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Jim Keaveney
04/11/06 04:33 PM  
Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
Just got back from Belgium. A local hop grower gave me some Fuggles rhizomes that he snipped from his farm. I quickly planted them and am now taking a crash coarse in hop growing. I wonder if they will have any qualities that will differ from English Fuggles? I would suspect so. I would also expect them to differ from their "parents" growing in Poperinge right now. I may ask the farmer to send me some of his for comparison after harvest.

Anyone have experience growing Fuggles in the Jersey area? I think it may get much hotter around here than is optimal.

04/12/06 08:00 AM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
Jim, have you ever grown and harvested any kind of hop previously? We've grown Cascades, tiny harvest year 1, enourmous harvest year 2. Havn't nailed the harvesting and usage yet though, it looks like the timing is pretty tight.
Jim Keaveney
04/12/06 11:00 AM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
have you ever grown and harvested any kind of hop previously?

Nope. But Blasie has and he is even more excited about this than I am so we should be ok.

tiny harvest year 1, enourmous harvest year 2

yeah, from what i understand that is the norm. also, cascades are typically a high yield whereas fuggles are much less. if i get enough in the first year for one batch i will be happy.

04/12/06 11:45 AM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
!<< if i get enough in the first year for one batch i will be happy.>>

I can say I didn't from our Cascade clipping. Pretty much filled a plastic sandwich baggie. Great that you have access to someone who knows what they're doing. Winging it is tough.

04/12/06 11:54 AM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
I am planting 5 different strains of hops for the first time, this year. The book, "The Homebrewer's Garden" seems to have some pretty good information in it and has helped me so far.


Eric K
04/12/06 01:06 PM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles

While up in Washington (1 hour away from Yakima valley)I grew 4 varieties of hops: Cascade, Centennial, Horizon, and Santium. Overall, I harvested about 5 lbs of dried hops/year from 12 plants. Cascade and Centinnial were the most aphid resistant and productive. Santium was plagued by insects and disease. Horizon was in the middle of the bunch. This will vary by geographical location.

Here's my advice:

1)Location: Plant the hops in a location that receives direct sun for at least half the day. Preferable along side a tall structure for ease in trellis attachment (i.e., pole barn).

2)Soil: Well drained. They love lots of water, but not sitting in their own wettness. Sand is great, but needs nutrient enrichment. (see below)

3)Spacing: 4-6 feet apart, further if you have different varieties.

4)Bed Prep: prepare the bed before planting. Dig a 3 foot deep hole, about 2 1/2 feet wide, saturate with water then mix in manure (preferable chicken), compost and sandy soil. Make a nice wet manure-compost mud pie (mmmm)and then bury rizome in center (bud end up, about 3 inches below soil from top of bud).

5)Pruning: Hop plants grow like weeds, but as a result, they need constant attention if you are trying to maximize cone growth. Try to maintain 3-8 main stems and trim all the rest. Trim ground trailing bines low, then replant in another location.

6)Water: Install a drip line or other type of irrigation system. Hind site information here. I found myself watering those plants every evening after work becasue I didn't install the drip line. If you like to stand for hours in your shorts and sandles with a garden hose while being eaten by Mosquitoes’, feel free to ignore this advice.

7)Trellis: Use thick hemp twine; best for training hops to grab and grow upward. Wire and nylon does not provide enough traction and you'll endup spending you time tying twist ties around the bines to maintain upward growth. Trellis hight should be as high as you can go: 15-30 feet.

8)Harvest: I found that hops are way cheaper to buy than to grow. The benefit to growing your own hops is the accessability to fresh cones. Save your energy and just pick when the cones are ripe and toss those beautiful cones directly in your boil pot. You friends will love you for it! (note: fresh hop amounts are a 6 to 1 ratio; you need 6 times as much in weight to acheive the same IBU)

Some Hop Growing Links:






Enjoy the Fuggles!

Jim Keaveney
04/12/06 05:33 PM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
Sounds like solid advice, thanks Eric.

Tremens, sounds like you have your hands full.

BTW: I managed to bring back about 25 bottles of beer from Belgium, but alas, Westvleteren was closed for the holidays! Ouch!

04/12/06 08:14 PM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
I live in the desert of southern New Mexico. I'm in my second year with Liberty, Nugget and Cascade. The Cascade are growing almost a foot per day, and the others are'nt far behind. My point is that if they grow down here they'll grow in NJ
Jim Keaveney
04/13/06 09:35 AM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
Corky: My question/comment was more toward Fuggles. They are known to prefer a damper climate without extreme heat. Friends have had tremendous success growing cascades and chinook in Jersey. I suspect I will be ok but conditions may be less than optimal for Fuggles.
04/13/06 10:12 AM  
Re: Belgian\Jersey Fuggles
For anyone that is growing hops I recommend listening to the show that features Ralph Olsen from Hop Union here:


Also futher back in the archive the second show with Vinnie is all about growing hops and making Wet Hopped beers.

Also there is a nice little plug for the Babble Belt in the most recent Sunday show with Sean O'Sullivan as the guest host.

(I will throw this warning out: While I do really enjoy The Brewing Network there humor can seem a bit sophmoric)


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