How to Grow Hops:

Choosing your hops plant

So you have decided to grow some hops now the next big decision is choosing the hops plant variety and how many hops you want to grow!

Hops plant variety

To help you decide, we have created a guideline on what to expect from your hops plant and what you can get out of them. We have three determining factors:

  • Space
  • Beer flavour
  • Hop availability

Hops Require Space

Determining how many hops plants and which hop variety to grow is sometimes all to do with space and how much you have of it!

For example, hops plants of the same variety can be planted closer together than the space required to grow hops of different varieties, below is our rule of thumb.

Spacing Hops of the same variety together:

  • Spaced 3 feet (0.9m) apart

Spacing hops of different variety together

  • Spaced 5 feet (1.5m) apart

So see how much space you have at your house to determine how many hop plants you could grow. Then with the following factors you will be able to narrow down the varieties and the amount of hop plants based on your style and what you have available..

Hops, Beer and Flavor

If there are particular beers that you enjoy brewing, you should choose the hops plant you want to grow based on your favorite beer. Find your favorite beer recipe and pick your hops based on that.

Remember if you can’t grow all the hops you need due to space or hop availability in your region, you can always supplement your beer with purchased hops.

For some great recipes click here

Hops Plant and Availability

All hops are not available everywhere. It really depends on where you live. The best way is to find out what is available in your region by searching the internet for local providers or calling into your local gardening store to find out what they have available.

So if you know how much space you have, you know what beer flavours you are trying to create and you also know the hop varieties available in your region, you should be able to narrow down what to grow. If it’s you first time growing we suggest you don’t go overboard and start with the following:

Typically the first time grower will plant 3 varieties,

  • 1 bittering hops plant
  • 1 aroma hops plant
  • 1 hops plant that is bittering and Aroma,

If you only have room for one plant, you should use a plant that is both bittering and Aroma.

To make it easy for first time growers we have listed below some of the popular varieties as a guide for people to start their research.

CASCADE

A very popular dual purpose hop that is used extensively in craft brewing. It has medium aromas and can also be used for bittering. It is usually harvested in the middle of the season. This is a good choice for growing your first hop plant.

Known For:                         Low bittering, medium Aroma – Spicy, Citrus

Type:                                   Aroma and Bittering

Used in:                               Pale Ales and IPA’s

MAGNUM

A German hop that has high bittering properties with some Aroma properties. It is a dual purpose hop with the Aroma properties having some spice and citrus.

Known For:                         High Bittering, Low Aroma

Type:                                   Aroma and Bittering

Used in:                               Pale Ales, IPAs, German-style Lager

MOUNT HOOD

Mount hood is an Aroma hop and is characterised as mild. It grows very well and is usually harvested in early to the middle of the season.

Known For:                         A subtle flavour

Type:                                   Aroma

Used in:                               Pilsners and Wheat Beers

NUGGET

A dual purpose hop that is a perfect hop for the first time growers, it has a high bittering value and strong herbal notes.

Known For:                         Strong Bittering,

Type:                                   Aroma and Bittering

Used in:                               Pale Ales, IPAs and Stouts

PERLE

Perle is Dual Use hop with both a moderate aroma and bittering qualities. Perle is a popular hop as it has a high yield and is resistant to diseases.

Known For:                         Spicy and fruity

Type:                                   Aroma and Bittering

Used in:                               Pale Ales and lagers

SAAZ

Saaz is an Aroma hop and is famous for creating Czech Pilsners.  It primarily gown in Europe but is also Available in North America.

Known For:                         Spicy and earthy

Type:                                   Aroma

Used in:                               Pilsners

So now you know some of the more popular hop varieties, now you need to get outside find the perfect place to plant your hops and get your hands on the hop variety (or hop varieties) you want to grow.

Want to know the 5 basic steps of growing hops? check this quick guideline out!

How to Grow Hops: 5 Easy and Basic steps

 

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TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Everything you need to know about growing hops at home

High-Resolution-eCover-JPGIf you are hop mad like us, growing hops at home is your next step, its easy and its made even simpler by the Growing your Own Hops at Home ebook that is now available.

Its all here: the different varieties of hops, the growing seasons and cycles, what to do with your rhizomes, how to choose your hop plant, where to plant your hops, caring for your hops, harvesting hops, drying hops and preparing for each growing season.