The growth of the hop plant is predominantly branched into two phases: vegetative phase and flowering phase.
After planting rhizomes, the plant acquires the upward direction for its growth and the vines begin to climb higher and higher all the while needing some support. This climbing of vines manifests the sensitivity of hop plants towards photoperiodism.
The onset of summer solstice marks the conversion of the vegetative phase to the flowering phase. The flowering phase is also hailed as the reproductive phase.
The death of stems signifies the maturation of hops which symbolizes the need to replant them for assurance of better growth.
The real game starts when you have to harvest your dear plant. A little expertise or a look at the guide we have provided would surely assist you.
Whenever you are harvesting hops fruit, the only thing that you need to bear in your mind to harvest an overripe fruit as under-ripe fruit is naturally deprived of the acids that account for the awesome aroma and citrus taste. Mid-August and September are appraised as the best point for harvesting hop fruit. Also, rub the stem ends between your fingers to check for sticky yellow lupulin which also serves as a sign for the harvest.
The pungent smell that lies between onion and grass ring all the bells that shout for harvest.
Harvesting the flowers has another unsung saga. Touch the flowers and look for a dry papery feel. If the test report proves to be positive, then your flowers are ready.
Lastly, the best judge to identify the hour of harvest is your nose.
If you are sniffing a grassy-vegetal scent, then you need to give your vines some time alone.
Harvesting the hops is a tedious job but there’s no accounting for the tastes.
Chop the vines if they seem too high to reach then you can easily handpick the fruits and flowers according to your desire.
The flowers of the hop plant are liable to rot right away after snipping. Quickly subject the flowers to a well-ventilated, dark space for a few days all the while turning their sides intermittently.
Oven dry is another option but the temperature must spike higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for the cones, they also need to be completely dried for their storage in a cool location (refrigerator)