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Brewing TV - Episode 12: Backyard Hop Crop Report


Original postdate: July 30, 2010

- BTV Backyard Hop Crop Report (July 2010)
- Time to Blend: Radler

Summertime ... and the brewing is easy. Flight patterns over Chip's house are low, and the hops are high. Join us on a laid-back journey into three backyards for a survey of this year's hop growth and, then, for some beer-blended refreshment.


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Northern Brewer Hop Growing pdf

BTV Book Club: Homegrown Hops

Brewing TV Backyard Hops Photo Gallery

Brew Your Own article on growing hops in containers

Don Osborn's Hop Growing & Harvest Photos 2008, 2007, 2006; 2008 video.... and his Homebrew Log is pretty cool, too!

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Reader Comments (24)

Been incredibly rainy this year... anyone having problems with mold/fungi on their hops (especially those hop bushes)?

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLubbo

I've been having some fungi problems, but since my hops are only first year guys, I'm not worrying about it too much.

Planted mine the first day of May in pots. Have a nugget that is about six feet high and a Mt. Hood that is around nine feet high. Second year should yield some good cones.

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDrawTap88

Chip, you should boost the size of your pots, the root ball will fill those little things easily in a year or two. More space for the roots will give the bines a greater reach. I just transferred some 6 year cascades a friend gave me into the five gallon buckets and trimmed the scrawny bines off. now the shoots coming up are big and dark green and reaching for the sky. the small pots were completely packed with roots, I couldn't even shake soil out of it. Go bigger and you'll see much better results as the years go on.

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrett Silver Begani

Another great episode. Keep up the good work, guys. Looking forward to the hop farm ep.

My little container hops were planted too late for real production. But I like sitting on my back porch and watching them while I have some beers.

And I really dig the music. Nice stuff.

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Just discovered your show. Just want to say well done and looking forward to see more from you

Nicke - Home brewer from Sweden

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicke

Greetings from England. I enjoy your show - it is interesting to see the differences between the US and UK beer / homebrew cultures.

On your piece about Radler, we have a version in the UK that is called Shandy. Shandy is a 50:50 mix of ale and a commercial lemonade i.e. lemon flavoured soda. This is sometimes called bitter shandy to differentiate it from a lager shandy which unsurprisingly is 50:50 lager and lemonade. There is a version of shandy which is called lemon top where the ratio is c. 90:10 beer to lemonade.

An alternative - and you guys really should try this - is ginger beer shandy which is 50:50 ale and ginger beer. This is best with a proper old fashioned ginger beer such as Fentimans, Luscombe's, Crabbies or Fevertree.

Generally these drinks are taken on summer days when you want your thirst quenching without getting too sozzled.

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

I think this is a great show I have been whatching since episode 6.
I know hops grow well in cooler climates but what about where it gets 105 about a dozen times a year? I noticed when you poured the Radler the beer was always first. is this important or was it just the way you do it?

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDick Chuck

I know why Chip left Alabama. Homebrewing is illegal here! Fun episode. Bring homebrewing back home, Chip!

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHekkubus

sorry but if its that hot whats up with the long sleaves

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjustin

@Justin - Jake here. Dawson has to wear extra layers because of his cold cold heart. Actually, I was wondering the same things as we were shooting...but I know not to question his ways. It may result in a round-house to my head. Like I said, cold cold heart.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeeler

I too am having problems with my hops in the backyard. I think the over abundance of rain has brought about some downy mildew. I don't have the greatest air circulation back there and they didn't seem to have good time to dry out. The ones in the front yard (better air circulation) are doing fine.

Another good episode. thanks guys.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDon Osborn

Guys I live in Fargo,ND.. Can I leave my hops in over the winter. Or will they die with the extreeeeem cold up here.

By the way keep up the grea episodes I love this Brew TV thing.

Drinking Some Boltic Porter as we speek
Caribu Slobber on tap
Kolsh Bottle conditioning
American wheat in a secondary to clear
Honey kolsh in Primary 1
Honey Vizen Primary 2


August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGabers6

is that a wolf with a lion's mane in the basement, i hope so.. b/c if its not, i dont want to know. Awesome!
the Radlers a great idea, tasty and refreshing, specially in humid-ass NEB.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

This year I planted Cascade, Mt Hood and Nugget. The Cascade and Nugget really took off, the Nugget is 19 plus feet tall in its first year, the Cascade was taking off well too, but a gopher ate the root and overnight the plant wilted and died. I was sad, the Nugget is really impressive though. I live in NE Washington State.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRandyMan

Yeah if you are growing them in pots make sure to add a few handfulls of fresh garden compost into the container every year. The hops will use most of the nutrients in the soil the first year and you must add it back via rich garden compost to replace them. Even better would be to add some compost to a bigger pot and then repot the hops and they will be huge.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBilly

If I don't pot my hops and just plant them in the ground will they still last over the winter and come up in the spring.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergabersy

First year hop growing for me. Cascades, Fuggles, Goldings, and Nuggets were the rhizomes of choice. Cascades, Fuggles and Goldings are all currently areound 5 feet tall. The Nugget took off, and is over 12 feet tall, and draping back down. Tons of burrs have formed(about 4 weeks ago), and I'm excited that I'll at least get to play with some cones from this one, in the first year of growing.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNathan Young

Great show!
I should do the clothesline procedure next year...My 6year Saaz bines are strung from their trellises up into an old maple tree (which I tap for cream ale in spring). This year I'll need to drag my old ass up into the tree to get my harvest, as most of my hop production is about15-20 feet up there...word of warning: might seem like a good idea, but think about how you're gonna get at your harvest!
...About the mold: as you saw, Chip's hop bines are well trimmed for the first few feet, this can greatly help with disease and pest problems, especially anything ground-based that would crawl or splash up onto the tasty leaves.

August 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeSinge

Good call on the liberty Dawson, they're my favorite!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Hey guys,

Just wanted to say 2 things, first: great show, thanks for doing it!

Second, and I know I'm a bit late on this, but just seeing the episode now... anyway, I'm currently living in Austria, and was told a while back that the secret to a good radler is not just lemonade, but lemon AND orangeade. My friend wasn't too specific on the mix, but I was told it was the result of another accident.. a brewery didn't have enough lemonade, so they added some orange flavor as well, and that year their radler destroyed the competition.

Another thing to do with your topless hefe: If you can find pure banana juice, do something similar to radler, maybe a 50/50 mix of beer and juice. It tastes amazing!

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

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