes. Here is a run down of some places:

Applegate Hops, OR. Certified organic rhizomes: Cascade, Centennial, Sterling, Nugget and US Golding. $2.50/rhizome, or $2/rhizome for orders over 500. Website coming soon! In the meantime, to place an order, call 541-899-9144 or email Applegate Hops

Aroostook Hops, Westfield, ME has Nugget rhizomes for sale. At this point, they cannot do any large bulk orders (i.e. more than 100).  Check out their website for pricing and availability.

Blue Ridge Hops in Marshall, NC has USDA certified organic hops, and are selling Cascade and Nugget rhizomes.

Crosby Hop Farm in Woodburn, OR has 10 varieties available, and their best wholesale price is $1.20/rhizome (orders of 300+).  They have a pre-order deadline of March 1st, after that date, pricing and availability are subject to change, so act fast!  Their website is geared more towards homebrewers, so if you want bulk wholesale quotes, they suggest calling them at 503-982-5166, or sending an email.

Main Street Homebrew Supply Co., Hillsboro, OR also has a wide selection of rhizomes and some pretty reasonable prices.

Northeast Hop Alliance and Cornell Cooperative Extension – Live hop plants. Alpharoma, Cascade, Centennial, Fuggle, Liberty, Newport, Perle, Saaz, Sterling, Teamaker, Ultra, and Willamette are being sold in 4.5-inch pots, and can be purchased for $5/plant, with a minimum of 30 plants/single variety. These plants are propagated from cuttings of virus-free stock purchased from the Washington State Clean Plant program. Live plant cuttings such as these are free of latent hop viruses and mildews. This is the best way to guarantee that you will start your hopyard with disease-free stock. Deadline to order is March 15th!

South Royalton Market, South Royalton, VT – Contact Scott for pricing and available varieties.

Sunnybrook Farm, Middlesex, VT – Certified organic rhizomes. Cascade, Centennial, Willamette, Kent Golding, Mt. Hood, and Magnum available for $4\each (plus shipping). Minimum order of $20.  Email Sunnybrook Farm, or call 802-310-6031.

Do you have rhizomes that you have harvested from your hopyard that you are interested in selling? Please feel free to post on the Vermont Hops Google Group (the group is not limited to Vermonters) or email me, and I’ll post it here.

Register now for the 2013 UVM Extension Winter Hops Conference!

Posted: February 5th, 2013 by hoppenin

Seats are filling up quickly for the 2013 UVM Extension Winter Hops Conference!  Don’t delay, this event usually sells out!  February 22nd will be a day jam-packed with hoppy information, you don’t want to miss it.  To register, please follow the link: http://www.uvm.edu/extension/hopsconference




Maryland Hop Conference!

Posted: February 4th, 2013 by hoppenin

The love of hops is spreading like wild fire!  The University of Maryland Extension and the Maryland Chapter of the Northeast Hop Alliance are excited to announce their first annual hops conference: Growing Hops in the East!!  Click on the link for the full itinerary of this exciting day!  This conference is designed for anyone growing hops, or interested in growing hops commercially, brewers, educators, and other industry professionals.  UVM Extension’s Agricultural Engineer Chris Callahan will be there representing our team.  Space is limited, so be sure to register as soon as possible!



Potted Hop Plants Available for Purchase

Posted: February 1st, 2013 by hoppenin

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County in collaboration with Zerrillo’s Greenhouse is pleased to offer 12 different varieties of hops plants grown from first generation cuttings of virus-indexed stock purchased from Washington State’s Clean Plant Program.

Varieties available include Ultra, Fuggle, Alpharoma, Teamaker, Cascade, Newport, Liberty, Willamette, and Perle.  These plants will be sold in 4 1/2 inch pots and can be purchased by the tray. Quantity discounts are available. Sterling, Centennial, and Saaz will also be available in smaller quantities. The minimum order is 30 plants per single variety.  Please note that quantities are limited!  Orders are being filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The deadline to order plants is March 15th, 2013.  For more details and an order form, please click here.

Questions?  Contact Steve Miller, New York State Hops Educator or call 315-684-3001 ext. 127

Register for the 2013 Winter Hops Conference!

Posted: January 14th, 2013 by hoppenin

The UVM Extension 2013 Winter Hops Conference will take place on February 22, 2013 at The Essex in Essex, VT . Click here to download the flyer!  We have an exciting day lined up, registration starts at 9 am, and the conference starts promptly at 9:30.  We hope you can join us! Please note, last year’s conference sold out – register now by clicking here!



Cooperative Hop Rhizome Purchase

Posted: December 19th, 2012 by hoppenin

Greetings all,

The Northeast Hop Alliance and the wonderful folks at Foothill Hops are putting together a cooperative purchase for hop rhizomes, coir, and W-clips for the 2013 season.  This offer is available to all NeHA members in good standing.  If you haven’t paid your dues for 2013, or if you would like to become a member, please go to the NeHA website.  Being a member of NeHA not only gives you access to opportunities such as the cooperative purchases, but also makes you eligible for a discount to NeHA and UVM Extension hop workshops and conferences.

To download the purchase order form (.doc) and order details, please click here.

Orders and payments are due by January 18, with a minimum of 50% down on rhizomes.  Payments in full are required for coir and clips.

While NeHA and Foothill Hops cannot guarantee the viability of rootstock, they do everything in their power to make your hops growing experience a satisfactory one.  The rhizome supplier from last year who did not stand by the poor quality Cascade rhizomes will not be used again.  The suppliers from whom the bulk order will be purchased have been used in the past and have always provided quality rhizomes and courteous service.

Happy hoppin’!


UVM Extension 2013 Winter Hops Conference – Save the Date!

Posted: December 17th, 2012 by hoppenin

Greetings all!

We are excited to announce the date of the annual UVM Extension Winter Hops Conference!  Please mark your calendars, this year’s event will take place on Friday, February 22, 2013 at The Essex in Essex, VT.  As the date gets nearer, we will post registration details here on What’s Hoppening.  The day is looking to be most illuminating.  Graham Ollard, a hops crop consultant with Agrimanagement, Inc. located in the Yakima Valley in Washington has agreed to trek out to Vermont to share some of his knowledge.  Krista Delahunty and Jason Johnston from Aroostook Hops in Westfield, Maine will also be on hand to discuss the results of their Northeast SARE Farmer Grant, which looked at cover crops and irrigation in a Northeastern hopyard.  Vermont Pub and Brewery and Bobcat Cafe and Brewery are also developing an educational sensory panel with the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team to highlight the importance of proper drying and storage techniques.

Northeast Hop Alliance Fall Hops Conference

Posted: October 24th, 2012 by hoppenin

Greetings all,

Registration is now open for the Cornell Fall Hops Conference and the Northeast Hop Alliance Annual Meeting, taking place in Morrisville, NY on Saturday, December 1, 2012.  Please click on the link for full details.  UVM Extension’s own Heather Darby will be speaking, along with a long list of other experts.  This event often sells out, so sign up early!  To register, please click here.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and look for the Hops Conference, listed under the host “Madison”.  The deadline is November 23rd!

After the conference there is a Post Conference Happy Hour for an extra fee.  The Fall Conference also happens to coincide with a Home Brew Review hosted by The Colgate Inn in Hamilton, NY.  Overall, it should be a good show.

Are you a business that would like to supply the hop industry in the Northeast?  There will be a Trade Show at this year’s Fall Hops Conference, please click on the link for more details.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Hop Harvest Readiness Calculator – New Online Tool!

Posted: August 27th, 2012 by hoppenin

Chris Callahan was recently hired as the Agricultural Engineer for UVM Extension and is operating out of the Rutland, VT office. He is a long time Crops and Soils fav, and has worked on numerous projects with us, including the hops harvester, oast, and various oilseed projects.  He and Lucy Carrasco, our Assistant Webmaster (and all around superhero) came up with a nifty Hops Moisture Calculator that we thought you might find useful.  (You can even use it on your smartphone!)  You can also download it in Excel.

Hop Harvest Readiness

Posted: August 24th, 2012 by hoppenin

In the Northeast, hop harvest generally begins in mid-August and continues through mid-September.  Harvest date is primarily dependent on the hop variety.  However weather can delay or hasten when a harvest will occur. Another factor that can influence harvest date is pest issues, including heavy spider mite and downy mildew infestations. In the major hop growing regions, harvest is generally targeted when cones reach approximately 23% dry matter.

Determining hop dry matter in a Koster Moisture Tester at left, and with a food dehydrator at right.

To determine your hops target dry matter, randomly sample 5 to 10 sidearms of the same variety from throughout the hopyard.  Samples should be taken from near the top of the trellis, approximately two feet below the trellis wire.  The sample should reflect the state of your yard, and should be taken when there isn’t excess moisture in the hopyard, i.e. after the morning dew has dried, when it isn’t raining, etc.  Pick the cones off of the sidearm into a bucket, and mix thoroughly before selecting a subsample of 100 to 150 cones.

Once you have your subsample you can begin the determination of dry matter. Weigh an empty container in grams.  Weigh the freshly picked hops in the container, and record both weights.  Dry the hops down to 0% moisture.  This can be done one of several ways:

1.)    Overnight in a food dehydrator at 140 – 150°F

2.)    In a Koster Moisture Tester (commonly used to test forage moisture)

3.)    In a microwave or oven, being sure to remove the sample every minute or less to prevent scorching.

Using a food dehydrator will allow the cones to dry to 0% moisture overnight. However, the Koster tester and microwave methods require constant monitoring as they will dry the cones relatively quickly. Once the sample has reached a stable weight, the hops are at 0% moisture.  Weigh the dry hops and record the weight in grams.  To calculate the percent dry matter, use the following equation:



Expected maturities for select varieties can be found in the Yakima Chief, Inc. Hop Variety Guide.

Harvesting too early can reduce the yield of your hopyard and can also have an effect on next year’s yield.  This is especially true for new hopyards, early maturing varieties, or varieties with low vigor, as it disrupts the carbohydrate partitioning into the root system.  Harvesting too early will also disrupt the flavor constituents of your hops as the alpha acids might not have reached peak levels.  However, harvesting too late can also reduce brewing quality and aroma.  Later harvested hops are at risk of accelerated oxidation in storage through the loss of volatile aroma compounds.  Later harvested hops usually suffer from a shortened storageability, as do cones that have been damaged by diseases and/or pests. Be aware that cones that have been damaged by spider mites and other pests are prone to over-drying.

Hops should be dried down to 8-12% moisture (or 88 – 92% dry matter) for packaging and storage.  Cones above this moisture will quickly loose quality due to microbial degradation, and cones below this moisture will fall apart and lose quality due to oxidation.  To learn how to determine cone moisture during drying, and for further information about hop harvest determination, please click here.

You can also check out our YouTube video on Determining Hop Harvest Moisture and Ideal Storage Dry Matter.

To make things even easier, UVM Extension has come up with a Hops Harvest Moisture Calculator!  Click here for the online tool.

Don’t have internet access in your hopyard?  Download the Excel version of the Hops Harvest Moisture Calculator here!

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